Special Guests
Saturday, February 26, 2000

Battlefield Band
Photo: Marc Marnie
Battlefield Band
Pictured left to right: Alan Reid, Mike Katz, Davy Steele & John McCusker

The BATTLEFIELD BAND has thrived for nearly 30 years, though the group’s personnel has changed over time. Taking their name from the Glasgow district in which the group was formed, the band plays an amalgamation of traditional Scottish music and modern composition. Critics have said that the Battlefield Band combines “the classical Celtic music of the Scottish Highlands with the contemporary rock-oriented folk music of modern Britain.” Although fiddle, bagpipes and guitar are common instruments in Celtic bands, Battlefield Band is credited with being the first to add synthesizer. Providing the sound of an organ, parlor piano, or drums, as necessary, synthesizer adds a fullness not heard in most traditional groups. The band tours extensively, including past visits to Singapore, Australia, Syria, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, and Egypt, as well as throughout Europe and Canada. They are currently in the midst of a tour to promote Leaving Friday Harbor (Temple Records), which was released in August. The CD includes “Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura’s Reel,” and is the latest in a string of more than fifteen albums the band has released. The current lineup is founding member Alan Reid (keyboards, guitar), Mike Katz (Highland bagpipe), John McCusker (fiddle), and Davy Steele (guitar, cittern, bodhran).

Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin

IAN RANKIN was born in the Scottish village of Cardenden and became a writer at an early age, writing his own comic books. He later turned to poetry, and won several prizes by the time he reached university. At the University of Edinburgh, he began to write short stories and again won several literary prizes. He wrote his first three novels, the last of which introduced "Inspector Rebus," while working towards a PhD in English Literature. Through jobs with the National Folktale Centre and the national magazine Hi-Fi Review, Rankin continued to write, experimenting with various genres. After being asked what happened to "Inspector Rebus," he brought back the detective and recently published his eleventh book in the series, Dead Souls. Rankin now divides his time between Edinburgh, London, and France.

Dave Richardson
Dave Richardson

DAVE RICHARDSON grew up in Wallsend-on-Tyne, in the border country between England and Scotland. He became aware of the rich music heritage of the area in his mid-teens and began learning Northumbrian pipe tunes on the tin whistle. He joined the popular Celtic band Boys of the Lough in the early 1970s and, along with fellow band members Aly Bain and Cathal McConnell, has contributed to the material written by the group over the years. A number of those tunes have been embraced by other artists. Richardson's jig "Calliope House" is among the music featured in the current production of Lord of the Dance, as well as in their video. In addition to his musical accomplishments, Richardson has nurtured a lifelong interest in ornithology.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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