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Review: ROAMING ROOTS REVUE, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Review of the 10th anniversary concert of Roaming Roots Revue

Review: ROAMING ROOTS REVUE, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Review: ROAMING ROOTS REVUE, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

2023 sees the 10th anniversary of the Roaming Roots Revue. An annual musical celebration that takes place as part of the Celtic Connections festival where a star-studded bill of musicians perform songs based around a central theme. Previous years have included homages to The Beatles and Tom Petty alongside the music of Laurel Canyon and Women of Song.

Roaming Roots Revue is devised by Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire who are joined onstage by a lineup of guest vocalists and musicians that make this event truly staggering value for money. What makes this evening truly special is the impression that every artist is honoured to be on the bill because of the reputation this event has and the love the audience has for it is so clear.

A regular at Celtic Connections, Rachel Sermanni performed "Tennessee Jed" which was one of the tracks at the very first Roaming Roots Revue. We are treated to "Baltimore" by Justin Currie and "Wildflowers" by Tommy Reilly. Tributes are paid to the much-missed Rab Noakes and Jill Jackson performed "Gently Does It" in his honour.

The pace varies throughout the night as we move from ballads to rock anthems. Phil Campbell's "Hotel California" and "Born to Run" are definite highlights.

At the interval I found myself wondering what the potential theme and lineup for this beloved event could be in 2024. I had a small panic when Hart (jokingly) declared this would be the final Roaming Roots Revue and I suspect the rest of the room felt a similar level of temporary devastation followed by huge relief.

I'm still not quite sure a five-star rave review does Roaming Roots Revue justice. The finale "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" was performed at the inaugural concert and included every musician featured on the lineup. It was such an utterly joyful closing to a wonderful evening that feels all the more special after the last couple of years without this magical festival.

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