Mair Tunez – New and Auld

I’ve added a few more tunes to my tunes page. Most of these are tunes that were commissioned through the Old Blind Dogs Pledgemusic campaign. Some lovely people commissioned these tunes, helping us fund our latest album, Room with a View. You can check this out at…..https://www.oldblinddogs.co.uk

There is also one very special tune I’ve added. This is a tune, which i only found last year, that was written by my Great, Great Grandfather, Pipe Major Donald Kennedy. Posting this tune is bittersweet for me. Over the last 3/4 years I’ve been slowly finding out little bits about Donald. It’s a bizarre experience for me. A lot of musicians on the folk scene are brought into playing music through the connections that they share with their ancestors. Music is generally passed on, and nurtured through the generations. I didn’t have this connection. Which makes my choice to play the pipes at such a young age, even more weird. Id like to think that this musical connection between my GG Grandfather, and myself, was sub conscious, that he gifted me this without me knowing. It also makes me think a lot of my Grandfather, who a year ago passed away. He was the one who really encouraged me to follow my heart, and who nurtured my fascination with the Bagpipes. I was propelled on to find out more about Donald as it became a great subject of conversation between myself, and my Grandad. The sad thing about this is that it turns out that his 1913 Henderson pipes, and a lot of his music were taken by my Grandfathers cousins. They were aware that i was learning to play the pipes, and yet they chose to take all of his belongings. I have since found out that these Pipes were sold in Perth at an auction in 2005. Strangely, the pipes were sold by my Grandad’s cousins, to a man who’s granddaughter i knew through playing in the Vale of Atholl. He was a bagpipe dealer, and bought them for a reasonable price and sold them on for a larger sum of money. The pile of his music, including compositions and arrangements were found in a skip in Dundee. Thankfully someone found them and handed them into the Black Watch museum. Some of these can now be found in the Black Watch book of Pipe music. Now that i know what i know, and there are a lot more in’s and out’s to the story, i understand why my Grandad was so apprehensive in telling me all about Donald. It’s my dream to locate these pipes. It would be a beautiful thing to find them, and would honour the memory of my Grandfather. Who know’s, maybe they’ll make their way home some day.

Donald Kennedy. Pipe Major and piper to the Gaelic Society of Perth.

Great grandfather Donald Kennedy chatting to the Duke of Atholl.

SYMBIOSIS SPRING TOUR – Album Launch.

Yippee Ki Yay People of Earth, and any of those from beyond…..

Myself, Ross and Andrea are currently pinging about the UK doing a few wee gigs to promote the release of our new album, SYMBIOSIS 2 – the sequel. We began our adventure down in Southport, in the Atkinson theatre, then on to FIBfest in Canterbury. We had the lovely Jimi Troup on Sound for these 2. Both venues we’ve played before with Treacherous Orchestra. In fact last time time we were in Southport with TO, we were so RAJJJJJ that the PA exploded into flames. Then there was Padgate in Canterbury, which I won’t go into. So, I’m overwhelmed that we were even allowed back to these lovely venues. For this, we are much appreciative!! On the first leg (if two gigs amount to a whole leg???), we were joined by the mighty Owen Sinclair of Tannara and Inyal. Not only is he a mega musician, he also moonlights as Connor Macgregors stunt double. We all know it’s not really Connor taking those blows!! He’s a big pussy cat.

Check out Owens music here……https://tannaramusic.com

http://inyalband.com

This week we belted it down to LANDAN TAN. We began this substantially meatier leg (3 gigs), in Kings Place, London. This was the official debut of some material from the new album, and I have to say, it wisnae shite. It’s put us in good stead for the big band gig, album launch, oh ya hoor ye, extravaganza on the 28th. We then went onto Belper where we played a gig that was put on by Andy Inns of Black dog radio. Andy hosts a brilliant internet radio show promoting a wide range of brilliant folk music. http://black-dog-radio.com. Thanks a million to Andy, Lynne, Bob, and Mia for arranging a rocking gig, and putting us up, well, putting up with us. We had a great night! Next stop was Kendal Brewery Arts Centre. This was another lovely gig. We’re very luck that we have had such amazing, warm, welcoming audiences. All that turned out have made it incredibly comfortable and a lot of fun to play. During this chunk we were joined by the Queen of Garlic, the most organised person on the folk scene…..Jenn Butterworth……honorary member of the SYMBIOSIS band. Jenn is a very talented, and hard working folky. She teaches full time at the RCS, and also plays in several mighty musical outfits. You can check Jenn’s music here …….http://www.jennandlb.com

http://www.kinnarisquintet.com …….keep an 👁 out for this album. It’s gonna be a thing of great beauty!!!

We’re now all in a secret bunker somewhere in Glasgow, in submerged regeneration pods. They will be unlocked and we’ll be hatched again on Thursday, just in time for our next hefty burst of 4 gigs. We’ll be heading to Stornaway, Glenbuchat, Isle of Man, and Perth. Then the last gigs will be Skye, and back home to Glasgow for the BIG album launch. The official fling will be held on the 28th of April in the Drygate, Glasgow. We’ll be joined by the full band, consisting of Duncan Lyall, Steve ‘the Shtickleback’ Byrnes, Martin o’ Neill, Jenn Butterworth, Gus Sicard, and a string section led by Patsy Reid. There will also be support from the incredible Project Smok. https://projectsmok.com

Check out our dates at https://m.facebook.com/rossandali/?locale2=en_GB

We also have special Drygate ticket bundles here …..https://rossandali.bandcamp.com

Tix can also be bought here ….https://www.drygate.com

We’d love to see you along the way……if you have nothing better to do!!

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…..

CELTIC CONNECTIONS

Opening Concert – 18th Jan w/ Ross and Tryst

https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=7ba9f912-f0bb-4dda-9fe4-a81100c6dd53

Ross Ainslie’s Sanctuary – 20th jan

https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=a3a71b4c-aae4-4aec-a930-a80f00fe9842

Grit Orchestra – Bothy Culture – 27th Jan

https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=04d99a1f-53ac-493d-af02-a7de00a0db95

Old Blind Dogs – 3rd Feb

https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=3f8b7adb-47fe-482b-8beb-a811012309a2

Maeve Macrimmon’s Album Launch – 4th Feb

https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=377aece0-ff17-49ad-add8-a80f00f6e9fb

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!! 👍👍

Hopefully see you all along the way!!!