Yesterday, I got to see the Scottish Celtic fusion band Capercaillie at the Aladdin theater in Portland, Oregeon. A seven piece band + singer (and I think bandleader) Karen Matheson, two percussionists: Che Beresford playing a conventional drum kit, and David 'Chimp' Robertson a collection of drums, a bassist (Ewen Vernal, playing a six-string electric bass), singer, songwriter, and rhythm player (hollow-body electric guitar and mandola) Manus Lunny, fiddler Charlie McKerron, piper and flute player Michael McGoldrick, and keyboard (electronic pedal and accordian) player Donald Shaw. The lead instruments of the band are the fiddle, pipes, and keyboards, especially the accordian.
It was interesting to finally see them playing and find out what instruments made what sounds; I'd no idea that some of the reed sounds I'd heard on recordings were coming from an accordian. And now I know what a wa-wa mandola sounds like. The most distinctive sound, generally, was fiddle, pipes, and accordian playing together. McGoldrick is an amazing player--his fingers just fly across the keys. They're an impressively tight band, very together-sounding. I am going to be quite spoiled for sloppy playing for a while, I fear.
They did mostly traditional material, much from their new CD Choice Language. There were a two pieces from Rob Roy—an elegy and a set of reels, which were mostly cut from the movie. I was surprised that none of their English-language pieces were included in the show. But then, they have 20 years of material to pick from—they couldn't do all of it.
I seem to be feeling much better, still. Medication seems to be working.
And that's all for tonight! Time to start the surgery on this computer…