Russell Ballantine was born in the mining town of Whitburn, West Lothian, Scotland in 1962 and was a relative latecomer to the guitar. However, Interest quickly became obsession and, within two years, he was playing in the local club bands around the area. He found himself drawn to American blues music and became a formative member of the blues band Bo’Weevil who were in existance for around 15 years. Bo’weevil did some work with Linn records which eventually resulted in an independent album release Scoundrel Blues.The album received excellent reviews from the music press.The band then toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe and were regulars on the main stage at the Cologne blues festival. Lots of fun was had. After Bo’weevil he concentrated on classical guitar playing completing an ABRSM performance diploma.He then joined the classical guitar trio, Terz, who were commissioned by Ralph Smith, a member of the Stuart Society, to produce a a historical perspective on the music created and inspired by the courts of the Stuart Monarchy.
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Andrew Graham –
If you like acoustic instrumental folk music, but are tired of the same old same old. This is for you. A refreshing collection of music that keeps the listeners attention and delivers some cool surprises. I love to play this when looking out over the varied mountain landscape in the French Alps, with the log fires burning and the malt in the glass…Already waiting for the next release.
Brian F. Hazzard –
When I bought this album, I hadn’t heard of the artist before and my purchase was based on the references to Tony McManus. I decided to take a punt on it with the thought that if he plays McManus pieces he can’t be too bad. I was very pleasantly surprised.
There is some excellent slide playing here reminicent of Jimmy Page, dare I say, even Zepplinesque.
There is a strong Scottish influence in this album but it can’t be described as traditional, especially when you listen to Fly Me to the Moon, even Sinatra would have liked that.
A special mention has to go to the percussioninst on this album as he really adds to the atmosphere, it would be really easy to have tried too hard and drown the guitar – well done.
I’m now looking for the Music of the Stuarts and Scoundrel Blues albums and you should too.