"What the bloody blazes is haggis?" you might ask. According to Wikipedia: Haggis is a kind of pungent, spicy pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock. It is traditionally encased in the animal's stomach (though most modern haggis is made in sausage casings now) and simmered for approximately three hours. It is a traditional Scottish/Celtic dish and considered by many to be the national dish of Scotland. To many people in the U.S. the idea of eating what is usually thrown out does not appeal, however the taste is much more delicate than the ingredients suggest (this from a friend who tried it).
Now that you know where the name came from, Enter The Haggis is a band that combines traditional Scottish music with many other genres of music. They use modern instruments along with traditional Celtic instruments such as; pennywhistles, fiddles, accordion and, yes, bagpipes. And to make things more interesting they are Canadian, based in Toronto. They formed in 1996 and this is their 6th disc. Like the dish from which they take their name the music is a seamless blend of Celtic, Rock & Roll, folk, with a bit of Jazz, and Classical thrown in for that delicate gumbo (that upon occasion rocks) that this bend serves up.
The band has a rich full sound that truly blends the instruments, rhythms and sensibilities of the all the forms of music, concentrating though on both Celtic and Rock & Roll genres. The vocals are tight and clean harmonically. In addition to the traditional instruments there is liberal and effective use of cello and banjo. It is a very layered blend of 'roots' rock music. They also make very effective use of abrupt shifts in the music, for example going along in a pleasant folk vein and suddenly shifting to heavier R & R sonically and then jumping back again, and it all seems the natural order of things until one thinks about what just happened. An interesting band with freshness instilled in their music and its presentation.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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