Glasgow born Alan Reid has been taking Scottish folk music all over the world since 1975. He joined the fledgling Battlefield Band in 1969 while studying at Strathclyde University and subsequently recorded almost 30 albums with this hard-working and enduring band, in that time garnering a reputation for his keyboard work and his singing. His groundbreaking keyboard work helped cement the band’s reputation as one of the most influential Celtic bands of its generation. With the band Alan toured the world, bringing Scottish traditional music to audiences in five continents and playing in many prestigious music festivals and venues. In November 2016 he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame along with his former Battlefield Band colleagues, a recognition of their service to the performance of traditional music.
He began composing songs and tunes in the 1980s and from 1990 was the band’s principal songwriter. His songs are noted for their strong storytelling element whilst being firmly grounded in Scots history and tradition. His songbook ”Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies”, was published in 2001 and in 2009 he was nominated in the ‘Composer of the Year" category at the Scots Traditional Music Awards. In 2010 he left the ‘Batties,’ to concentrate on his duo with guitarist/singer Rob van Sante. He composed all the music for the duo’s third album, ”The Adventures of John Paul Jones’, on the life of the Scots born mariner who was a hero for the American colonists during the American Revolutionary War. A presentation of the album with drama was performed at the 2012 Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. The duo also developed a multi-media show telling Jones’ story which they showcased at Mystic Seaport Sea Festival in Connecticut in 2015.
2014 saw his music featured in the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of the musical “The Glasgow Girls” while his singing and speaking talents were featured in “The Life and Times of Scrooge”, the solo album of Finnish rock star Tuomas Holopainen of metal band Nightwish. Alan and Rob’s fifth album “The Dear green Place” was released in September 2017. The duo regularly tours in Europe and North America. In April 2017 Alan and Rob guested for the second time at the Australian National Folk Festival in Canberra. Alan has also performed with singer and multi-instrumentalist Bob Zentz from Norfolk Virginia, USA.
In recent years Alan has taught Scots Songs during Traditional Song Week and Celtic Music Week at the prestigious annual “Swannanoa Gathering” in North Carolina, USA. He was also a guest artist in the Linn Records mammoth 12 CD recording of the works of Robert Burns, Scotland’s beloved National Poet whose poems, songs and music have endured over the centuries. As well as the recordings with Battlefield Band and with Rob Van Sante, Alan has released two solo albums, “The Sunlit Eye” and “Recollection”.
Larry Kaplan’s songs are widely known by audiences and folk musicians throughout the world including “Song for the Bowdoin,” The Wreck of the Bayrupert,” “Old Zeb,” “Song for Gale,” and many others. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and banjo, Larry draws his inspiration from the rich tradition of songs that have also found their way across the Pond from England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as from his extensive repertoire of original contemporary ballads.
The late Sandy Paton, distinguished Connecticut balladeer and founder of Folk Legacy Records referred to Larry as “one of the best song-makers in the American folk song revival," and the Roots Music Authority magazine, No Depression, attributes to him the making of “some of the most finely-crafted contemporary songs in modern folk music, stunningly painted portraits of life in the North Atlantic seaboard states from Martha’s Vineyard, Connecticut and Vermont, to northern coastal Maine.” Kaplan’s original songs are ballads written in the tradition - stories in song, best known for themes of the sea and rivers and of the people who make these their home.
His music is New England through and through, never cluttered or overwrought, despite the difficult topics he explores. The charm of Kaplan is the beauty and humor he sees in the ordinary. Whether on the stage or through his three highly acclaimed Folk Legacy CDs he gives a voice to those who are often not heard.
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