There is a great stream of Americana coming out of Scotland these days and Don Gordon’s Bandolier are carrying on the trend – this is a superb album.

The album is produced by Wily Bo Walker and it fits very well into the modern Scottish oeuvre of Americana with a Scottish folk heart.

The band consists of Don Gordon on guitar, Wily Bo Walker on vocals, Louise Ward on Backing vocals, Mr Clarky Bass on bass and double bass and Rocket Ronnie Horner on drums. Add to that the keyboards of Julian Franco and a guest visit by The Doune and Deanston Pipe Band on ‘Bandolier Prayer’.

One of the things I like best about the album is the way that the songs take the forefront and allow the performance of the musicians to serve the music and not the other way around – all too often recently bands have been throwing in unexpected instrumentation to show how clever they are. This just feels honest and natural.

Right from the start with ‘September Rain’ you are assailed with a catchy melody, Walker’s deep vocals and harmonies from Louise Ward. It is a happy song with ringing guitar lines and it just put a big smile on my face.
‘Pictures Of Lanark’ features Wily Bo and Louise Ward on lead vocals and takes a more wistful turn while ‘Who’s Kissing You?’ gives the listener a classic Country song of lost love and distance – a fine guitar solo going with the slow groove.

The standout here is ‘Bandolier Prayer’ – a huge song, filled with emotion and a sense of dark wonder. The track has the whole of the band’s talents thrown in and filling the soundscape.
One of those songs that just make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Bottom line is that this is a fine album to party to and just as good to listen to. Made me happy