Nevada City, CA April 10, 2023 – You don’t have to wait until next St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Celtic culture as Miners Foundry is pleased to announce the return of Skerryvore! The group makes a triumphant return to the US with their contemporary take on traditional Scottish music Sunday, April 23rd at 7:30pm.
With a mix of fiddle, accordions, pipes and whistles alongside guitar and vocals, underpinned by driving bass, drums, and keys, Skerryvore spent the better part of two decades bringing the best of the Scottish music scene to all manner of venues from dance halls and pubs to festivals and arenas around the world.
The original band met in a small town not unlike Nevada City, “It was very traditional,” recalled founding member Martin Gillespie, “We’re from Tiree, a small island of about 600 people and there’s a strong traditional influence there, so we started with bagpipes and accordion, playing the town halls of the Western Isles.”
Though some people might run for the Highlands at the mention of bagpipes, Gillespie encourages people to leave their expectations behind and allow themselves to be swept up in the modern sound, “Most [of the current lineup] weren’t brought up in a traditional background, so there’s a little more pop influence going on, elements of other genres and influences coming in. What people always say is ‘it’s not what I expected’.” Gillespie said with a smile, “It’s high energy, definitely gets you off your feet.”
Skerryvore has been named “Live Act of the Year” twice and their six studio albums demonstrate the wide range of influences each individual musician brings to the mix – a unique fusion of folk, traditional, rock, Americana, jazz, and more. Their forthcoming album, Tempus, promises to be a progression of this contemporary sound without alienating those fans who appreciate the band’s traditional roots. “It’s quite nerve-racking playing new material to people who have been with you for years,” Gillespie admits. “In the early days we made a significant shift and folks weren’t too keen. But our fans enjoy the ride and seeing where we’re going.”
Upon moving to Glasgow, the band picked up more members, including fiddler Craig Espie, who says that ceilidh music isn’t the only part of Scottish culture the band hopes to impart to their audience. “A few whiskeys is an integral part,” notes Espie. “There’s always a few whiskey references throughout the show. It’s an important part of our country, of our culture.”
A separate, pre-show event with the bandmembers is being offered (for those of age) who wish to add this element of Scotland to their Skerryvore experience – a fun and informative whiskey tasting before the show. “The Whiskey Sessions are something to set us apart,” said Espie. “[They are] a chance to promote Scottish culture, another arm of that. We like to do it in a less boring way than many.” In lieu of a culinary pairing, Skerryvore will pair each whiskey with music and stories that take place in the whiskey’s town of origin during a more intimate acoustic set. Gillespie said, “If you do the whiskey tasting, you might not remember the show as well as some but you’ll feel it deeper in your bones.” (A separate ticket is required to participate in the whiskey tasting event.)
The group had to take a hiatus from live shows during the COVID-19 pandemic, “We were in America and had to hoof it back,” recalls Espie. But the shutdown didn’t stop the music. The band learned to record and mix from home studios and continued to put out new songs. Their single “Everyday Heroes” helped raise thousands of pounds for National Health Service workers in the UK.
Now that they are touring again, Skerryvore looks forward to returning to America and experiencing the energy of a live crowd, where they really come into their own. “You can’t beat a home crowd,” Gillespie says, “The fans standing and going crazy. But some places in the US are pretty mad as well.”
Those hoping to give the hometown fans a run for their money can go mad at the Miners Foundry with Skerryvore, Sunday April 23rd.
For more information about coming events: www.minersfoundry.org
KNOW AND GO:
WHERE: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959, Call (530) 265-5040
WHEN: Sunday, April 23rd. Whiskey Tasting at 5:30pm, Doors 6:30pm, show 7:30pm
HOW: Show is $38 in Advance / $45 at the Door. Whiskey Tasting $55
Advance price closes at 4:00 p.m. the day of the show. Available online, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry Box Office: 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959 Tuesday – Friday | 9:00am – 4:00pm
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural art and community events center. More than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational, and social activities in Nevada County. It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.