Old Blind Dogs
Four on the Floor (Vertical Records)
Old Blind Dogs celebrated their 15th anniversary with a concert in Findhorn in April that featured the current quartet with several former members, including singers Ian F Benzie and Jim Malcolm. The latter’s departure last year saw a shift away from a recognised main singer for the first time, a significant factor in a band where songs have always enjoyed at least equal prominence with instrumental music.
Some may miss the focus which a single lead voice brings, but the band are more than adequately served in the vocal department, with Jonny Hardie, Rory Campbell and Aaron Jones all chipping in. The vibrant instrumental sets are led by Hardie’s fiddle and guitar work and Campbell’s pipes and whistles, underpinned by Jones’ bouzouki and electric bass and Fraser Stone’s hand percussion, although the three live cuts added to the studio recordings have a bit of a tacked-on feel.