Where are all the pipers gone?

Where are all the pipers gone?

The chieftains, Planxty, The Bothy band, Moving Hearts, all great groups, probably the best groups ever in trad music, all had something in common. A great Piper!
None of the current crop of top bands have a full time piper except Lunasa. Why? Where are all the pipers? Trad music bands have become bland bands, fiddle and box dominated, havens for speed merchants, composers, and even posers!

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Clearly, Ptarmigan, you are correct, and judging by the samples on their website they are a fine band. ………………………………Where are all the singers gone? πŸ˜‰

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

I got one for my band! πŸ™‚

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Ummm?

Danu.

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Maybe De Danann brought the two-row box into the limelight as an intriguing and desirable instrument to play in contemporary bands - Jackie Daly’s dry-tuned reeds sounded that bit more plaintive and sophisticated than the fat, cosy sound of the average Paolo Soprani…and then demand generated supply, and there’s a huge range of ITM-compatible boxes available that wasn’t there before, and people who’ll put them into every conceivable tuning for players who know what they want which the makers haven’t provided. Some of the little ones sound a bit like tiny unspeakable animals squalling to be suckled, which may be what endears them to the ladies, but then, it takes all sorts to make a world.

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Last night’s Fun ?

Nick Scott pipes; Chris Sherburn; Anglo concertina;
Denny Bartley; guitar, vocals;

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

You hadnt heard of ‘At first Light’?? Really? -they totally rock. And what about Cillian and Niall Vallely’s album ‘Callan Bridge’ Pipes and concertina. Great stuff. There are loads of pipes out there - just gotta know where to look.

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Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

As Jimmy O’Brien Moran said "the only good acompanyment for a piper are drones and regulators!" Maybe they’re all tinkering with the reeds to get them to concert pitch πŸ˜‰

I’ve come to listen to piping in the solo catogory, Jimmy (as above), Ronan Browne, David Power, Kevin Rowsome, Brian McNamarra, Eliott Grasso and the like. And my playing is also best heard solo (and far away)..ba..da..bing…ba.da..boom..

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Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

i’ve started a moving hearts style band (and are recruting musicians if anyone’s intersted) so watch this space ; )

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

All the above points taken on board.
Danu , and I love Danu, do not feature a piper in most of their sets, and could not be described as a "piper driven" band. Donachadh Gough is an incredibly good player nonetheless, but the token representaiton in their music does’nt qualify them. As to the suggestion that pipes are best heard on their own, I think that point is a strange one in a traditional music that is mostly played, (and allways has been) in a communal, group setting with occasional solos.
What? You dont listen to bands? What?

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Uilleann pipers have always played solo, especially in the 19th century when the pipes were pitched between Bb and C#. Drives the fiddle players mad …"What pitch are you playing? Uh, some where between B and C, why?? Oh πŸ™"
The concept of a D concert pitch set really started with the Taylor Bros in Philadelphia in the 1890s when they needed more volume to be heard in large halls.

Of course I listen to bands- Danu, Teada, Solas but I like to listen to solo piping as well.

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Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

they are all off touring with one of the many riverdance/ feet of flames/ celtic stuff touring extravaganzas around the world!

Re: Where are all the pipers gone?

Backer, you have a good point. I can think of a lot of new bands without full time Pipers or Pipers at all. Of course, you need to listen to "At First Light." A great band, and John McSherry is a great Piper.

Although, I can name a band or two who managed without a Piper. Altan? Dervish?

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