Biography & Discography


Singing and playing folk music since his teens, and over thirty years a professional musician and sound engineer, Alistair sings songs mainly from his family homeland Scotland, its neighbour Ireland, self-penned songs inspired by his world-wide travelling with Battlefield Band, and any other song that takes his fancy.

Alistair grew up in the North-East of England, with Scottish parents who had a rich fund of songs of their own—music hall favourites, Harry Lauder songs, sentimental ballads and stage Irish songs which his father brought back from working on contract.

The sixties’ beat boom saw Alistair and a few like-minded school friends exploring folk music. By the late seventies, his band was playing extensively throughout NE England, with frequent forays into Germany and Poland.
In 1978, he teamed up full-time with Tom Napper, and they released their first album, “Tripping Upstairs”. The next four years saw Tom take his leave, and Alistair set out on a solo career. His album “Getting to the Border” (with a star-studded guest musician list) was released.

Then came that rare thing in the world of folk music—the “big break”. Alistair joined Scotland’s legendary Battlefield Band. The next thirteen years were a whirlwind of touring—one million miles of it!

Nine Battlefield albums and two videos later, Alistair jumped off the global tour bus to “recharge the batteries”. His spell in Battlefield had not only developed his playing, singing and songwriting skills, but his role as “front man” in the band had honed the skill of relaxed communication which is so vital to putting the music across.

He didn’t remain idle for long. Knowledge gained on the road and in the recording studio got him jobs in management (Chris Sherburn and Denny Bartley), album production and CD recording (over 60 commercial projects released), tour management (Magnetic Music),  stringed instrument setup and sales (The Music Room), stage management,compering and live sound engineering at major UK festivals (CV Audio and freelance), and tuition DVD production (Mrs Casey Music).

But through all his time post-Battlefield, Alistair has kept up his performing skills. Folk clubs, Arts Centres and festivals throughout the UK are glad to book him. With Chris Parkinson, he has toured large halls in Germany for Magnetic Music, and played concerts and festivals large and small in the UK.

He will always be, first and foremost, a singer who has “a way with a song” and a performer who makes sure the audience comes first. Enjoy the music!


Alistair Russell albums

1977 – “Folk at the Wren” with Cleveland Connection. (out of print)
1979 -“Tripping Upstairs” CM 002, with Tom Napper
1984 – “Getting to the Border” gldcd 0301, with guests Davy Spillane, Kieran Halpin, Tom McConville etc., now available on CD from Glade Recordings

Then, with Battlefield Band (1984 – 1997)

Anthem for the Common Man
On the Rise
Music in Trust 2
Celtic Hotel
Home Ground
New Spring
Quiet Days
Across the Borders
Highland Highlight (Video release)
At His Majesty’s Pleasure (Video release)

Post Battlefield Band

March 2001: ‘Paddy goes to Huddersfield’ GLDCD0201, with Chris Parkinson.
March 2001: re-issue ‘Getting to the Border’ GLDCD0301, with guests Davy Spillane, Kieran Halpin, Tom McConville etc.
March 2002: ‘A19’ GLDCD0202
2007: ‘Celtic Session Guitar Accompaniment’ Mrs Casey DVD
January 2013: ‘A Glass and a Mile’ GLDCD0113, with Chris Parkinson

Albums produced by Alistair Russell

This list has now grown to over 60 commercial CD releases – see the Glade Recordings page for details!