An entertaining evening is in store for Lewisburg as two exceptional musicians will bring their brand of Celtic folk music to The Irish Pub on Thursday, Nov. 21. Currently on tour in North America, Alan Reid and Rob van Sante will present an evening of old and new music, featuring Alan’s compositions, songs from Rob, and many Battlefield Band favorites.
The show combines Rob’s open tuned lead and accompaniment guitar work, Alan’s keyboard, guitar and accordion and fine harmony singing from both. The duo have three critically acclaimed albums under their belt and have toured throughout North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
The duo originally began working together as members of Battlefield Band, a Scottish traditional music group, founded in Glasgow in 1969. It released over 30 albums and underwent many changes of lineup. Alan Reid, who had been one of the founders of Battlefield Band, finally left the band at the end of 2010, to concentrate as a musical duo with guitarist and singer Rob van Sante, Battlefield Band’s sound engineer for the past thirteen years. As of 2010, none of the original founders remain in the band.
In 2012 they released an album on the life of Scots born mariner John Paul Jones, a long term project for which Alan composed the music. Commissioned by Dumfries and GallowayArts Festival in Edinburgh, the duo performed a musical dramatized show based on the story with script written byAlan.
Alan Reid (vocal, keyboard, guitar, piano accordion) pioneered the use of keyboards in folk bands, gaining a reputation for story-style songwriting and sensitive renditions of traditional song. Reid has long been respected by his peers. Ever since the 1980s when his compositions first appeared in Battlefield Band’s repertoire with lyrical songs steeped in history, strong in storytelling and rich in melody, Reid’s song writing has grown in stature. His first solo album “The Sunlit Eye” was released in 1998 and was followed up with a song and tune book “Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies” in 2001. Later that decade he recorded two albums “Under the Blue” and “The Rise and Fall o’ Charlie,” both of which showcase many of his works.
As a vital member of Battlefield Band from its inception in 1969 until his departure in 2010, Reid has toured all over the world, working with such artists as Garrison Keillor, Van Morrison and Mike Oldfield. Battlefield Band won awards in Germany, Britain and the U.S. and throughout Alan was at the heart of the band, his keyboards underpinning the bagpipes and the fiddle. In being the first to use keyboards as an integral part of a traditional folk band, Alan’s contribution to the band’s story has ensured its stature in Scottish culture as well as its influence on many of today’s Celtic musicians.
Rob van Sante (vocals, guitars, mandolin, synthesizers, percussion, programming) is a Dutch born guitarist of skill and subtlety. Having lived most of his life in the north of England, he is a well respected figure in the U.K. folk scene for his guitar accompaniments and fine harmony singing. He also produces and engineers national and international acts at his recording studio.
During the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s he toured extensively throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He has worked with such stalwarts of the British Folk and Jazz scene as Danny Thompson, Jon Strong, Tom Napper, Tom McConville, Kate Rusby, John McCusker, Gordon Tyrrall, Tim Wood, Patsy Matheson and many more.
Rob worked for Battlefield Band for 13 years as their sound engineer for both live and recorded work. He accompanied them on all their tours as their “fifth” member until he left the band in 2010. He has appeared on many albums displaying his virtuoso vocal ability both as a lead and harmony singer, also showcasing his undoubted instrumental skills to a variety of projects. All these strands come together to make a perfect foil to Alan and his music.
When not on the road, Rob works in his recording studio in his adopted home town of Leeds, recording and producing albums for local, national and international musicians.