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Obituary: Rod Paterson (1953-2024)

Johnny J 30 May 24 - 05:21 PM
Nick Dow 30 May 24 - 06:18 PM
Joe Offer 30 May 24 - 06:43 PM
Joe G 30 May 24 - 06:48 PM
rich-joy 30 May 24 - 07:06 PM
Tattie Bogle 31 May 24 - 04:24 AM
Johnny J 31 May 24 - 06:02 AM
Sol 31 May 24 - 08:03 PM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 24 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Johnny J 01 Jun 24 - 07:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 24 - 07:56 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jun 24 - 10:45 PM
Johnny J 02 Jun 24 - 05:21 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 24 - 06:07 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 24 - 10:15 AM
Tattie Bogle 03 Jun 24 - 04:37 AM
Waddon Pete 03 Jun 24 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Santaci 06 Jun 24 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,James Phillips 06 Jun 24 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Guest 07 Jun 24 - 09:20 PM
Mick Tems 14 Jun 24 - 06:40 AM
Bearheart 04 Jul 24 - 02:07 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jul 24 - 03:17 PM
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Subject: Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Johnny J
Date: 30 May 24 - 05:21 PM

Sad news.

One of Scotland’s finest traditional singers (Also a fine guitar player)
passed away this morning.

Rod Paterson’s influence and input to Scottish Traditional Music and Song is almost immeasurable.

Arguably, the best interpreter of Burns songs we ever had. Also known for his work in bands such as Chorda, Jock Tamson’s Bairns, The Bogie Brothers, The Easy Club, Ceolbeg and much more. Also other projects such as Fergusson’s Auld Reekie along with Billy Kay.

A Dundee “bairn” but resident in Edinburgh and surrounding area for as long as I can remember. Also, an all round “good guy” and always good for a blether and beer “back in the day” although I haven’t bumped into him for many years now.

Condolences to all family and friends.

Here’s one of my favourite songs from Rod with The Easy Club.

https://youtu.be/VTN3_Bjk2PI


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Subject: RE: Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Nick Dow
Date: 30 May 24 - 06:18 PM

So sorry to hear this. I was on the same recording with Rod on Les Barker's Stones of Callanish. Mally and I still listen to The Easy Club.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 May 24 - 06:43 PM

I'm glad I got to meet him and see him perform on two of my three trips to Scotland. He was a very nice person and a wonderful singer. May he rest in peace.
-Joe-

Here's some of his music:


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Joe G
Date: 30 May 24 - 06:48 PM

Very sad news indeed


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: rich-joy
Date: 30 May 24 - 07:06 PM

Yes, sad indeed to lose this lovely Scottish singer; one of my favourite voices ....
Vale, Rod.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 May 24 - 04:24 AM

Another sad loss. Rod was one of the finest singers of Burns songs, as well as many more in his repertoire. I still have the tape of “Songs from the Bottom Drawer” - all Burns songs.
Saw him a good few times over the years, with Ceolbeg, The Easy Club, Jock Tamson’s Bairns, and just himself solo.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Johnny J
Date: 31 May 24 - 06:02 AM

Thanks for the memories, folks.

A slight correction to my first post.. It was actually "The BOGEY Brothers" as opposed to "Bogie".

I think they were a sort of in between band between JTB and The Easy Club and mainly featured Rod, Jack Evans, and Jim Sutherland. Apparently, some of the other JTB members were unable to give quite the same commitment as before due to family interests.

In the 1983 Edinburgh Folk Festival, there was a "Welcome Inns" project where it was agreed that Scottish and Newcastle would help to sponsor the festival in return for some free gigs in their pubs.It was quite lucrative for some of the local musicians, I'd imagine, as they were able to appear in various line ups and guises. So, we had The Bogey Brothers, Easy Club and(if I recall correctly) also a reincarnation of Chorda too. I'm not sure if "The Bairns" themselves played.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Sol
Date: 31 May 24 - 08:03 PM

Unsung hero. RIP, Rod.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 03:08 PM

Rod was a fantastic solo singer but I never managed to hear him that way live. Did he not do it much?


