Scottish folk duo to appear in Carson City

Alan Reid and Rob van Sante

Alan Reid and Rob van Sante

Alan Reid and Rob van Sante will appear at the Brewery Arts Center in the Maizie Harris Jesse Black Box Theater at 7 p.m. Saturday. The evening of old and new music will feature Reid’s compositions, Battlefield Band favorites, and songs from van Sante. The show will combine open-tuned lead and accompaniment guitar work from van Sante, Reid’s keyboard, guitar and accordion, and fine harmony singing from both.

Glasgow native Alan Reid was a vital member of renowned Scottish powerhouse ensemble, Battlefield Band, from its inception in 1969 until his departure in 2010. In that time, he toured all over the world and made almost 30 recordings with the band, working with such artists as Garrison Keillor, Van Morrison, and Mike Oldfield. They won numerous awards in Germany, Britain, and the U.S., and throughout that time, Reid was at the heart of the band, his keyboards underpinning the bagpipes and the fiddle. Being the first to use keyboards as an integral part of a traditional folk band, Reid’s contribution to Battlefield Band’s story has ensured its significance in Scottish culture as well as its influence on many of today’s Celtic musicians, such as Brewery Arts Center favorites, Molly’s Revenge.

Reid’s peers have long respected his singing, illustrated when he was invited to participate in the Linn Recordings series on the complete works of Robert Burns. Moreover, his songwriting has grown in stature ever since the 1980s when his songs first appeared in the Battlefield Band repertoire. These works are lyrical, steeped in history, strong in storytelling, and melodically rich.

In 1998, he released his first solo album, “The Sunlit Eye,” featuring new songs and tunes, and he followed it with a song and tune book “Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies” in 2001. Later that decade, he recorded three albums, “Under the Blue” and “The Rise and fall o’ Charlie” which showcase much of his original work.

In 2010, Reid joined forces with van Sante, a skilled songwriter and guitarist from the Netherlands. In 2012, the duo released an album on the life of Scots-born mariner, John Paul Jones, a long term project for which Reid composed the music.

Dutch-born van Sante is a guitarist of skill and subtlety. His mother was a child prodigy on piano, so it’s no surprise music has played an important part in his life. During the 1970s-1990s, he toured extensively throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He has worked with such stalwarts of the British Folk and Jazz scene as Danny Thompson, Jon Strong, Tom Napper, Tom McConville, Kate Rusby, John McCusker, Gordon Tyrrall, Tim Wood and Patsy Matheson.

van Sante had worked for Battlefield Band for 13 years as their sound engineer for both live and recorded work. He accompanied them on all their tours as their ‘fifth’ member until he left the band in 2010.

When van Sante isn’t on the road, he can be found at work in his recording studio in his adopted hometown of Leeds, recording and producing albums for local, national and international musicians.

van Sante has appeared on many albums displaying his virtuoso vocal ability both as a lead and harmony singer, also showcasing his undoubted instrumental skills to a variety of projects. All these strands come together to make a perfect foil to Reid and his music. The duo is in constant demand for concerts and festivals, which also include workshops on John Paul Jones, songwriting, and DADGAD-tuned guitar.

The Celtic Series presents great Celtic artists on the second Saturday of every month through May. Upcoming shows in the Celtic Series feature the best in local, regional, and international Celtic musical artists.

In April, the Brewery Arts Center is excited to present the soulful music of the Fortunate Strangers, featuring powerful, west coast singer of Scottish ballads, Celia Ramsay.

May brings the 2018 Celtic Series to a grand finale with the New World String Project, featuring Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter joining forces with Stu Mason and John Weed of Molly’s Revenge. Tickets are already selling for these incredible shows, so reserve your ticket now.

For information on the Celtic Music Series, contact Gina Hill at Brewery Arts Center, (775) 883-1976 or


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