|Producer/promoter...Steve O'Bryan certainly deserves credit for bringing Scotland's excellent Old Blind Dogs to town for the sixth time.
While the name might conjure up an image of a worn-out geezers, Old Blind Dogs is a quintet of vital young lads with a wonderful, infectious, Celtic musicality: Jonny Hardie on fiddle, guitar and vocals; Jim Malcolm on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica; Rory Campbell on pipes, pennywhistles and vocals; Aaron Jones on five-string electric bass, bazouki and vocals; and Fraser Stone on hand percussion and drums.
All night long, OBD kept the Park Tower Pavilion pumped. The crowd cheered and danced along to the unique sound of traditional Scottish music (lots of jigs and reels) with a rock-funk fusion feel often pulsing through it by way of the excellent chops and musical cooperation of drummer Stone and bassist Jones.
Hardie's fiddle melody on his original, "The Buzzard," was very pretty, as was Campbell's slightly haunting low whistle on the same. OBD played a number of tunes from its latest CD, The Gab O Mey, including "A Wild Rumpus" at the end of the first set, which elicited lots of whistles, cheers and clapping in time every time the group changed up the beat.
OBD poignantly played a special request encore song, the robust "A Man's a Man For All That," for recently deceased local musician Danny West. The passion of the crowd, running high all night long, was exuberant at this point, and the five-part harmony a cappella closer, "Tatties and Herrin'," was just the crowd-pleasing closer we all needed to roll home in high spirits.