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 07:17 PM

More often in bands and other projects but he did do solo gigs too in folk clubs and the like from time to time.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 07:56 PM

The last time I saw him performing live he was singing/playing solo in an Edinburgh Fringe gig, somewhere on Queen St. Excellent concert.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jun 24 - 10:45 PM

Jim and Susie Malcolm do two Scotland tours a year, and I got the impression Rod Paterson performed for their tour groups regularly. I saw him on two of my three Malcolm tours. It was a treat to hear him, and he really seemed to enjoy performing for us.
Susie Malcolm is ultimately charming. If she asked, anybody would agree to perform for her. She even got Dick Gaughan to perform for us, and we heard Emily Smith and Malinky and Karine Polwart each twice - and we got Archie Fisher once.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Johnny J
Date: 02 Jun 24 - 05:21 AM

I recently saw the play "The Collie Shed" and was reminded of this song.

https://youtu.be/RfM5iC4SPFg


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 24 - 06:07 AM

As well as being a great singer of traditional songs, particularly ballads and being the finest interpreter of the songs of Robert Burns, he wrote songs... not a great many of them but all of high quality. The pawky humour of "The Auld Toon Shuffle" perfectly captures the vivid contrasts of my birthplace -

"Auld Toon Shuffle"


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 24 - 10:15 AM

Guest as mwe - Vic Smith


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Jun 24 - 04:37 AM

Yes, that’s the one in Johnny J’s original post. Very popular song: have heard a lot of other people sing it.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 03 Jun 24 - 10:23 AM

I was sorry to hear this news. He was well thought of as a singer and gave pleasure to many during his varied career. Thanks for putting up the links Joe. They give a measure of the man. RIP Rod.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST,Santaci
Date: 06 Jun 24 - 03:52 AM

RIP Rod and John Croall, the Bairns made some brilliant music. May you both never lack a celestial scone.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST,James Phillips
Date: 06 Jun 24 - 08:41 AM

Very sad news, The Bairns are one of my favorite Scottish bands and Rod had the best voice. Love his version of Banks and Braes


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 07 Jun 24 - 09:20 PM

Dave francis sang the Auld Toon Shuffle on Friday night at the YTSW 2024 at Drax - sold out by the way!


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Mick Tems
Date: 14 Jun 24 - 06:40 AM

I saw Rod Paterson twice in Llantrisant Folk Club, in the wonderful Easy Club and the magical Jock Tamson's Bairns, and on TV in Transatlantic Sessions. Here's to a great singer and musician - and a thoroughly nice guy as well.


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Subject: RE: 2024 Obituary: Rod Paterson
From: Bearheart
Date: 04 Jul 24 - 02:07 PM

Oh my goodness, I had no idea.

Such very sad news. I met Rod in the mid 80s when he and Hamish Moore did a tour in the states. Hamish had been coordinator for Scottish Week at Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops a couple of times which was how I first met him, and he had let us know that he was touring so we suggested that he stop in my home town of Athens OH. We were able to spend a little time with the 2 of them, and I've been a fan ever since. What a lovely man and brilliant musician. I have always loved his voice, and choice of material.


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Subject: RE: Obituary: Rod Paterson (1953-2024)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 24 - 03:17 PM

Here's the obituary from The Scotsman

Obituaries: Rod Paterson, traditional singer and musician who could also swing with Irving Berlin or Cole Porter

By Jim Gilchrist
Published 10th Jun 2024, 10:22 BST

Rod Paterson, traditional singer and musician. Born: 28 December 1953 in Calcutta, India. Died: 30 May 2024 in Dunkeld, Perthshire, aged 70.?

Widely regarded as the finest male Scots traditional singer of his generation, particularly renowned for his Burns interpretations, no mean guitarist and a composer of characterful songs, Rod Paterson’s mellifluous tenor tones were unmistakable, whether singing with such notable bands as Jock Tamson’s Bairns, the Easy Club and Ceolbeg, or as a solo performer.

He could also, however, give supple voice to the Great American songbook – witness his 1987 album with saxophonist Dick Lee, Two Hats, on which traditional gems such as The Bleacher Lass o Kelvinhaugh rubbed tuneful shoulders with My Funny Valentine.

Many of his own compositions were songs of worth, from the picaresque Auld Toon Shuffle with its “hot club” accompaniment from the Easy Club, to the dreamy languor of India, a tribute to his birthplace.

For Rod was a “jute bairn”, born in Calcutta where his father, William Paterson, worked, like so many other Dundonians, as a clerk in a jute mill. His mother, Mary Robertson, was also from Dundee. His grandfather's brother, Ernest Robertson, owned Robertson's lemonade factory in Dundee and Rod was proud to say that Ernest had also been a chairman of Dundee United.

