The Tannahill Weavers
The Tannahill Weavers
Scotland’s finest traditional band.
April 7, 2022 at 7:30 p.m., Wright Auditorium, reserved seating.
Available now as a part of our “restart the arts” subscription. Five performances for $100. Available individually after 12/1 at $35.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, Scotland was in turmoil of change. Highlanders were being driven from their lands and into the burgeoning Lowland factory systems. This brought two quite distinct cultures together, the mystic Celtic culture of the North and the old Anglo/Scots culture of the Lowlands. They were married by the double-barreled shotgun of necessity and the Industrial Revolution. But this forced union brought forth a cultural heritage which, thanks to people like Robert Burns and Robert Tannahill, outlasted the worst of the Industrial Revolution. It married the mystic beauty of the Celtic music to the coarse, brawling, but vitally human music, poetry, and ballads of the Lowlands. It is precisely this strangely moving yet lustily stirring quality that the Tannahill Weavers have captured in their arrangements of the traditional music and songs of Scotland. All of their material is traditional, but as good musicians should, they have transformed it and brought it into the modern world, vitally alive and kicking.
As they enter their 53rd year in 2021, the Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland’s premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can’t get better…yet continue to do just that.
The Tannies have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, “The Tannahill Weavers – properly harnessed – could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of last night’s concert alone. The music may be old-time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight-ahead rock and roll.”
Born of a session in Paisley, Scotland, and named for the town’s historic weaving industry and local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, the group has made an international name for its special brand of Scottish music, blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms. The Tannahill Weavers began to attract attention when founding members Roy Gullane and Phil Smillie added the full-sized highland bagpipes to the on-stage presentations, the first professional Scottish folk group to successfully do so. The combination of the powerful pipe solos, Roy’s driving guitar backing and lead vocals, and Phil’s ethereal flute playing breathed new life into Scotland’s vast repertoire of traditional melodies and songs.
Over the years the Tannies have been trailblazers for Scottish music, and their tight harmonies and powerful, inventive arrangements have won them fans from beyond the folk and Celtic music scenes. In 2011 the band was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, and in 2018 they released their highly acclaimed 50th Anniversary album Òrach (“Golden” in Gaelic) on award-winning label Compass Records. In 2019 they were nominated for Folk Band of the Year and Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Awards, the industry’s highest awards in Scotland.
As they tour their 53rd year, the Tannahill Weavers are firmly established as one of the premier groups on the concert stage. From reflective ballads to footstomping reels and jigs, the variety and range of the material they perform is matched only by their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits.
Two acts with an intermission.
“…an especially eloquent mixture of the old and the new.” The New York Times
“Scotland’s Tannahill Weavers play acoustic instruments, but the atmosphere at their shows is electric…they can summon rock ‘n’ roll intensity or haunting introspection.” The Boston Globe
The Alexander Series is only possible because of you, dear ticketholder. Ticket sales are the foundation of our budget, and your support translates directly to our continued success. Additional support comes via our FRIENDS organization, ECU’s Student Involvement and Leadership, South Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. This series is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org.
This event is a part of the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series. Founded in 1962, the series presents world-class touring artists to support the quality of life for all eastern North Carolinians.
Buy tickets online or call 252-328-4788. This performance is available as part of the “restart the arts” package ($100 for five shows) through 12/15. Pilobolus may be purchased individually beginning 12/1 at $35.