2019 line up


ALBANNACH 

Bareknuckle Pipes & Drums

Founded in 2005, this Pipes & Drum band has taken the USA by storm. Their unique style, charismatic stage performance, and love for all things Scottish has drawn crowds from coast to coast.

A MUST SEE! Not just another Scottish Pipes & Drums band! Albannach’s primal drumming and precise piping stirs the soul of anyone who hears them- young and old! These folks ARE Highlanders! Scottish Warriors to the Core!

Albannach is Scots-Gaelic for “Scottish” or “Scotsman”.

That’s exactly what we are. Albannach is comprised of three Scotsmen and one Scottish lass, all born and bred in Scotland! Our fifth and newest member is an American born Scot, but we won’t hold it against him. Our main purpose in life is to share our intriguing culture, history and heritage with you by means of our music.

Albannach is not just another Scottish ‘Pipes & Drums’ band, our primal drumming and precise piping stirs the soul of anyone who hears them – young and old! With a champion piper, an award winning lead drummer, the unique sounds and talents of a didgeridoo player, and the tribal style bass drumming – our music isn’t for the faint of heart! It’s aggressive, like a Celtic punch to the face!

With 5 CDs, 1 Documentary (Scotumentary), Multiple Fan Tours to Scotland, Canada and the open sea; the Nach Army is 43k and growing!

These Celtic Rock Stars are as charismatic off stage as they are on. Being charming, intelligent, funny AND Scottish make all the right ingredients for a great interview. Radio, TV, Print they are comfortable with it all!

 Albannach Web Site                   Connect on Facebook


 

 

BLACK MARKET HAGGIS

Better Than It Sounds

 

Black Market HaggisMike Clem, Andy Kruspe, and Garrett Smith have been playing Celtic music together in one form or another since 2010. During this time, they kept a running tab of cool band names and even better album names. When it came time to form a trio, "Black Market Haggis" became the clear choice for a band name. So they did what every new band should do when starting out- they searched their band name on the internet to see if it had already been taken. Predictably, no band has ever used that moniker. However, they did find that there is a demand for such a product since the USDA will not allow real haggis in the United States.

Then in the fall of 2015, the band lucked out. The band had been looking for vocalist, and Chenoa Clark's schedule was finally able to accommodate our musical shenanigans. She joined the band, and the boys have had to watch their language ever since."

 

 Black Market Haggis Website                    Connect on Facebook

 

 


 

 

The Celtic Martins


Celtic MartinsFeaturing award winning instrumentalists and dancers, the Celtic Martins from Southeastern Pennsylvania have been entertaining audiences for well over a decade with their high energy, fiddle driven Celtic music and Irish dance. Their creative upbeat arrangements based on original and centuries-old traditional Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, French Canadian, and Americana tunes, are joyful and infectious, leaving listeners with both a sense of satisfaction and a desire for more. Their shows also feature Irish step dancing by the Martin sisters, always a crowd favorite.

The Celtic Martins is truly a family band. The six Martin siblings each began their musical career with the fiddle around the tender age of 5, branching out over time to other instruments, including Irish whistles, bagpipes, guitar, accordion, cello, percussion and vocals. They are joined by their parents and brother-in-law on guitar, bass and drums. The Celtic Martins have been performing since 2004 and have quickly became a musical sensation, appearing nationwide at various festivals, theaters and other venues such as the Bethlehem Music Fest, Smoky Mountain Highland Games, the Kutztown Folk Festival, Bitterroot Valley Highland Games, and more.

 

The Celtic Martins Website                    Connect on Facebook


 

 

COLIN GRANT-ADAMs

As a solo artist, Colin touches every emotion with his enthusiastic, high-energy, professional and artistic performance, tailored to fit any occasion, Scottish, Irish, Folk, Schools or Workshops. His captivating repertoire of Traditional Celtic-American, bluegrass and nationally acclaimed original material is delivered with his powerful tenor voice, and fiery quick guitar together with irrepressible good humor and stories. This, mixed with sing-along songs and even some unbelievable yodeling, appeals to audiences of all ages.

