A wonderful Scots double bill
Scotland's Tannahill Weavers recently celebrated their 50th year on the road, and they're not slowing down! Named for Scottish poet Robert Tannahill, the Tannahill Weavers create music that is steeped in history yet brings the Scottish musical tradition forward into the present day. With innovative arrangements blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms, the group embraces the rollicking, even brawling qualities of Lowland Anglo-Scots tunes but never loses sight of the almost mystical Highland Celtic core. "The penetrating sound of the Highland bagpipes is a thread of ancient memory running through it all," they say. The band's diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fiery instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads. They're an Ark favorite, but tonight you have the chance to see them with an act that's a good deal rarer stateside—The Old Blind Dogs. Since forming in Scotland in 1992, The Dogs have stood on the cutting edge of the Scots roots revival. The band has developed its own trademark style with an energetic mix of songs and tunes. Dynamic percussion, polished vocals, soaring fiddle and stirring pipes fuel the delicately phrased melodies and traditional songs. "The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm," says The Scotsman, "...as players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion." Twenty-seven years is a long time in the life of any band and most who reach those milestones are content to rest on the tried and tested formulas that have worked in the past. Not so for The Old Blind Dogs, whose newly released "Room With A View" takes them once again bravely in many new directions.