Pyramids, Prairies and Plenty of carry on!

Another US tour with Old Blind Dogs has come to an end. We’re finally back home and licking or wounds. Some of us, literally! 2 and 1/2 weeks, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Oh aye, a wee stop off in Vegas was also had. We saw rain in California, snow in Arizona, stayed in a pyramid in Vegas, saw miles of nothing in New Mexico, and struggled to breath in Colorado. It’s been an interesting tour. Especially playing in 3 states that are higher than Yo than the top of Ben Nevis. This isn’t good for the Pipes. They hate it. They absolutely hate it. The tuning goes mental and they take a lot more lung power to play. Despite these places being cool to visit, they’re not the best fun for performing. Well, for playing pipes.

We decided that we would visit Vegas for the night on our way to New Mexico. It was as tacky, glorious, sad, weird, as you might imagine. We stayed in the Luxor Pyramid, which was cool. Visited Dublin, Paris, New York and Venice all in one night. Lost some money, drunk a lot, stared a lot, laughed a lot, had oxygen at an oxygen bar, lost more money, slept very little, then ran away! Was it good……..I’m still pondering that!

Anyway, a massive thank you to all the lovely people that came to the dogs gigs, bought CDs, raffle tickets, hung out, dined with us, and shared many drinks and laughs.

Until next time …….!

Ross And Ali April Tour – Album Launch Tour – SYMBIOSIS 2

We’re heading out on tour to promote our new album in April. We’ll be accompanied by the always brilliant, Jenn Butterworth, and Owen Sinclair.

Symbiosis 2 is almost finished. We’re mixing the tracks over the next few weeks so it’ll be ready just in time for the tour. We’re very excited about this new album. What began as an acoustic duo affair has turned into a MONSTER! We’ve decided to go all in with the full band vibe, creating a massive wall of noise!! Our fellow noise makers are, Duncan lyall – Moog and Keys, Martin O’Neill – Bodhran and Drums, Steve Byrnes – Drums, Patsy Reid – String extravaganza and Gus Sicard – Pipe Band Snare Drum……and of course, myself and Ross doing our thing. Two very important members of our team are Andrea Gobbi, and Somhairle MacDonald. These two guys provide invaluable work and input towards our project. Without these guys, it wouldn’t be where it’s at!!

Here’s a wee sneaker of a track and a list of our tour dates. If we’re near ya, please come along!!!

BIRDS – The Freedom of Birds (Ali Hutton)

Celtic Connections – A sorry excuse for Snowfall – and last minute Tax scramble!!

Hello a’bdy and Nae’ bdy!!

Here’s a wee list of this months events…..


Opening Concert – 18th Jan w/ Ross and Tryst

Ross Ainslie’s Sanctuary – 20th jan

Grit Orchestra – Bothy Culture – 27th Jan

Old Blind Dogs – 3rd Feb

Maeve Macrimmon’s Album Launch – 4th Feb

And in amongst all of this learning, rehearsing, gigging, mild drinking, excitement and nonsense…….the dreaded receipts must be rounded up and counted!! What a shiter!! The one thing that tries its hardest to wreck the Celtic connections buzz!! Well, I’m telling you….it ain’t getting the better of this guy!! πŸ‘πŸ‘

Hopefully see you all along the way!!!


Ho Ho Ho people. Santa has dropped off the first shipment of Symbiosis merch. We currently have a limited supply of T shirts in stock, lots of CD’s, and next week we’ll have baseball caps for you to buy too. So get along to our BANDCAMP page and get your loved one some cool gifts.


Symbiosis Part 2 is A GO!!

We are very grateful to have just received funding from Creative Scotland for our 2nd album. This is great news as we’ve been sitting on new music for several months now. We can now go ahead and get it recorded. We’re aiming for it to be released by April next year. Just in time for our UK tour. We’ve also possibly got some new merchandise treats on the way, just in time for Xmas. Watch this space……….