Colin Grant-Adams Web Site                            Connect on Facebook


 

The GOOD THYMES CEILIDH BAND

2016 Good Thymes Band

 The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band formed in 2008 from members of the Knoxville Scottish Music Club. They play fiery Scottish tunes, including jigs, reels, strathspeys, waltzes, and lovely slow airs. The band is comprised of five musicians playing fiddles, a guitar, and hammered dulcimer - often changing up the sounds with penny whistle, bodhran, mandolin, vocals, and occasional step dancing. This group shares their love of Scottish music and performs repertoire that illustrates the shared influences on the old time traditional music often enjoyed in Appalachia and beyond. Players can be heard at the Scottish session held at Boyd's Jig and Reel in Knoxville on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. 

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highland reign 

 

Highland Reign

Highland Reign, an international touring Scots American Folk Rock Band from Indianapolis, takes the tunes of the old country and breathes a rocking new life into them!

With traditionals such as "American Stranger", originals like "Carry On" and "The Streets of Edinburgh ", and many many more, Highland Reign has become one of America's favorite Scottish Folk Rock Bands!

With over 20,000 CDs sold, the new CD, "JACOBITE", is now available! This CD has the trademark upbeat vocals, lilting Scots Irish fiddle , catchy lyrics, and bagpipes/guitars!! Many of the songs were written while on their tour of Scotland/Ireland! Highland reign appears at venues and festivals all across America , Scotland and Ireland!

With wailing bagpipes/guitar tunes, lilting fiddles, and upbeat vocals, Highland reign will rock you back to the old country!!!

Highland Reign Band                                        Connect on Facebook

 


 

 

MacGilliossa 

MacGilliossa  is a Florida-based Scottish/Celtic influenced, national touring band playing a mix of traditional songs and tunes and their own original compositions.

Featuring guitars, drums, bagpipes, the fiddle, bodhran, bouzouki and whistle, MacGilliossa are crowd-pleasing, high energy performers led by Scottish immigrant, champion bagpiper, singer/songwriter Paul Macleish, Kathryn Parker on fiddle and bass guitar, Dominick Mandano on percussion and KT Scott on bagpipes and Irish whistle.

 

MacGilliossa Website                    Connect on Facebook


 

 

O'Kennessee Strings

Led by Conny Ottway

Student Concert
Saturday 12:30-1:15 PM 

St. Andrews Stage

 

O'Kennessee StringsThe O’Kennessee Strings student group of instructor, Conny Ottway started in Murray, Kentucky in 1995, performing for the Western Kentucky Scottish Highland Games and the local Robert Burns Dinners.  Because the string players were from both KY and TN, the name was chosen to reflect that fact.  In 2009, Conny moved to Knoxville and started up the O’Kennessee Strings again, the first performance was the 2010 Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games.


 

 

 

 

The Piper Jones Band

The Piper Jones Band has one mission: to bring spirited, magical dance tunes and songs to everyone - from Celtic music veterans to those hearing it for the first time.

The Piper Jones BandThe Piper Jones Band is a lyrical, high energy trio based on the moving and beautiful sounds of the Highland bagpipes, accompanied by unique percussive chords from the bouzouki and inspired drums. While maintaining a strong musical base in traditional tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Appalachia, the group also performs original instrumental compositions and powerful vocal harmonies, as well as stepping off stage from time to time to lead the audience in traditional Celtic dances. The Piper Jones Band brings authentic, traditional music to your audience in a fresh, entertaining way.

Piper EJ Jones has been performing and excelling as a performer of traditional Highland bagpipe music and folk music since he first picked up the pipes in 1987. He co-founded the renowned group Clandestine in 1991, with whom he produced five albums and won multiple awards. In addition, he also performs with Medieval dance band Brizeus and produced a solo album, The Willow, with Gerry O’Beirne and Rosie Shipley. Know for his technical expertise and lyrical piping, EJ can be heard piping for other artists such as Ed Miller, Robert Earl Keen, and many more. EJ is currently serving as the Concert Director for Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, the largest Highland Games in the United States. In addition to performing with the Piper Jones Band, EJ also teaches piping privately and at workshops and seminars across the country. In his spare time, EJ also creates bespoke, handcrafted smallpipes through his pipemaking company, Tidy Cottage Smallpipes.

