A career spanning 46 years has established Brian McNeill as one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. His gig will include a wall of instruments - fiddle, octave fiddle, guitars, mandocello, bouzouki and concertina - and a wealth of songs that have found their way into many other performers' repertoires across three continents. Add an acerbic humour, a passionate belief in the tradition's future as well as its past and a stunning slice of real, hand made music and you have a performance of emotion, fun and sheer magic.
"Scotland's most meaningful contemporary songwriter" - The Scotsman
"There are simply not enough superlatives to describe McNeill's solo set. After a slow air, he had the good judgement to launch without pause into four reels, sparing the audience the decision of whether to applaud or merely sit in stunned silence after his breathtaking rendition of the complex, brooding tune". North Carolina Spectator.
Ed Miller has been hailed as “one of the finest singers to come out of the Scottish Folksong Revival” and as “One of Scotland’s best singing exports.” Originally from Edinburgh, he has for many years been based in Austin, TX where he gained graduate degrees in Folklore and Geography at the University of Texas. Ed is available for concerts, clubs, house concerts, festivals, Highland Games and Burns Suppers, as well as for lectures and workshops. He has recorded 9 CD’s of Scottish songs. Ed also leads annual tours of Scotland, putting an emphasis on visiting the sites and locations made famous though Scottish music.
JIL CHAMBLISS AND SCOOTER MUSE
Two members of Henri’s Notions, the longest performing Celtic band in the Southeastern US (more than 30 years!), Jil Chambless and Scooter Muse have also performed frequently as a duo and in a trio with Scottish singer Ed Miller in the US, Canada, and Scotland. They have released two CDs as a duo, Passing Tales & Glories (2014) and The Laverock Sang (2011).
Jil has become one of the finest singers and flute players on the Celtic circuit. Her solo CD, The Ladies Go Dancing (2009), was produced by Brian McNeill. Jil brings to any audience a wonderful listening experience that never fails to bring both smiles and tears in every performance!
A long-time 5-string banjo player, Scooter found Celtic DADGAD guitar in the 1980s and founded the Full Moon Ensemble before joining Henri’s Notions in 2003. His solo CD, Saddell Abbey (2005), includes beautiful original guitar instrumentals.
John Taylor has been playing fiddle since he could count his age on his fingers without using his thumbs. His first gigs were for Women’s Guild and WRI (Women’s Rural Institute) functions round his home town of Buckie. He used to be part of “Mrs. Pearson’s Concert Party”. The first time he got drunk (at the ripe old age of 14) was when playing with buddy John McLean at the Arradoul WRI Burns Supper. Rock and Roll was more appealing, though, and he played drums and sometimes guitar for a succession of bands - The Moonbeams, The Pandas, and Friction – through his time in High School. As a student in Edinburgh, though, the fiddle came back to the fore as John played at university and college Folk Clubs.
After several random life-changing events and encounters, John is now a long time San Jose resident, and long time member of dance band “Fiddlesticks and Ivory”. In addition, he plays regularly with Ed Miller, Men of Worth, and more recently, Jil Chambless and Scooter Muse. He has played on many occasions with Brian McNeill, since their first meeting at TSF, and Brian has produced two solo albums for John.
“When I was 7 or 8 years old, my Mum and Dad asked me if I would like to play a musical instrument. I was really excited – this was great. I said “Yes, a trombone!!!!”... ...
They bought me a fiddle.”
Jed Marum is a performer of American Roots and Celtic music. Bringing a mix of traditional and original songs to audiences throughout the US, he is known as a refined singer and a gifted songwriter. Since 1999 he has published over a dozen albums, licensed music to film and TV projects and works over 150 shows each year. You will hear in his music, the blending of American, Scottish and Irish cultures. In his songs you will relive the stories passed on from generation to generation.
His newest film project, The Road to Valhalla has won the Western Heritage Award for Documentary of the Year! Jed produced and composed the original music for the film and made an appearance as a Yankee soldier. The documentary by Lone Chimney Films is currently playing in theaters throughout the US and will play on PBS later this summer.
(WebMasters Note: Jed also plays an incredible Larrivee guitar!)
MARGARET LYLE GRAVITT
Have you ever heard a voice that took you into the song and made you feel every emotion and nuance of the piece? If you have not, then perhaps you have not experienced a performance by Margaret Lyle Gravitt.
Her clear alto voice is as hauntingly beautiful as the ballads she sings. She draws an audience into the heart of heritage and tradition. She weaves the tapestry of the old and the new and reminds us that "whatever is remembered, lives. Sheentertains and while they are not looking, may teach her listeners a little something, if only to look behind in order to see the way ahead more clearly. She is a wonderful addition to any gathering as she performs the ancient and modern songs of the wandering Gael who has left an indelible mark from the Isle of the Blessed to the farthest corner of the earth.
Bagpipes AND vocals. Songs AND tunes. Respect for Celtic tradition while redefining Celtic rock. No Screaming, just powerful harmonies and great musicianship.
