North Sea

Mountain Home Music will kick off its 25th season of live music with a concert featuring Scottish band North Sea Gas on April 20 in Boone.

Photo submitted

BOONE — Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music welcomes the North Sea Gas band back to the High Country for a special spring concert as part of its 25th Anniversary 2018 Concert Series.

This trio of highly entertaining musicians is one of Scotland’s most popular folk bands featuring great vocals and tremendous three part harmonies. Guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, harmonica, whistles, bodhrans, banjo and good humor are all part of the entertainment.

They have received Gold and Silver Disc awards from the Scottish Music Industry Association and regularly have sold out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! The concert takes place on Saturday, April 21 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Fans of JSMHM concerts may be aware that it is a bit unusual for Mountain Home Music to present a concert in April. According to its director, Rodney Sutton, “North Sea Gas (NSG) first played for a small house concert back in 2011. They returned in May of 2014 and received a standing ovation from a packed St. Luke’s chapel.

“We are hoping to build on the excitement that NSG has generated from these two lively concerts to bring in a large crowd to welcome them back for this JSMHM’s 25th Anniversary spring performance.”

North Sea Gas concerts and their albums consist of traditional, contemporary, and self-penned material, put together in a style all their own. This proves popular during their regular tours of Scotland, America, Canada, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Turkey and many other destinations both in and outside of their home in Scotland.

Every year there are appearances on TV and radio on both sides of the Atlantic including “Late Night Saturday,” “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour” (one of the biggest radio shows of its kind in the USA), and “Song of the Mountains,” shown on select PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) TV stations in the U.S.

North Sea Gas consist of founding member, Dave Gilfillan, who is originally from Edinburgh. He plays guitar, banjo, mandola, bodhran, foot drum, harmonica and whistle. Gilfillan has built up a reputation for rousing sing-along vocals and big heartfelt ballads. Add to that his sense of on-stage fun and tongue-in-check humor and you can see why his brand of folk music has taken him and his band all over the world.

Ronnie McDonald, is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, lived in Australia for many years, but now lives in Edinburgh. “Mac,” as he’s also known, has been involved with music and in bands most of his life. He joined the band in 2002. He plays guitar and bouzouki and sings both lead and harmony.

Grant Simpson is originally from Lossiemouth in the northeast of Scotland, but now he is also living in Edinburgh. He has been playing fiddle since he was a very young child. He is the youngest member of NSG, joining them in 2006. Besides playing fiddle he also sings harmony vocals, the occasional solo, and plays guitar, bouzouki and mandola.

North Sea Gas has released 19 albums with “Fire in the Glen” being the most recent and are constantly adding new material to their shows. Their prior album, “The Fire and the Passion of Scotland,” won the 2013 Album of the Year award from Celtic Radio in the U.S. as well as first place in the “Jigs and Reels” category for the set of tunes on the album.

All of their previous albums continue to be very popular with fans all over the world evidenced by the Scottish Music Industry Association awarding FOUR awards in October 2014 for: “Dark Island” (gold); “Lochanside” (silver); “Glencoe Massacre”(silver); “Edinburgh Toon”(silver). In 2016, THREE more silver awards came for “Rosslyn;” “Take A Dram Afore Ye Go;” and “The Fire and the Passion of Scotland.”

In the past the band recorded for Chinese television with an estimated audience of 800 million, played in Istanbul, Turkey for the British Consulate, and recently had the honor of performing at the famous Rosslyn Chapel. In addition to regular tours abroad, NSG continues to take their show to theaters, arts centers and community halls around Scotland.

This concert is supported by Mountain Times Publishing, High Country Press, The Watauga Arts Council, and Grassroots funding from The NC Arts Council. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is also proud to be included as a site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BlueRidgeMusicNC.com).

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 170 Council St. Boone, NC behind Earth Fare).

Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $5. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. For this concert, advance tickets may only be purchased online at mountainhomemusic.org

Directions and more info can also be found at our website.

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