Fleshmarket Close (Glad It’s Not Trad)

March 31, 2010 on 6:55 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Stories | 7 Comments

Of all the tunes I have built the one that gives me the most copyright grief is “Fleshmarket Close”. This tune wasn’t two years old and it appeared on a recording, a vinyl recording, with the dreaded “public domain/traditional” note. I won’t bother mentioning the offending parties – but it was not a bagpipe group. It was a “folk” band. Anyway, the cool part – especially thinking about it today – was the vinyl record bit of the story.
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So You Want to Compete at the Big Games

March 28, 2010 on 6:14 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Video | 4 Comments

Thanks to the recent purchase of a video-to-digital box I’ve been able to post some ancient video. This particular sample presents as a fine demo of what it’s really like to compete at a big outdoor contest – in this case, The Argyllshire Gathering, Oban, Scotland. While this comes from 1991 (gulp) things haven’t changed and what you see is what you get.
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New Calum MacCrimmon Recording

March 19, 2010 on 1:43 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, News, Reviews | 2 Comments

It seems somehow right that I should be listening to Calum MacCrimmon’s new record, “Man’s Ruin”, on a Westjet flight to Calgary. The Scotland-based Canadian piper/multi-instrumentalist – and heir to the MacCrimmon piping line – comes from Alberta. It was western Canada, too, in Saskatchewan (the place you can all “say without starting to stutter“), too, while teaching at that school I first met Calum. Anyway, gotta write about his CD work, its “excellento” as Jack or Victor might say. His music is cool in that confident, strutty, know-what-I’m-doin-and-I’m-doin-it sort of way. I guess that’s as a good a definition of cool as anything, isn’t it.
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The Megantic Outlaw

March 14, 2010 on 12:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Video | 1 Comment

Here’s some vintage footage: The Megantic Outlaw medley from the 78th Fraser Highlanders’ 1992 “Live in Canada” concert.
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Allemande Left (Nod to the Judge)

March 7, 2010 on 9:18 am by Michael Grey | In Solo Piping, Tips | 5 Comments

Last night’s final of the Toronto Branch of the Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s amateur knock-out was a first-class event. The morning after listening to a dozen excellent amateur pipers go through their paces got me to thinking. OK. I was thinking about this last night, but I’m still thinking about it this morning.
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Oldtime Maxville

March 2, 2010 on 8:28 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Pipe Bands, Stories | 2 Comments

I’ve had this ripped page from a really old magazine ad hanging around my desk for ever – on my handy magnetic bulletin board, to be precise. I don’t know about you but I tend to put stuff up on the fridge or the bulletin board and have every intention of “doing something with it”. Clippings, photos, ticket stubs, all kinds of bits and bobs, I set it aside and the only thing that happens is I forget about it all – and corners curl from age (kinda like pipers). I can’t remember where this particular bit of paper came from. Maybe someone gave it to me. It looks like it came from Popular Mechanics or a mag of similar dimensions. But it’s kind of interesting. So, here’s me doing something with it.
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