By Jesse Bertel

 
The Prescott Celtic Concert Series presents Scotland’s top traditional folk band, the Old Blind Dogs, in concert at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave., Prescott.

“The Old Blind Dogs are one of the longest-playing groups in Scotland and are Scotland’s top traditional band,” said Prescott Celtic Concert Series’ organizer, promoter and producer David McNabb. “I am always very excited to be able to get them to Prescott.”

The band’s members are Jonny Hardie (the remaining original member) on fiddle/vocals, Aaron Jones on guizouki/vocals, Donald Hay on percussion/vocals, and Elias Alexander on highland pipes/whistles.

Jones spoke with Across the Street ahead of the performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

What does the band name, Old Blind Dogs, refer to?

The band name was taken from the lines of an American old-time song, which we used to sing back in the early 1990s. The song, “The Old Grey Mare” has a verse which goes, “The old blind dog, she stole all the sausages,” and the band agreed it would be a fun name.

What do you like most about playing Scottish folk music?

As ambassadors for our Scottish music, we’ve been lucky enough to travel the world for many years bringing our traditional music to audiences everywhere. Our music tells our history and the stories of our people, and it is a great privilege to be able to travel, meet amazing audiences, and perform it.

What is challenging about playing Scottish folk music?

Like any music, the instruments take many years to master (as anyone who has tried to play bagpipes will concur). We have a duty to carry our traditions forward while being respectful to its history, which is a big responsibility, but as veterans of the Celtic music scene in Scotland, we happily accept that challenge.

What can people expect to see at your show?

Our music can swing from high energy tunes to poignant heartfelt ballads and songs. There will be chances to dance and chances to sing, and the audience can expect to be transported to Scotland for a joyous, uplifting and fun evening of Scottish music from four of Scotland’s finest Celtic musicians.

What do audiences respond to most from seeing your
performance?

The shows are usually very high energy. Bagpipes stir the soul and it’s almost impossible not to at least toe tap when the rhythm section kicks in. The opportunity to sing collectively and share the joy we have when we perform, all endear lovely responses from our audiences.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for those older than 30, $15 for those between 19 and 30, and free for 18 and younger. Tickets at the door only by cash or check.

For more information, call McNabb at 928-771-1218.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Facebook @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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