Waur hae I been!!Β 

The last month or so has been pretty full on. I spent the best part of a month in the US with the Old Blind Dogs. A grand return was made by founding member, and fiddler, Sir Jonny Hardie. Its been 6 years since jonny was last out thanks to an immigration hiccup! Something which really should have been sorted a long time ago. But, as the world continues to change, become more insular, and paranoid, it became harder to fix. Thankfully, it has now been sorted, and he’s free to travel to the US (touch wood, fingers crossed….!) We had a brilliant tour. Sharing good times, and music with friends old and new. Including the monkey πŸ’. More about him later. We flew from Glasgow to Amsterdam to Chicago, on a 747 Jumbo Jet. Now this is, well, was a childhood dream of mine, until I grew this turbulent relationship with flying. SORRY for that one!!! I used to be amazed by these big tin birds. Dragging their massive behinds 30 odd thousand feet into the blue yonder. Now fear has replaced fascination, so, as we pulled up to the gate I had mixed emotions about entering this behemoth. However, as I’ve noticed, the bigger the bird, the smoother she does glide!! And there’s lots of room, and free drink. It was great to finally stare out the windows and once again, admire the snowy white blanket below. It is an incredibly beautiful experience when calm. Allowing your thoughts to imagine the possibilities of a world where kindness, and acceptance prevail! 

We began in Wisconsin, at the hilltop bar. A cool, wacky wee venue. Irish bar, Gig venue, Cheese packing plant!! Aye, that’s what i said! πŸ§€ 

We then played a gig in Chicago, and then headed onto Muskegon Irish Festival! Which was a hella good fun. We caught up with the guys from Lunasa. Thanks for the confectionary Ed. It certainly sent me in another direction. I also managed to partake in my favourite festival sport….Steal a golf car!!! 

‘Twas grand so. No one tell them we were from Scotland!!! 🀘

Next stop was Colorado for the Spanish Peaks Festival. A great festival in a dusty wee town near the Spanish peaks mountain range. We’ve done this Festival before and had a total ball! The organisers are beautiful, kind souls. One of whom touched my heart with his kind words. A moment not to be spoiled by splurging it on social media. We had tunes, and carry one with some amazing pals, Paddy Keenan, Kevin Burke, The Screaming Orphans, Tadgh o’ Meachair, and many others. It’s a very special place to be!!

I even tricked the Drumster into a spot of “moving your legs quickly, in a direction for a prolonged amount of time”…..!!!’

We then flew to San Jose, California where we stayed with our good friends, Pete and Linda Haworth. These guys are some of the most kind, and generous folk you’ll meet. Natives to Blackburn, Pete and Linda decided to move to the states, and eventually take up residency in Santa Cruz. They open their home to us, feed us, and look after us when we’re in the area. No amount of thanks can compensate for their generosity.  ETERNAL thanks Pete and Linda.

We played a show for them in Santa Cruz, then carried on up through California. Mostly along the coast which is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Bring a tear to a glass ‘een, as my Grandad used to say! Stunning. Here’s a few shots from along the way…….,

Lastly we moved through Oregon, up into Washington where we did a few shows on the last leg. Once again we were looked after by some extremely beautiful, and generous folk. It always amazes me how people over there are so generous with their homes, and their time and energy. I can’t think of anywhere else I’ve been where people are so open and kind. The 12 hour drive from Cali up to Oregon was mind blowing. We drive down a massive ridge, through towering giant redwoods, into valleys of crystal blue rivers, fresh air that you can taste, and miles of autumnal colours. It was truly awe inspiring. 

Here’s the last burst of photos from our stateside adventure….

We landed back and went straight back into gig mode, no time for a good dose of the jetlag! Right into a gig in Edinburgh with L’Aventurra London and Siobhan Miller. This is the collaborative project with which we perform music from William Thomsons, Orpheus Caledonius (1725). 

The next day I headed up to Skye with Gary Innes, Duncan lyall, and Steve Byrnes for an ERA gig……..and the Ultimate, untouchable version of the Caman man. Well done to Gary. A bravery medal is deserved. You are Our Hero! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And NOW, I’m on tour with Ross, Jenn Butterworth and Andrea…..and Marty boy for 1. I always love getting back into our music. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of shit chat and laughs. It’s a bit of a therapeutic gig. It involves a lot of calm, soothing music which I welcome with open arms after a month of finger breaking, hell for leather, kennel music. Although I love both, they provide different kinds of release and satisfaction. Oh aye, Jenn is rocking it!! And she drives, and she has a camera to record the gigs. She’s absolutely nailing it!! Findhorn, Ullapool and Glassel so far. Down south tomorrow. Starting in Liverpool, Bristol, Bury and then London. Check out the dates at or Twitter @RossAndAli

It would be lovely to see y’all!!  Yeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!! 🀘🀘🀘πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