Scottish Pipes that Rock

The Finlay MacDonald Band - Re-Echo
The Finlay MacDonald Band – Re-Echo

The Finlay MacDonald Band

Re-Echo (Greentrax Recordings  CDTRAX299, 2007)

The new breed of Scottish groups is known for combining traditional Scottish folk with international and contemporary music elements. The Finlay Macdonald Band is one of such new bands. It is led by bagpiper and flutist Finlay MacDonald. Accompanied by fiddle, a powerful drum set, percussion, bass and guitars, he puts together quite an exciting show.

On his latest CD, Re-Echo, he takes the rockin’ pipes to new heights on “Back to Bergamo.” There are hints of the Shooglenifty sound in “Elav the Terrible”‘s arrangements.

Latin sounds have infiltrated Scottish music too. First it was Salsa Celtica. Now, The Finlay MacDonald Band plays a suite of four pieces titled Salsa’s. Pipes go tropical.

The international influences continue with “Bulgarian,” a traditional piece from the Balkan country. Meanwhile, “Abdoul’s” has a Middle Eastern flavor.

On “Ud the Duduk” Finlay MacDonald plays pipes and whistle, combining Scottish music with Armenian-inspired music.

Things mellow down on “Miss Elliott’s,” which features melodic whistle, viola and guitar.

The CD ends with a tribute to Breton music. Brittany is known for its Celtic rock bands and MacDonald’s sound fits perfectly with the Breton taste.

You can add Finlay Macdonald to the pantheon of innovative bagpipers, joining the ranks of Carlos Núñez and Hevia.

Buy Re-Echo (from the UK).

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.