Deanna Smith sings like an angel, Richard Kean pipes like the devil, add Linda Relph on fiddle, a bad ass rhythm section and a whole lot of fun and you get Jiggernaut.
So the question stands "Is Jiggernaut a Celtic band with a rock-n-roll sensibility or a rock-n-roll band with a Celtic sensibility? Who cares, either way Jiggernaut ROCKS!!
Now in their 20th season, a steady slate of performances throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the US has made Tullamore one of the Heartland’s premiere Celtic bands. Fueled by Rachel Gaither’s stellar vocals and hot fiddling, Mary Hanover’s beautiful voice and personal charm, and Mark Clavey’s creative genius and love of folk and Celtic music, Tullamore’s sound is unmistakable – an American-folk body with a traditional Celtic soul. Their take on Celtic music is rich and clear vocals, tight harmonies and instrumentals, and cool and clever arrangements. Across the country and across the ocean, from arts-centers and pubs to Irish Festivals and Scottish Highland Games, Tullamore are favorites wherever they go.
Clandestine is hard-driving, toe-tapping Texas Celtic sound. Formed in 1991, the band is known for their brand of blasting tune sets and fresh songs. Piper EJ Jones and fiddler Gregory McQueen lead the tunes with the full force of their individual musical energies. Al Cofrin brings cittern and occasionally another set of bagpipes to the mix. Percussionist and singer Emily Dugas captivates with her original song collaborations with Al, as well as her singular interpretations of songs in the Celtic genre. EJ and Al also join Emily on vocals, with many songs now set in three-part harmony.
Clandestine is a regular feature at the Texas Scottish Festival and the North Texas Irish Festival, as well as their home pub, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston. The band has toured the US extensively and had successful stints in Canada and France. Now, Clandestine is poised to tour widely again.
Launched in 1996 by drummer and lead singer Tim Smith, The Killdares have evolved in exciting and sometimes unexpected ways while keeping front and center their core mix of passionate vocals, wailing electric guitar, fiery fiddle and hypnotic bagpipes. Throughout the dramatic changes in the industry and the band itself since the mid-90s, The band has maintained an extraordinary commitment to the visceral, organic feel of the music and his belief that the greatest creativity and musical magic always lies ahead.
Having enjoyed some key personnel changes since the release of their live album Up Against The Lights (2011) and their previous studio set Secrets of the Day (2008), the band locks in immediately on their latest release Steal The Sky, showcasing the natural, growing chemistry between Smith, six time National Fiddle Champion Roberta Rast, competition piper Matt Willis and newer members Gary Thorne (bass) and Mike Urness (electric guitar). Smith, who met Thorne and Urness out and about on the tight knit North Texas music scene, found fresh inspiration in the unique collaborative songwriting potential they brought to the existing Killdares aesthetic.
CLEGHORN is America's Celtic Rock Band!
The musical engine of CLEGHORN is renowned fiddler Dylan Cleghorn and his father, the legendary Texas guitarist John Cleghorn. CLEGHORN’s unique brand of “Celtic rock” mixes their original songwriting with high-energy fiddle and bagpipe tunes.
The Celtic Music News review of CLEGHORN's album states: "The robust and pristine sound of Dylan Cleghorn's fiddle is wrapped in heavy pop rock rhythms that approach anthemic intensity. John Cleghorn, adding his original songwriting, screaming guitar riffs and golden vocal melodies, reveals himself as a man who truly knows rock."
The performances of CLEGHORN have enamored audiences and stirred up festivals across North America. Dylan and John have been acclaimed as charismatic performers who even go as far as leaving the stage to play among the crowd during their concerts.
CLEGHORN promotes an energetic and uplifting show for all ages that should not be missed.
PIPER JONES BAND
EJ Jones has been performing at TSF for almost 20 years with Clandestine, the Willow Band, and now the Piperjones Band. The group performs traditional and original bagpipe music with cittern and percussion accompaniment.
EJ Jones began his musical journey with the bagpipes in 1986 under the instruction of gold-medalist piper Michael Cusack. The bagpipes soon became his life.
EJ's performing career started as a simple street musician while he pursued competitive success in classical bagpipe contests and, under the direction of gold-medialist Donald MacPhee, as a member of the Hamilton Pipe Band - at the time, one of the top ranked pipe corps in the United States.
In 2002 EJ recorded his first solo album, The Willow, along with fiddle player Rosie Shipley and guitarist Gerry O'Beirne, which met with great acclaim and featured many of EJ's original compositions.
Combining his performance talents with his desire to discover the best possible sounding pipes, EJ became a pipemaker. He now makes his home and workshop in the North Carolina mountains. His Scottish smallpipes are played across the US and abroad.
Approaching twenty years as a professional piper and ten years as a professional pipe-maker, EJ teaches at bagpipe-learning events such as the Pipers Gathering, the Celtic Arts Foundation in WA, and the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming. He is in great demand as a recording and performing artist on the Scottish Highland pipes and Irish flute, and he also crafts the Scottish Smallpipes - which he played on Robert Earl Kean's album "Traveling Storm."