Frances Cunningham is a native of Southeast Texas and fell into Irish music at an early age. She learned the Irish Bouzouki and became a founding member of the Celtic Rock band SixMileBridge which recorded and toured heavily from the late 90s into the 2000s. She moved to Nashville where she picked up the Tenor Banjo and since then has gone on to be an in-demand accompanist and session musician in the Nashville recording scene. She is a winner of the Midwest Fleadh on both the Bouzouki and Banjo.

Frances spent 5 years playing the Bouzouki weekly on the Grand Ole Opry in the Mike Snider String Band and was very pleased to be an ambassador for the instrument to Country music audiences during those years. She currently tours with EJ Jones in the Piper Jones Band singing, playing, composing and Scottish Step Dancing. She released her first solo album last year which has been featured on Fiona Ritchie’s ‘Thistle and Shamrock’ as well as other radio shows.

 

The Piper Jones Band Website                  Connect on Facebook       Video


 

 

 

 

 

Seven to the Sea

Seven to the Sea hails from Nashville, Tennessee. Their music is a blend of what they've heard and enjoyed all of their lives: styles that run the gamut from bluegrass to folk, Celtic, and rock. They've taken the best of what excites them musically.

Seven to the Sea grew out of the Nashville Celtic music scene of the early 2000's. Travis Johnson and Tom Saffell played together on numerous occasions before coming together to produce a debut album as The Fells: "A Moral There Must Surely Be." With fiddler Jennifer Halenar, The Fells found regional success and toured regularly throughout the southeast.

After Jennifer's departure, they re-christened themselves "Seven to the Sea," and embarked on a somewhat different musical direction, allowing latent influences from far-flung styles to enter into their songwriting. The result is the current EP, "Above & Below - Part 1," which was released on July 1, 2017.

At this point, their goal is to build upon their past successes, with highlights such as opening for Alison Krauss and appearing on Music City Roots.

 

Seven To The Sea Website             Connect on Facebook

 


 

 

 BOB VALENTINE

 

Bob Valentine will again be our Master of Ceremonies at the 2019 Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games. If you have seen him perform - then you know why we keep asking him back! If you haven't seen him - don't miss him! Whether it’s an intimate Burns Supper or a huge festival, Bob will keep you entertained with his jokes, songs, and unique (and often times warped) view of life.  

Bob Valentine Web Site                  Connect on Facebook


 

 

Here is a sampling of past entertainers who have appeared on our stages!

John Miles (2018)

Historical Lecturer

John Miles is a retired US Marine Corps Officer and former college professor that now delivers lectures on Scottish history and other historical topics to groups. I have presented lectures to multiple Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festivals throughout the U.S.

John Miles was previously or is presently a member of Clan Gillean USA, Clan Donnachaidh USA, The Scottish American Military Society (SAMS), Scottish American Society Palm Beach, FL, the St. Andrew's Society of Albany, NY, the Scottish American Society of Tidewater, VA, and the Robert Burns Society of the Midlands, SC.

John Miles volunteers as a guest history lecturer at the Vermont Veterans' Home and has spoken to the Vermont Governor's Veterans' Education Committee (GVEC). In addition to the highland games and veteran's organizations, John also gives historical presentations at multiple Assisted Living Facilities and libraries in South Carolina.

John received a Master’s degree in Military Studies (military history) from American Military University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in History from Texas A&M University.

John Miles is a six-time published author in Marine Corps Gazette, the professional journal of the Marine Corps. His article on Highland Regiments service in North America was published by Scots Heritage Magazine in its Spring 2017 edition. His article on Martial Bagpiping was published by Pipes & Drums in its’ July 2017 edition. Additionally, the magazine History Scotland recently published his article online Iconic Songs of World War One sung by Scottish Singers.

