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All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
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The Edinburgh Rambler
Ed Miller with Rich Brotherton, John Taylor, others. 13 tracks, 50:39. Wellfield CD 022

Order info: Ed Miller / Wellfield Records: 2411 W 8th St., Austin, TX 78703 (512-472-6036).

Sound clips from another Ed Miller album
This album is a vibrant, well-mixed, extremely nice blend of voice and instruments, of comfort and interest. Its a wonderful set of well-chosen songs (described by Ed as "old traditional pieces sitting comfortably beside newer songs of the Scots Folk Revival ... beautiful old songs such as The Rigs o' Rye, The Shearin's No' for You, and ... Scots Wha Hae; alongside songs of the 1970's, 80's and 90's which deal with the likes of emigration (The Same Old Story and The Green and the Blue), love of the land (Muir and The Master Builder and The Edinburgh Rambler) or changes in old ways of life (The Silver Darlins). All of these [latter songs] are by great contemporary songwriters like Brian McNeill, Alan Reid and Ian Davison who are keeping the Scottish repertoire alive and well with their newer creations."

For me, the several songs by McNeill and Reid are a special treat. When I got the Battlefield Band tune/song book a few years ago, I was amazed to find out how many of my favorite Battlefield Band songs and tunes were written by these two. They are such good songwriters. And the complete text of all songs is included in the liner notes.

Many singers, male with guitars, specialize in haggis and Braveheart; hale hearty sons of Scotland singing overdone favorites with much more accent than you ever hear when they speak (off-stage, anyway): a Renaissance Festival casting director's delight. I've got to admit I avoided hearing Ed for many years based on that stereotype (hey, he looks the role) but hearing him in '97 for the first time I've got to admit that he is a fine musician and a superb folk singer, concerned with the pleasures of combining song/music/storytelling into unaffected, moving performances.

Ed's voice is ideal for this type of music. His performances are sensitive to the feelings of each songs and he has a wide range of expresion. Avoiding him was my loss, and I recommend seeking out his new CD. (And I intend to see if I can borrow the older ones, too.)

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