These musicians are a must see and are not just another Scottish pipes and drums band. Albannach’s primal drumming and precise piping stirs the soul of anyone who hears them—both young and old. These folks are Highlanders–calling themselves “Scottish Warriors to the Core.” Bass drums, bagpipes and didgeridoo--they wow their thousands of fans everywhere they perform. You may have seen them at the N.H. Highland Games in Lincoln every fall--where the concert tent is swarming with swaying bodies as they perform.
With five CDs, one documentary (”Scotumentary”), multiple fan tours to Scotland, Canada and the open sea, their fanbase is 43,000 and growing.
The group includes Jamesie on bass drums and vocals, Jacquie on bass drums and vocals, Donnie, who is a champion piper, and DidgeriDrew on the didgeridoo.
Jamesie was born in Glasgow in 1973, was raised there and left school at an early age to become an apprentice motor mechanic. After serving his time as a mechanic, he moved on to other forms of employment, one of which was doing some film work for various UK film production companies and the discovery channel. It was through doing this that he stumbled into the music scene and soon found himself playing the bass drum with another tribal drum crew. After working with them for five years he moved on and became part of Albannach, where he holds the title “the baron of bass.” Jamesie’s musical influences are mostly rock and roll, with bands like AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Metallica and Pink Floyd being some of his favorites. He is also very fond of classical music and enjoys the works of Bach and Yanni.
Donnie is a world-renowned bag piper, who the band lovingly calls bullfrog–if you ever see him play you’ll understand why. He is also a wicked drummer and also plays piano and guitar. Having played the pipes in many competitions and town halls throughout Scotland, he felt it was time to leave the traditional piping to the traditionalists and branch off into something more unique. Soon he was picked up by a semi-professional band and was off playing places in Europe, America and Asia. After some painstakingly hard years he left to venture out with the boys and decided to take it to the next level. When Donnie’s not touring, you will find him up the islands on the northwest coast where he likes to do some composing.
Jacquie Holland is the bass rhythm drummer in the band and is known for her haunting vocal skills. Born in Paisley and brought up just outside Glasgow, from an early age she enjoyed horse riding and archery and later developed a passion for motorcycles and all things Scottish. Initially trained in stage management and film technology, she eventually joined a Scottish re-enactment organization through which she met most of her current band mates.
Drew Reid was raised in Philadelphia. Known as “DidgeriDrew,” he is the only American-born Scotsman of the band. Despite his geographic location, as a child, he was surrounded by Scottish music and Scottish heritage. As a young man backpacking in Colorado, he bought his first didgeridoo.
“We are very fortunate to be working with Catamount Arts in securing their big portable stage for this show,” said GNWCA President Charlie Jordan. “This outdoor blast will go on rain or shine.”
Tickets for this show have already been selling throughout the region and are available, at $20 per person, online at www.gnwca.org, or in person at Fiddleheads, 110 Main St. in Colebrook. For more information about the band, visit http://www.albannachmusic.com. For any questions about the show, call 246-8998.