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Skerryvore to Infuse Sun Valley with Hard Driving Bagpipes and More
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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The “party” stopped when the COVID pandemic brought the normal rhythms of day-to-day life across the world to a standstill.

But Skerryvore is happy and proud to be taking the party on the road again, and they will bring it to Sun Valley on Thursday when they perform at The Argyros in Ketchum. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. Tickets start at $20 and are available at https://theargyros.org/.

“Expect to get up dancing with rousing instrumental sets with dual bagpipes, fiddle and accordion and to sing along with all original songs,” said Craig Espie, who performs fiddle in the band.

Skerryvore is a Scottish Celtic band formed by brothers in 2004. The band was named the Scots Trad Music Awards Live Act of the Year in 2016 and 2011. But their music goes beyond the Bonnie Banks of  Loch Lomond to incorporate hard driving rock, pop, jazz, Cajun and even Americana country influences.

The band’s founders Daniel and Martin Gillespie learned to play bagpipes, whistle and accordion from Scottish poet Gordon Connell and bagpiper Robert Beck. They played for family and friends, progressing to local ceilidhs before taking their band throughout the world, including the Middle East.

They took the band’s name from the Skerryvore lighthouse 12 miles off the coast of the small Hebridean isle of Tiree.

“We have played at so many incredible venues and festivals across the world that it’s very difficult to single out any one. One major highlight was our 10th anniversary event ‘decade’ where we were stunned to be joined by over 6000 fans/friends in the Scottish west coast town of Oban,” said Espie.

Today the eight-piece band group consists of Daniel and Martin Gillespie on accordion, bagpipes and whistles; Craig Espie on fiddle; Alec Dalglish on vocals and guitars; Fraser West on drums; Alan Scobie on keyboard; Scott Wood on bagpipes, and whistle and Jodie Bremaneson on bass.

While the Covid pandemic stopped the partying, it did not stop the work. Skerryvore’s Martin Gillespie composed a charity single called “Everyday Heroes” during the pandemic, and the band recorded it with several musicians from the Scottish Traditional music stable.

The single reached No. 1 on the official Scottish charts and won Original Work of the Year Award at the 2020 MG ALBA Scottish Trad Music Awards. It has raised several thousand pounds for charities.

“We wanted to ensure that we still did as much as we could to keep progressing and release new music for our extremely loyal followers to enjoy and provide a bit of hope in such dark times,” said Espie. “Also recorded in isolation, our single ‘You and I’ spent seven weeks in January and February 2021 on BBC Radio 2’s playlist. That’s unheard of for a track from an independent label. ‘Together Again,’ released in July 2021, also made it to Radio 2’s playlist, celebrating the beginnings of a return to meeting up with friends again.”

 

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