Thursday, February 12, 2015

But 2015 looks like it's going to be awesome!

We started off the year with a bang - with Andrew Dodds as guest fiddler, we started things off right at John Strongbow's Tavern for their New Year's Eve celebration. We brought out the gaita grileira for the debut of Maggie Lauder, and introduced a few new sets - the Beach Jigs (including two tunes by Peter), The Crookit Hornpipe, the Nuptial Jigs and Troy's Turf.

John Strongbow's Tavern is a fun little place with a medieval/renaissance theme. And when Peter began to learn more about the place, he discovered that his old friend Karla Booth (back from when he was just starting out on pipes and fiddle) was one of the co-owners! So it was a perfect fit. Every band needs a home port, and we're lucky to be given the chance to make John Strongbow's ours.

So for the foreseeable future, we'll be playing John Strongbow's monthly. Our first two gigs are on the calendar, with Chelle Fulk joining us on fiddle.

We've also got a Burns Supper gig coming up, the National Capitol Tartan Day Festival, and in fall we'll be playing a showcase at a local winery, hopefully leading to a regular gig there.

We're hoping to get some new shows in new venues as well, both festivals and pubs. 

We'll be debuting even more new sets at National Capitol Tartan Day - including a march, strathspey, and reel set entirely written by Peter.

And is this the year we finally record that album we've been promising for the last four? Well, now that we'll be gigging more, Peter can't use "I'm out of practice" as an excuse anymore!

But the most exciting bit of news is that we'll be having a full-time fiddler joining us in June. Rosemary Hall (bio in the "the band" section) finishes up school to return to DC. She'll be spending the summer at the Smithsonian, and while we can't predict where grad school takes her, we're hoping she's with us for a while! We've known Rosemary since she was in High School, and have played with her in the regular DC jam on many occasions, as well as with the Tailors at least twice, and are extremely excited to be working with her again as our fiddler!

It was a slow 2014

Well, we never really recovered from our fiddler shortage in 2014. We more or less took the year off, playing a total of four gigs. We had a blast making our annual return to the National Capitol Tartan Day festival, with Chelle Fulk returning to play fiddle. It was cold and windy, but a lot of fun.

Then we played a small fundraiser for the U.S. National Mòd, alongside some wonderful Gaelic singers, and with Barbara Saliunas. We provided a bunch of instrumental sets, and one Gaelic waulking/rowing song, which also saw the public debut of Peter on the wire-strung clàrsach (Gaelic small harp).

Then we got a wonderful opportunity - we got to play the main stage on both days at the Virginia Scottish Games, with Andrew Dodds as our guest fiddler, in addition to our usual showing at the Fiddle Tent. THAT was fun. Seriously. We had good and responsive crowds, and I got to debut my new Gaelic song, Duthaich Mhic Aoidh, which is about the clearances. We had a lot of people come up and talk to us afterwards, including our new friends at John Strongbow's Tavern.

Which leads to our final gig of the year, and the first of the next...

(to be continued)