Thursday, September 23, 2010

Transatlantic Sessions, Vashon style.

Every now and then, a little bit of magic comes into our lives. My little piece this weekend came in the shape of the robust and extremely talented Allan MacDonald from Glenluig on Scotland's West Coast. He's probably one of the best pipers still standing and is a fluent Gaelic speaker to boot. I know the pipes are not everyone's favorite instrument, but in Allan's deft hands, they become imbued with a life of their own. Close your eyes and you will be transported to the shore of a sea loch with the smell of peat fires drifting through the air and the cold damp mist rising wraith like from the water.

Not only did Allan land on our doorstep, but he brought another younger and equally talented piper and singer called Greigior Lawrie, and a lovely lady from Cape Breton called Mairie, who's voice was as crystal clear as granite filtered spring water.. The three of them stayed for a long weekend in between touring our own West Coast, and high jinx was had by all, as Para Handy would often say. On one night, we had Kat Eggleston and Kate Macleod, two of the finest singer/songwriters in the USA (not to mention shit hot wonderful instrumentalists)  over for dinner and the craic flew thick and fast. Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying myself to capture the evening, so I'll just have to post a BBC recording here and here, of Allan in his element.

It is always sad to see Allan go, but my liver is breathing a sigh of relief. Like most pipers, Allan lives on a diet of malt Whisky, wine and beer with a little food thrown in for good measure. Their last night was celebrated in one of the local pubs where we were entertained by some of the best piping I have ever experienced, and the antics of Gregor as he tried to persuade several local girls to move back to Ballachulish with him on the next flight.  As the night progressed, the bar got busier and busier as the word got out that something very special was happening. We were eventually turfed out at about 2 in the morning, and said our goodbyes on the empty street. 
Slàinte mhòr
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  1. sounds like a brilliant night out......being utterly devoid of any musical talent am always in awe of the gifted ones!!

  2. Sounds wonderful.there's nothing like live music.I went to see the Unthanks recently loved them.


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