Bob Leslie – Land and Sea

Album Review | Big Red Records | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

“Salt wind stings my eyes blowing up from the sea” so Bob Leslie sings on “Orkneyjar”, one of the highlights from his latest record Land and Sea, an album that captures the mists and winds of the Scottish land and seascapes via twelve original songs from this fine singer songwriter.  Each song presents an enchanting narrative wrapped in poetic Scottish dialect and backed by stirring strings and whistles.  “Sir Alexander Leslie”, for example, tells the tale of the First Earl of Leven, “Bess Millie” pays tribute to the “spaewife o owld Stromness toun” whilst “Cape Breton” and “Tho We Lang Syne Landit oan Fair Isle” revisit historical subject matter with more gusto than a chill highland wind.  There’s also a generous serving of Bob’s singular humour, especially on “Her Father Called Me Frankenstein” and “Big Dead Bob”, each providing some giggles on this tapestry of historical ballads and heartfelt odes to Leslie’s beloved Scotland.  Bob provides the bold voice and guitar on all tracks whilst such respected Scottish musicians as Avril Cleland, Wendy Weatherby, Kate Kramer and Bernadette Collier deliver some arresting performances on whistle, cello, fiddle and backing vocals.