In August 2014, EJ will travel to Brittany to compete in the MacCrimmon Trophy at the Festival Interceltique, the largest Celtic festival in the world. Upon his return, he will embark on a coast to coast tour of the United States with performances from Maryland to California and many states in between.
Scotland Rising was founded in 2004, by John Imes, Daniel Dossey and Bryan Blaylock to perform traditional Scottish Highland Bagpipe music with a unique percussive edge.
This is NOT your granddads old Pipe-band!
Combining outstanding musicianship with a liberal dose of Celtic humor and a love of all things Scottish these lads will make you roar with joy, swell with pride and maybe even bring tear to your eye.
Seamus Stout has been delighting fans for over a decade with their unique brand of “upbeat” Celtic music. Regulars of the Dallas/Fort Worth pub and festival music scene, they really know how to keep an audience happy. Their music includes rollicking pub sing alongs, spirited jigs, reels and even the odd strathspey. These gents have a deep appreciation of Celtic music traditions but like to keep it lively with a unique blend of musical influences. Seamus Stout’s music will put a smile on your face while keeping you singing along.
MURDER THE STOUT
Houston based Murder the Stout (MTS) formed in 2004. They play progressive Celtic Rock music led by native Scotsman, Hugh Morrison, on lead vocals & squeezebox.
Also in the lineup are Neil DuFour, Johnny Rioux, David Schaefer & David Lerner.
MTS have been compared to a Scottish version of The Pogues, with folk, rock, punk & ska as well as Celtic influences all apparent in their music.
MTS released a 7 track EP in early 2012 to much critical acclaim prompting multiple label interest & multiple award nominations. Work is now on for a 2nd full length studio album, to be produced by Street Dogs' Johnny Rioux, whose recent work includes Flatfoot 56, Bastards on Parade and Roger Miret & the Disasters.
MTS are in demand at most of the nations major Celtic Festivals and tour when their schedule allows.
THE SELKIE GIRLS
The Selkie Girls formed less than two years ago, but has already made a huge impression on the local and regional Celtic music scenes. The band (Allison Johnson: guitar,vocals, Jaycie Skidmore: penny whistle/flutes/vocals, Dave Ervin: guitar/vocals, Joel Black: upright and fretless acoustic bass, Mark Menikos: violin, Martin McCall: percussion/drums, and Linda Mudd: harp) has performed at most of the most sought-after events throughout Texas, with performances at the North Texas Irish Festival, Austin Celtic Festival, and Dallas's Trinity Hall Pub under their belt, among many others.
They have recently completed their second CD, Long Time Traveling, which has received rave reviews and has been selling steadily both at live shows and through iTunes and Amazon. Their unique take on the Celtic music tradition, built upon lush vocal harmonies and dynamic instrumental arrangements, never fails to captivate audiences both old and young. With a repertoire including ancient laments, contemporary ballads, traditional Irish tunes, Scottish Gaelic folk, and a few foot-stomping jigs and reels, there's never a dull moment.
THE NORTH TEXAS CALEDONIAN PIPES AND DRUMS
The North Texas Caledonian Pipes and Drums is an award-winning competition bagpipe and drum band. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the music and culture of Scotland. The band can be heard at festivals and other performances around North Texas as well as at highland games across the country where they proudly represent the North of Texas area.
The NTCPD has an ongoing student program for pipers and drummers, and encourages those interested in lessons or for auditioning for the band to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The NTCPD is also available for hire for weddings, funerals, company functions, or any occasion (solo piper, mini band, full band). Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (NTC)PD8-5840.
For more information, please visit our stand in the Automobile Building, or online at www.ntcpd.com and facebook.com/ntcpd. Our recordings are available through iTunes and cdbaby.com.
Singer-Songwriter, Madi Davis, from McKinney TX, ended her run on NBC's The Voice as a Top 6 Semi-Finalist! She shared her heart and artistry with the world singing brilliant arrangements of classics; Big Girls Don't Cry, Girls Just Want To Have Fun & A Case of You by Joni Mitchell.
Her version of Girls Just Want To Have Fun charted in Billboards Hot 100 and topped the overall iTunes charts at #5. All of her LIVE performance recordings made iTunes overall Top 50. Madi definitely made her mark as an artist on the show, singing what she loves, with poise beyond her years...all 16 of them.
Madi has released original music as well as the unique covers that she sang on The Voice. Her latest release "What I Know," contains hints of sorrowful singer songwriter, folk, and even a touch of R&B. This collection of music has something for everyone. All of Madi's music is available online--on CD Baby, iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. More information on Madi and her music is available on her website.
Madi will be performing our National Anthem during the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Texas Scottish Festival, as well as "opening" for the Killdares.
*** PHOTO CREDIT: NBC / The Voice
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