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A rollicking rock band with strong Celtic influences that somehow makes electric guitars and bagpipes sound good together. Band members include Struby (bass guitar & vocals), Kirk McLeod (frontman: vocals, guitars, keyboard, Highland bagpipes), Crisco (drums), Scott Long (Highland bagpipes, shuttle pipes, electric chanter, mandolin) and Dan Stacey (fiddle, remarkably...ah...energetic step dancing). Originally named "Clan Na Gael," Seven Nations has become the most popular band on the U.S. Highland Games and Scottish festival circuit.

Their original piper, Neil Anderson (the "Antipypr"), is an accomplished player who struck off on his own into an experimental jazz-fusion zone. Since his departure, 7N has drifted away from doing rock retreads of traditional Scottish music and more toward original, less Celtic-dependent songs. Oddly enough, this happened as they traded in a frenetic, innovative piper (Anderson) for Long's more traditional, Nova Scotian piping. Their most recent release, and now it's come to this is a pure rock and roll album with one instrumental.

Discography:


Track listing for Seven Nations, released October 2000 by Q Records, an Atlantic subsidiary:

  1. Big Dog
  2. All You People
  3. Under the Milky Way
  4. O'er the Moor and Among the Heather
  5. Twelve
  6. King of Oblivion
  7. Jig in E Minor
  8. Scream
  9. The Surprise Ceilidh Band Set
  10. Seeds of Life
  11. God
  12. The Pipe Set
  13. Trains

Except for "Big Dog," "Under the Milky Way," and "Twelve," all of the songs on Seven Nations were released on The Pictou Sessions. If you have the one, you don't really need the other unless you're a completist. For that matter, "Twelve" is simply remastered from The Factory. Think of this as a mass-market introduction to the band rather than a completely new work.

The two new tracks are very strong, however, showing the band's growth since the Neil Anderson days. Both of these Antipypr-era standards receive an energy infusion as well as added depth thanks to Dan Stacey's fiddle.

If you're new to the band, this is an excellent place to start.

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