 

Website     Online Article


 

 

Marci the Entertainer (2018)

Singer and Story Teller

“Give me a stage, and I will entertain you,” has been Marci Salyer Nimick’s credo ever since she was old enough to know what that means. Couple that with her belief that all the world is indeed a stage, and you will understand why her friends and fans have dubbed her Marci the Entertainer.
When you see a Marci the Entertainer show, you never know what you will get—stories, music, poetry, dancing. The only thing you can predict is unpredictability. Marci’s lively performances take her audiences on journeys from the soul-searchingly profound to the toe-tappingly upbeat to the humorously irreverent. Marci wears her Appalachian roots, her 1980’s rocker fashion, her quick wit and her sentimental spirit as badges of honor. She knows exactly who she is and exactly how she got that way.
Marci the EntertainerMarci was born to the bluegrass music stage. She grew up on the road with her father, South Salyer, who is a member of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. She had her first paying gig more than 30 years ago at age 13. In the years since, Marci has been simultaneously living out all of her performance dreams—from the college classroom to the keynote speaker podium to the Opry spotlight to the International Storytelling Center stage.
Marci’s love of words and their power to affect audiences led her to a life of writing and performing. A prolific bluegrass songwriter, Marci also writes blues, country, swing, jazz, and alternative rock. However, her songs and her performances are always under the influence of grass—bluegrass, that is. Bluegrass Unlimited, the premier bluegrass music magazine, hails Marci as a creative singer and songwriter. “Marci’s got the charm and delivery that audiences want,” says Mike Dunbar, Nashville promoter, host, producer, and songwriter. “Her music is bluegrass that’s bluesy and sassy, and her lyrics are entertaining and thoughtful.”
Marci always was a storyteller; she just didn’t know that storytelling was a “thing”. After years of calling herself a singer-songwriter, a musician, a professor and a professional speaker who used stories to enhance her music and to engage students and conventioneers, Marci began calling herself a storyteller who uses everything she must touch people. Marci tells stories with her whole body, her whole soul and her whole heart. In fact, a line from one of her songs says, “I tear my heart out every night and leave it on the stage.”
Marci’s bubbly, upbeat, optimistic and always entertaining personality makes her a standout on any stage. You could call Marci Salyer Nimick a singer, a songwriter, a musician, a storyteller, a speaker, a buck dancer, a humorist, an actor, or you can simply call her Marci the Entertainer.

Web Site 


 

 

The Selkie Girls (2018)

Hometown Coppell, Texas

The Selkie Girls PhotoIn a little over four years, The Selkie Girls have made a huge impression on the local and regional music scene. The band (Allison Johnson: guitar/vocals, JaycieSkidmore: penny whistle/flutes/vocals, Dave Ervin: guitar/vocals, Joel Black: upright and fretless acoustic bass, Martin McCall: percussion, and Linda Mudd: harp) has performed at the most sought-after events throughout Texas:

*North Texas Irish Festival
*Austin Celtic Festival
*Texas Scottish Festival
*Kimbell Art Museum
*Grapevine Grapefest
*Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse
*Dallas's Trinity Hall Pub

Whether it’s an intimate private event or a packed performance hall, The Selkie Girls provide an unforgettable music experience. The Selkie Girls recently released their third CD, Pirate Queen, which has received rave reviews and has been selling steadily at live shows and through iTunes and Amazon. Their music has been featured on popular radio shows in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., and their unique take on the Celtic/Folk music tradition, built upon lush vocal harmonies and dynamic instrumental arrangements, never fails to captivate audiences both old and young. With a repertoire including ancient laments, contemporary ballads, traditional Irish tunes, Scottish Gaelic folk, and a few foot-stomping jigs and reels, there's never a dull moment.

 

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Tannahill Weavers (2018)

This band is 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.

Connect on Facebook                         Tannahill Weavers Web Site


Trip Rogers (2018)

  Trip Rogers has been performing Celtic music throughout the Southeastern US for 15 years. As half of the traditional Celtic duo Thistledown Tinkers and lead guitarist and vocalist for the Celtic rock band Stirling Bridge, he has played at many of the Scottish Highland Games in the region, including Grandfather Mountain, Loch Norman, Charleston, and Sarasota to name a few.

Trip is known for bringing lots of energy and humor to the stage, and gives traditional Celtic music styles a hard-driving southern rock attitude!

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Four Leaf Peat (2018)

Whether it's lively jigs and reels, slow airs, or songs, the spirit that gave birth to Irish traditional music can be felt in every set.

Four Leaf Peat is Chad Beauchaine on fiddle; Gil Draper on guitar, bouzouki and mandolin; Rick Hall on hammer dulcimer, vocals and bodhrán; and Jason Herrera on vocals, bodhrán, flute and whistle. 

Connect on Facebook              Four Leaf Peat Web Site