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THE EASY CLUB "Essential" Eclectic Records ECL CD 9103

This "essential" release on the Eclectic label has seventy-nine minutes and twenty-two tracks of easy (club) listening. The album is compiled from four recording sessions, dated from 1982 to 1987 and includes several, up until now, unreleased tracks.

The syncopated bodhran rhythms and Django-esk guitar, masterly fiddle, controlled concertina and smooth vocals are all highlighted and presented to good effect. Different "takes" of "The Easy Club Reel" serve as book ends and the changes in emphasis make interesting listening when comparing the "concertina" and "fiddle" versions. Other instrumentals include "Skirlie Beat", "The Train Journey North", "The Quiet Man", " Erse For Alba", and "Euphemia" all written by Jim Sutherland; but G.S.Mclennan, D.C.Mather, D.McLeod and the ubiquitous "Tradition" also get a mention. For many, of course "The Easy Club" is synonymous with the singing of Rod Paterson, and he is well represented here with nine songs. The lazy edged, soft, dark voice and affable personality combined with the often slinky arrangements does much to explain his popularity. The ability to "put the song over" with his clear, uncluttered style and the standard of his song-writing are displayed here and include "The Diamond", "Auchengeich", "Fause, Fause Hae Ye Been", "The Auld Toon Shuffle" and of course "Black Is The Colour".

Although some of this material was recorded more than ten years ago the combined talents of Norman Chalmers, Jack Evans, John Martin, Rod Paterson and Jim Sutherland have set a bench mark few have managed to get within their sights let alone reach.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 3 of The Living Tradition magazine.