The Battlefield Band
Leaving Friday Harbor
Temple (

Instrumentally speaking, the Battlefield Band is a fascinating ensemble. Fiddle, whistle, accordion, small pipes and highland pipes lead the tunes, with keyboards and various plucked strings coming in strongly behind. Here and there, percussion adds touches more like punctuation than artillery. The result is a soothing sound that is also alive and wired; attractive combinations of sounds weaving hypnotically at times through the dance tunes and marches.

Normally, I find Alan Reid and Davy Steele's vocals are not the strongest elements of the band's makeup. Perhaps this time it's the five songs they've chosen on the 11-track album, but for me, the singing is perfectly in place. Reid, Steele, John McCusker, and Mike Katz blend well together on this, perhaps the most adventurous and definitely the most appealing album from the band to date. - Jamie O'Brien

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