Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Wicked Tinkers!

I am so sorry for you if you have never heard the Wicked Tinkers play. If you haven't then you should change that RIGHT away! Even better than hearing them play is SEEING them play. You are so lucky if you live locally...because they will be at the Bellingham Highland Games this weekend. You should come and see for yourself. You will feel like you have been thrown back in time and are sitting around a campfire of a Highland raiding party, or a family gathering. Their music is irresistible and thrilling. The raw tribal sound mixed with a "rock edge" is fantastic to experience. Their stage presence is a rare sight. They move through the crowd yelling and dancing as they play their instruments. (We learned the hard way that most men do not wear anything under their kilts....we had a little homeschool lesson in anatomy after one of them went spinning by.) Don't worry...just sit on a bench, not the grass.

They have been playing together since 1995 when bagpiper Aaron Shaw met bass drum player Warren Casey at The Celtic Arts Center in Los Angeles, CA. After playing together they realized there was a simple beauty when these two instruments were combined. Over the years, the band has evolved. Keith Jones joined in on snare drum and hand percussion in 2000, followed by CJ Henderson on didgeridoo and the recently discovered Bronze-Age Irish Horn – a sound that was lost for over three thousand years.

You may have seen them here and there on hit TV shows, music videos and movies. But I think where they shine the brightest is at the Games. Something about it dredges up feelings and memories we didn't know we had as we listen to their ancient music. You will have a hard time standing still. You will leave feeling like you MUST have some Celtic blood in you somewhere.

Tayler and Autumn have been dancing with them for years. After they compete it is tradition to go over to where the Tinkers are playing and do a Highland Fling with them. It is so cute to see all of the dancers just having fun. Competing is very nerve racking, so it's refreshing to see them dancing without fretting about perfection. They will do a Reel with the other dancers or go up and help beat the drums. I know that when they grow up, the Highland Games and dancing with the Wicked Tinkers will be something they will remember fondly.

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