John Murray on the return of local musician Bruce Davies
Still running around the country and the US when he is not entertaining in a top Edinburgh hotel to sell-out audiences, it’s astonishing to think Bruce Davies is celebrating over 30 years on the road as a performer.
A celebration of his musical career resulted in a full house at Rothes Halls, too, and from that evening comes a new live album, An Evening With Bruce Davies (Rothes Recordings).
The CD samples work from the full span of his career, as well as featuring stories from along the way, with everything heard as it should be, with just the intimacy of voice and acoustic guitar.
There are guests on here, too, with harmonies provided on some tracks by the chorus from Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association, this working particularly well on The Rose.
This live, one-take session with an audience and no overdubs displays the guitar mastery of Bruce and his soaring vocals.
His own song, Travelling Troubadour, blends seamlessly with others that inspired him like I’ll Never Find Another You (The Springfields) and Leaving On A Jet Plane (John Denver).
His heroes are represented, too, with songs by Harvey Andrews (Margarita) and Tom Paxton (The Last Thing On My Mind), both of which now sound like Bruce Davies songs.
The comic Sam The Skull was a much requested song and not easy to sing. I only ever heard Dennis Alexander attempt this successfully, but this and Scots songs like The New Teacher, Willie Brew’d A Peck o’ Maut, Rattlin Roarin’ Willie or When Work Was Work (Tam’s Song) are as fresh as ever and delivered with the Scottish inflection that is so admired in overseas tartan outposts.
To launch the album Bruce will be hosting an intimate unplugged show on October 26 at 8.30 p.m. in the K107 FM radio studios for charity.
It will be broadcast live to the Kirkcaldy area on 107 FM and to all his fans across the world on k107.co.uk.
Limited tickets, including a signed CD, are available only from brucedavies.com.