Local architect El Diablo Rosso releases album recorded in attic

BY day Eddie Reid is an architect, but whenever he gets any spare time he likes to concentrate on his music under the guise of El Diablo Rosso.

Thursday, 3rd March 2011, 8:17 am

And his latest album ‘Thirteen’ is a collection of recordings made in a studio in the attic of his Coldingham home.

El Diablo Rosso might sound quite exotic but Eddie confessed that the inspiration behind the name was a lot less glamorous, and although his musical alias conjures up images of Spanish senoritas and bull fighting, Eddie’s new album is motivated by things a lot closer to home, hence one of the tracks being called ‘The A1107’.

I caught up with self-taught guitarist Eddie last week to get the lowdown on his latest musical venture and find out just what it was about his Berwickshire surroundings that was so inspirational and get an answer to a burning question - what does El Diablo Rosso mean?

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“I’ve been living in Coldingham for seven years now and it’s most definitely an inspiring sort of area,” he said.

“I grew up in Aberdeen and have also lived in Edinburgh and London as well as spending some time abroad so although I’m quite well travelled, before moving to Berwickshire I’d largely been used to cities.

“A lot of people ask what does El Diablo Rosso mean? The answer is quite simple: Reid translates as Rosso in Spanish and the nickname of my favourite team Aberdeen is the little devils. Devil in Spanish is ‘el diablo’ so there you have it.

“So the reasoning behind the name isn’t that profound at all and as some of my music is quite dark I thought it fitted quite well.”

Working full time as an architect, Eddie admitted that he doesn’t get as much time as he’d like to concentrate on his passion for music, but having a studio in his house meant that he didn’t have far to travel should he get any new ideas for songs.

He continued: “During the 90s I was in a band up in Edinburgh and everytime we wanted to lay down a track we had to go into a proper recording studio. Nowadays with all the advances in digital technology you don’t really have to do this. If you wanted you could record something at your computer.

“The recording studio I’ve got in the attic isn’t full of expensive equipment but it does the job. Writing and performing music is a million miles away from my day job and it’s a really good escape if I’ve had a bit of a bad day at work.

“Even if I just get half an hour to myself I’ll try and record something or jot down some ideas; I’m always working on something new.”

As well as releasing albums under the name of El Diablo Rosso, Eddie might also be recognisable to Borderers as a member of the Barchords. The group, who play predominantly rock covers, performed at last year’s Coldingham Gala and have a forthcoming gig in East Lothian.

And it’s not just when he’s with his Barchord bandmates that Eddie performs other people’s music. As well as penning 10 original tracks for ‘Thirteen’, he also put his own spin on three of his favourite tracks from other artists, including ‘The Sound of Silence’ by legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel.

And although it was a song he knew quite well, Eddie said that coming up with his own interpretation of the classic wasn’t so easy.

“I listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel when I was growing up. Their kind of music just wouldn’t fit in with what’s in the charts at the moment but saying that, it wasn’t really similar to anything back then either.

“As a youngster most of the music around me was punk and Simon & Garfunkel was the type of stuff your parents listened to.

“But there’s no getting away from the fact that they are terrific musicians and ‘The Sound of Silence’ was an extremely hard song to replicate.”

It was the views rather than the sounds that were the inspiration for the aforementioned ‘The A1107’.

In recording a song about a well-travelled road, Eddie put himself in good company alongside the likes of Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, who all released versions of the song inspired by the world-renowned ‘Route 66’. Eddie admitted that while the A1107 was nowhere near as glamorous or well known, it was breathtaking in its own way.

He added: “The whole Berwickshire coastline is inspiring but there’s something about the A1107 when you turn off at Pease Bay and go along the moor. It might not be as famous as Route 66 but gives great views and I’ve put a few local references in there as well as mentioning Route 66.”

To listen to the fruits of Eddie’s labours, visit www.myspace.com/eldiablorosso or order a copy from [email protected]