Easter Eggcitment

Well that's hopefully the Winter over with.  We had terrible weather and a five day long power cut at home for the last week in March - luckily though, I wasn't there as intended as the road was also closed due to epic snow drifts and I had to remain in Glasgow. Lot's of good things happened since the new year though, starting with a lot of fun at the Celtic Connections Festival.  I piped at the door for the guys going into the Opening Concert and was invited in to enjoy the show, it was amazing!  Too many highlights to mention, but the New Rope String Band's performance of Donald MacLeod's "The Duck" was completely unexpected, and to hear Scottish Power Pipe Band along with the great Capercaille were among the thrills for me. I did get a chance to do a lot of performing throughout the festival also.  Myself and Ross Kennedy did a duo gig at The Piping Centre alongside Donald Black.  I got sent this review from the Scratchy Noises web site;
Lorne’s set of tunes was interspersed with some songs from his accompanying bouzouki player, which I always prefer to just tunes. Magnificent playing on small pipes and low D whistle. Hearing such quality of playing leaves me caught in the middle between being inspired to get mine out and practice more/some and giving it up and throwing them in the fire.
Later on, I was thrilled to be able to play with Carlos Nunez and the RSNO!  It was as part of a smaller version of a large piping group I am involved with (more on that project soon!).  It was a phenomenal night, and we all really enjoyed it!  Here is a video from the audience; 

After Celtic Connections, things quietened down a little bit for gigs to make room for getting into the rehearsal and recording studios with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers for their new album.  Once again I was heavily involved in pulling some of the pieces together and am getting to work with some great musicians to produce what I think is the best music the Chilli Pipers have produced.  You can get hold of the previous albums here.  I don't want to say too much about the content of the album, but there's some really good stuff on it - both in terms of songs you will know and also new sets of tunes all with the recognisable Chilli twist.  It's a wee while before the CD is released, so check back for more news soon.

End of February saw three gigs with Joy Dunlop touring Argyll to promote her new album "Faileasan" ending up with a home gig in Carradale Village Hall to a great turn out.  Check out reviews and clips from the album and some concert videos on Joy's own web site or you can get hold of a copy of the album here.

March has once again been spent in the recording studio with the Chilli Pipers with a few breaks to judge the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Juniors Competition (a scary experience!) as well as some teaching.  I also featured for a few seconds on a new BBC Drama Shetland as part of the session band.  Unlikely though it is to hear BorderPipes in the Lerwick Lounge in Shetland, I definitely have had a tune in there in real life on at least one occasion! March finished off in Partick Folk Club with a wee gig for the Linzi Murphy trio.  I'm looking forward to a few gigs with a bigger version of this band throughout the Summer.  I'm now off to get rehearsing my parts for playing with Mánran at the Europhonic Festival in Nantes on Saturday, there will be clips from that on the next blog I'm sure, so until then I'll leave you with this video from the Partick Folk Club gig! :)

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