Out of His Tree - Sandy Brechin (album)
Sandy Brechin plays accordion with the unique Sandy Brechin Band. The album contains Sandy's latest exciting compositions. All the original material in these two albums are available in Sandy's new book 'Out of His Mind'.
"From the opening jig "Green Mutant Ninja Turtle Blood", it's clear that this is not mainstream Scottish piano accordion music. Some box-players flirt with the edge: Sandy Brechin takes a running jump at it and lands on the far side. Don't get me wrong. This is very approachable music, among the most listenable of contemporary Edinburgh off-the-wall traditional albums, and the improbable tune titles belie the musicality and technical excellence which Mr Brechin possesses in abundance. Take track 2, for instance: two great tunes from the traditional piping repertoire and an own composition, shifting easily from Jimmy Shand to Phil Cunningham to Weird Planet, at a lovely relaxed tempo which is actually slightly too slow for a Canadian Barn Dance. This is not modern noise with a nod towards celtic roots, it's good traditional music brought up to date.
Alex Monaghan...The Living Tradition
"Brechin's second recording, Out of His Tree, showcases his preternatural feel for the light, skipping, at times impossibly rapid Celtic "lilt" on accordion. Most of the tracks are two or three song medleys stressing thematic similarity of the tunes, the bulk of which are his own compositions. His backing band of electric guitar, bass, and drums provides a lively foundation for Brechin's squeezebox, and leaves it the principle melody instrument. High points include "The Fishing Set," beginning with "The Broken Reel's" stuttery 9/8 beat, giving way to the calmer, happier romp of "The Tickled Trout." "Exhausted" is a tour de force, as well as an endurance contest, "The Canny Repair" leading off with very quick yet smooth keying, backing instruments pounding the beat, "The Dwarf" even faster, Brechin seeming to be keying with drumsticks. Brechin's range also encompasses the slow and pretty, as heard on "East Winds," his accordion sounding like a harmonica, melody only, little chording, with moody backing on lap steel guitar."
"Like the previous album 'Out of His Box', sandy's latest carries a promise of madness in the title. Greentrax says this one is "equally amazing and should perhaps carry a health warning, since wild muscular movement is almost inevitabel..." In fact, what we have here is restrained by modern standards - hugely talented accordionist, adding spice to his own compositions with liberal dollops of driving percussion and electric guitar and keyboard. Some great tunes, some genuinely exciting passages (notably in the title track) and some great playing."