said about Alan and Rob's latest CD
'The Adventures of John Paul Jones'
account if one of Scotland's own who fought against
the British during the American war of Independence.
- John Paul Jones -
The CD - The Play
"It reads like a Boys Own adventure yet the story of
Scottish seafarer John Paul Jones
is little known in Britain.It is, however, more familiar across the Atlantic where, having
fought for the Americans, he's regarded as a hero of the Revolutionary War. That's just
the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding Jones' story as erstwhile Battlefield Band member
Reid and his long-time musical collaborator Rob van Sante reveal in this absorbing album.
The Adventures of John Paul Jones is the third release from Reid and van Sante and it's one
that shows off their excellent and inventive musicianship, and especially Reid's exceptional
songwriting. Over the course of fifteen tracks his descriptive narrative songs draw the
listener into the tale of how the lowly gardener's son from Kirkcudbright lived a full
and fascinating life before dying in poverty in France.
Using several different musical styles from British, American and Quebecois traditions
to tell the story Reid perfectly sets the tone with opening track 'The Gairdener's Son'
and then holds the attention through to the closing 'The Chevalier'. Featuring several
first rate musicians, Jones' story is brought vividly to life, thanksin no small part
to Reid's clear and concise vocal delivery and the album's excellent production values."
...a musical tour de force. In truth there is not a
bad track on the album
"This historical though not over scholarly document was
obviously a labour
of love for Reid. To write a whole album's worth (15 tracks) of material
collaboratively with Rob van Sante joined by various guest musicians based
on one character might be regarded as a vanity project but I assure you. if
you come along for the ride you'll be justly rewarded.....Reid weaves an
almost magical spell conjuring visions of brooding Scottish vistas while just
as easily slipping into a sense of joviality on the track 'Landlord'".
"Rob van Sante is a large part of this album's success,
from his harmonies and
elegant, understated guitar playing to the recording, mixing and mastering".
"...superb.....wonderfull storytelling and creative
imagery. I loved the line
in 'On The Loose'..'led the Royal Navy on a merrydance'......stunning
artwork beautifully packaged
"Exploits are recounted in simple song and industrial form,
complex, international curve of his life in folksy lyrics.....an engrossing tale".
Scotland on Sunday
"No quiet retirement for Alan Reid after forty years as a
with the Battlefield Band. Alan's latest venture with Rob van Sante is a
sparkling theme based album on the life of Scot John Paul Jones. Jones
was a controversial sailor who is regarded in Britain as a traitor, but in the
United States as the founder of the American Navy.
The duo's album tells the story, aided by an array of fine musicians. What a
good job they make of this. With first class arrangements, the story flows. Alan's
clear diction allows the listener to easily identify the events as they unfold.
The album is so varied that I find myself liking all the album tracks, a rare
occurrence for me. The reflective tracks of 'When I was Young' and
'Becalmed' are particularly appealing.
I did like the beautifully presented graphics throughout the album and the
quality of the sound recording was most impressive.
Well done Alan for writing a most creative, enjoyable and entertaining
album. We now know much more of John Paul Jones's story".
"Really enjoyed show, quite blown away with the
musicianship, variety of
musical styles, the tightness of arrangements, use of language(s), the harmonies
as well as the integration of words and music. If it had not been the last
show, I would have come again. When mixing radio drama, if not sure if a
scene worked or not, I used to close my eyes and see if I could see the picture.
I tried that yesterday and the dialogue and music certainly created the pictures for me".
Former BBC employee
"....your show was tremendous. I am shocked it is
not on at bigger
venues.....the feel and intimacy of it was really special in the small venue though...."
Member of the audience