Tuesday, 12 January 2010 20:59
Press kit downloads
Even the strict laws of the fire department cannot hold Tartanic at bay as they take live performance to heart and create a high-energy pulse at 120 beats per minute and beyond. Celtic music from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and original contemporary compositions is melded with rhythms from around the world and propelled into the musical world of the future. Mixing the time-honored traditions of the Great Highland bagpipes with a bevy of drums featuring world percussion from Arabia, Africa and America, Tartanic produces a musical fusion which is nothing short of explosive.
After more than half a decade, Tartanic remains new and on the edge. With over 30 years of performance between them, Tartanic fills a much needed niche in progressive celtic music, taking tunes out of the session and into the sensational with their unique brand of insturmentation, humor and theatrics. The live show is not just music ... heads nod with a tribal drive ... techno-rave beats weave in the roar of double reeds and a kick-bass bodhran. The resulting interactive spectacle is the "Tartanic experience."
By Becca Bacon Martin
The Morning News
Tartanic, a Houston bagpipe band with a comedic edge, returns to Eureka Springs for the second January in a row, and frontman Adrian Walter hopes the performance is met with the same enthusiasm.
"We felt like Scottish ambassadors," Walter says of last year's visit. "We were probably treated better than we deserve! But everyone had a good time, especially at the after-party at the Pied Piper!
To go from the auditorium to the 'ye old pub' setting was really a treat." Tartanic was born out of Walter's interest in the Texas Renaissance Festival and the bagpipe ensembles he saw there. "It wasn't too long before I picked out some dances and a little drumming," he recounts. In 1998, he formed the Loch Dhu Dancers, named after a single-malt Scotch whiskey.
"We were different because we were young, pushing the envelope, dancing to Celtic rock," he says. "People liked the dancing and comedy but they loved the music!" Tartanic has been happily playing Renaissance festivals, Highland games, Irish festivals, international festivals and shows like the one in Eureka Springs ever since, and Walter admits the "Tartanic experience" bagpipers leaping from the stage and running through the audience, dancing with the lassies and mixing bagpipe classics like "Amazing Grace" with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" has acquired quite a following.
"It's like a rock 'n' roll unplugged bagpipe theater show without a plot," he says. "We do a fully audience integrated show that goes against the usual band formula." Maybe it's normal to follow a band from Arizona, California, Texas, Kansas City, to Michigan, just to swoon over the frontman.
And it's undeniably strange that the band that evokes this level of devotion is a bagpipe band: "Imagine one dancer, six drums, six drones, 18 notes, fast fingers,high comedy, flying bagpipes, taste-defying stunts and scorching hot music played at over 120 beats per minute with driving speed and high-volume, all brought to you by five men without pants," describes Walter, a frontman in the best Mick Jagger tradition.
"I thought playing the anachronism of a rock star at a Renaissance festival would really give people a unique experience," explains Walter, the dancer and drummer who founded and fronts Houston bagpipe band Tartanic. "Most people don't get to walk around in a kilt and sunglasses! Why wouldn't you want to go for that?"
You guys ARE the rock stars you imagine yourselves to be!! You make Scottish music & bagpipes something that everyone can enjoy (even some old folks), and your shows are to die for! I’m only disappointed that David didn’t use MY camera for the "kilt cam" shot!
~Susan T. - Harrisonville, MO
You guys made me dance so much my belt exploded.
~Ginger B. - Chicago, IL
You guys are awesome!!!!!!! Such talent and humor!!!!! WHAT A GREAT CRAZY MIX OF GREAT MUSIC!!!!!!! You all are great. But I was especially fascinated with your pipers, Mike McNutt and the cute young guy. You are all awesome and give your all in such a great show. Yes I'm playing the CD's daily in my car, and I take great pleasure in your advice to put down the windows and PUMP UP THE BAGPIPES!!!!!!! Saw you last year, this year AND I HOPE YOU'RE BACK AGAIN NEXT YEAR.....
~Norma M. - Livonia, MI