Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Taking Stock in 2016

With the year that was 2015, things are going to be different in 2016.

We've been powering through the fall and winter, but now that spring is here, we're going to take a little break from performance.

We've had some wonderful gigs; what looks to be turning a regular Ceilidh hosted by Fraser Brown and Kuki Hansen in DC in February, with another coming up on May 7th. We'll be performing on St. Patrick's Day for a convention hosted by the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry. And we'll be playing the acoustic stage at the Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival on May 14th.

But after that, we'll be taking a break, except for the occasional event or Ceilidh that might come up. For several reasons - we're down a man with Chris' departure, and Rosemary has a wonderful internship opportunity that will take her away from us for the summer.

We've got a lot of work on our plates, and it's time to roll up our sleeves and get it done.

I know I've talked about "finally getting that album out" for a lot of years now, but this summer it will happen. It has to happen. The first album will cover the material we've been playing since we started out as a band, and I hope to get a couple of favorite guest musicians to show up as well. Planning for that will occur in April, and tracks will be laid down in late May and June. For real, this time.

We'll be adding new songs and sets, and for the first time, Amy will begin to take lead on a couple of them. We'll also bring our website into this decade with a complete overhaul.

We'll also be diving into looking into a new permanent fourth member; and depending on the skill set of the person that is a match for us, will likely be re-orchestrating a lot of our sets to take advantage of that.

With any luck, we'll be back in the beginning of September with a head of steam, with albums to sell, a new website, a new face, and some great new material.

So stick with us - there's more great stuff to come.

2015 in review

Wow, that was a whirlwind of a year, our busiest yet. The Devil's Tailors played over 20 times, including such highlight events as a Burns Supper for the University of Glasgow's Alumni Club, a Reception at the British Embassy, the Virginia Scottish Games, and the Takoma Park Folk Festival!

We also played some Ceilidhs, and did a set of 18th century music for an "Outlander Fashion Show" hosted by one of the historic houses in Alexandria, along with the Stewarts of Appin Regiment living history reenactors.

We added some very fun new repertoire, instrumentals and Gaelic songs alike. We gained a regular venue: John Strongbow's Tavern in Old Town Alexandria, building a relationship that also allowed us to find a new home for the DC area's only open Scottish Jam!

We saw familiar faces - our former fiddler, Chelle Fulk, and long-time friend to the band, Andrew Dodds, filled in the fiddler spot until our permanent member could arrive. We saw Liz Donaldson call and play piano with us at a ceilidh.

We saw new faces - Rosemary Hall finally graduated from St. Andrew's University in Scotland, and claimed the fiddler spot in the band we'd been hoping to offer her since before she went off to college! Also, Pete's wife Amy began turning out with the band to provide more back-up vocals, but most importantly to be our full-time sound engineer.

We had some great guests, including Adam Bern and Caitlin Perdue on fiddle, and Jennifer Lubell on bodhran, and shared the stage at Strongbow's with Janie Meneely and Molly Hickman of Calico Jenny. We were introduced to a great young Ceilidh caller, and college pal of Rosemary's, Mel Butler.

We also had to say good-bye. After many years with us, founding member Chris Lindsay has departed the Devil's Tailors. Though not official until just after the new year, his last performance with us was at the Takoma Park Folk Festival. We hope to work with Chris on a project or two in the future, but for now, we wish him well in all his endeavors.

So that's it - a crazy year all around, and a level of intensity we won't be able to sustain in 2016. But stay tuned, because we're not going anywhere.