Rod returned to Scotland at the age of six months, family settling in Birkhill, Angus, just outside Dundee. He was educated at Muirhead Primary then Dundee High School, then studied Spanish and philosophy at Edinburgh University where he managed, despite much time spent in the nearby folk haven of Sandy Bell’s bar, to gain a philosophy degree. He was praised for his Spanish during frequent visits to Spain with his partner, Catriona, although he was also told it was correct to the point of being old-fashioned – “sounding like Cervantes”, as one Spanish acquaintance told him.

Rod had taken up guitar as an adolescent, admiring the style of such players as Rab Noakes, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, and at 16 played his first gig in Dundee’s Woodlands Hotel (where he first encountered the Dundee bard, Michael Marra, with whom he became a good friend and collaborator). While at university, amid the Sandy Bell’s session hotbed, he met up with John Croall, Norman Chalmers, and Peter McClements, who went on in the mid-Seventies to form the band Chorda, playing Europe with a variable line-up.

With Croall and Chalmers (both of whom have also, sadly, recently passed away), guitarist Jack Evans, fellow-singer Tony Cuffe and fiddlers Adam Jack and Ian Hardie, Paterson would form Jock Tamson's Bairns, a band whose distinctive and keenly committed approach to Scottish traditional music and song (at a time when Irish music was near-ubiquitous) would bring them legendary status, from the late Seventies until the turn of the Millennium, despite a two-decade hiatus.

During that gap, Rod joined another highly influential band to emerge from the Sandy Bell’s crucible, the powerful “Scots swing” of The Easy Club.

It was perhaps a moment on the Bairns’ first album, however, that brought home the expressive power of his voice, the band breaking off for him to launch into a memorably poignant, initially unaccompanied rendition of Robert Burns’s confessional Wantonness.

His delivery of “muckle sangs” such as Clarke Saunders or Earl Richard demonstrated his ability to inhabit a song and unfold its tale, but he could also give lightsome voice to ditties such as Kate Dalrymple, Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie or, with The Easy Club, let rip with Irving Berlin’s Let Yourself Go.

His most recent release was just earlier this year, on unearthed tracks by Bring In the Spirit, a collective also including singer Kirsten Easdale, originally formed for 2009’s 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth.

Along with other Bairns, Rod became involved in musical theatre work, particularly with author and broadcaster Billy Kay’s shows Knee Deep in Claret and Fergusson’s Auld Reekie, the latter celebrating Edinburgh’s tragic “poet of plainstanes and causey”. Performed in Edinburgh’s Bedlam Theatre, on the very site where Fergusson was ultimately incarcerated and died, there was a distinct frisson as Paterson sang the poet’s favourite, the plaintive Birks of Invermay. Rod and fellow Bairns were also enlisted in some of Mike Maran’s Fringe shows, notably The Canty Hole, recreating a companionable 18th-century howff.”

A memorable stage appearance came with The Big Picnic, Bill Bryden’s epic 1994 First World War promenade production at a former shipyard in Govan, when he led the cast in a deeply moving finale rendition of the hymn Only Remembered.

There were appearances on television’s Transatlantic Sessions and occasional film involvement, not least for the 1992 romance Salt On Our Skin, starring Greta Scacchi and Vincent D’Onofrio, Rod attempted unsuccessfully, to tutor D’Onofrio in a song, so ended up providing a voice-over.

He also became a tutor on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s traditional music degree course, the Conservatoire posting online that he “leaves behind a legacy of countless young voices carrying on his songs, his style, his knowledge and wisdom”.

The huge number of tributes on Facebook and elsewhere bear witness to the regard and affection in which he was held. Billy Kay declared: “My country has lost the finest Scots singer of our generation. His was a voice that had the purity of the classic Scots tenors revered by my father, and the clarity of Scots diction inherited by the great traveller tradition bearers like Jeanie Robertson. It was also a voice of soaring beauty and douce human empathy which came from within the man himself.”

Fellow Easy Club member, musician and composer Jim Sutherland recalls meeting in Bell’s “a young and dashing man who would put you in mind of Omar Sharif.

“Rod had a beautiful mind. I loved his quiet drollness too, and his wonderfully puntastic use of Latin phrases. Our Easy Club van was called Gloria, a derivation of ‘sic transit gloria mundi’. It did keep breaking down after all.”

Paterson died at home near Dunkeld, after a struggle with cancer. He is survived by his partner of 36 years, Catriona, his elder brother Renwick, niece Corri and nephew Renwick, and their children.


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