Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Jimi rocks Devon with one of London's top wedding bands

Piping at a high society wedding in Devon Jimi joined one of London's best known wedding bands on stage for a rousing rendition of 'Summer of 69' by Bryan Adams.

No expense was spared to book Jimi for the wedding of Joanne Elisabeth Norton and Jack Wilson. The two day festival-style-wedding-weekender saw Jimi performing at the marriage ceremony in Sidmouth (on south coast) and again at the reception and after party at the rather glorious Bridwell House, mid Devon.

Jimi performed many sets over the weekend, both solo and with backing tracks. However, the highlight for many was his performance on stage with London's 'Hatband' - an amazing version of 'Summer of 69'

'Hatband' singer and guitarist Ed Dewson said he had asked Jimi to join them on stage for the climax of their Saturday night set. "Jimi is rock royalty, he really is. His reputation proceeds him. The people he has performed with over the years, the music he has composed and been involved with, the places he has been with his pipes, you name it, just amazing. It was great to finally meet him".

Added Ed: "Jimi came in for a chat while we were setting up. He was up for joining us on stage for a number and after checking out our set list we opted for 'Summer of 69' cos Jimi said he could jam along because we play it in the key of D.

"What a hoot we had. We never rehearsed together and I never dreamed it would sound so good. I did record the gig but it’s anybody’s guess as to how the audio turned out. I’ll check it out later in the week once the dust has settled and see if there’s anything useable".

Jimi said it had been great fun joining Ed and the Hatband on stage and a tremendous honour piping at Jo and Jack's wedding.

He added: "I was really impressed with Devon,  the green rolling countryside, the dramatic sea cliffs, sandy beaches and the laid back, friendly, welcoming nature of the people.

"Musically, I was well primed to join Ed and the lads on stage. Been spending a bit of time learning the piano. This has really increased my knowledge of musical scales and what my specially set up pipes are capable of. Working with singers Dan Donnelly and Mike McGrouther for our project 'An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman' has also been quite educational; a new challenge if you like. Now more than capable of jumping on stage and jamming with a rock band. No need to rehearse. Knowing the key is knowing what notes to play".

Jimi is booked to perform at three more weddings this month (June). He is also busy rehearsing and compiling material for 'An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman' set list.

More info on Ed and the Hatband at https://www.facebook.com/hatband/





Monday, 7 May 2018

Sell out debut gig for 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman'

'An Irishman, An Englishman and a Scotsman' - left to right Dan Donnelly, Mike Mcgrouther and Jimi McRae


What a crackin' debut gig for 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman' on Friday night.


 '''I can feel a tour of these isles coming on '' said Jimi. ''Really, really enjoyed myself and great to be on stage playing beside two such quality artists and singers.''


Jimi had been invited down to Stockton On Tees to perform alongside Englishman Mike Mcgrouther and Irishman Dan Donnelly. Mike is a well known musician and performer in NE England and Dan, originally from Belfast, is lead guitarist with 'The Wonderstuff'.


Jimi and Mike met and became friends while performing back to back sets at an arts & music festival in the city of Kunming, China last October. Mike was appearing with his band 'The Wildcats'. Jimi was performing solo with backing tracks. 


After returning from China, Mike was struck with the idea of bringing in Dan and Jimi to collaborate on a new project - 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman'. Friday night was their debut performance in the Arc venue, Stockton town centre with all three performing solo sets before joining each other on stage for a rousing 45 minute finale featuring a rockin' rhythm section and a 40 piece male voice choir.


Highlights of solo sets for Jimi were Dan's version of 'Alternative Ulster's by SLF and Mike's rendition of the Billy Bragg classic 'Between The Wars'. Standout moments of the joint set included 'Long Way To The Top' by ACDC, 'We Will Rock You' by Queen and Fleetwood Mac's 'Shine.


"Even 'Mull of Kintyre' sounded great and was fantastic to perform live for the first time in my life'' added Jimi. ''On a personal note, Paul McCartney's original was in the charts when I first started playing in my local pipe band as a very young novice piper way back in the winter of 1977/78. 


''It was quite emotional playing it on stage with the lads and looking back after all those years.''


All three artists are now looking at possible touring and festival dates for 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman' with the chance of a mini Scottish tour this coming August.


"The craic was good, the music was happening and people loved the show" added Jimi.  I feel a tour of these isles brewing. Watch this space".


Special thanks to Denise Bailey and Keith Bell for the pics from Friday night.

An Englishman

An Irishman

A Scotsman

On stage together with a rockin rhythm section and Stockton male voice choir.


Sunday, 22 April 2018

Jimi performs live with US million album seller Nathaniel Rateliff and band.

Great gig last night with outstanding American blue grass/folk singer Nathaniel Rateliff and band 'The Night Sweats' at the Usher hall, Edinburgh.

Jimi joined the guys on stage for three numbers including rousing show finale ''S.O.B', a hit from their million selling debut album 'Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats'. 

This was Denver based Nat and the band's last show in a two month sell out European tour so big party afterwards. ''Feeling the after effects this morning a wee bit.'' said Jimi. ''All good though and a fantastic honour to perform with such a great artist and band. Grand''

A wee bit video footage of Jimi, Nat and the guys (courtesy of Donna Wallace) below photos. Thanks to Martin Ross for the pics. Slainte Mhor! 


Monday, 2 April 2018

New digital EP of Taliesin poetry

Jimi has released more new material on Bandcamp. It features poetry by Taliesin and music composed and arranged by himself.  This follows the success of recent You Tube videos on the legendary six century Brythonic bard by Jimi and is part of an ongoing project. More arrangements of Taliesin poetry will be released via Bandcamp in the months ahead.

To listen and find out more please follow this link:  https://jimithepipermcrae.bandcamp.com/album/taliesin

Monday, 26 March 2018

New live venture for Jimi - 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman'

Jimi is teaming up with 'Wonderstuff' guitarist Dan Donnelly and fiddler Mike McGrother for a new live venture 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman'

They will perform together for the first time in Stockton on Tees May 4. 

 Dan Donnelly was born and raised in Belfast and is probably best known as guitarist in the indy rock band The Wonderstuff. The Wonderstuff enjoyed chart success in the late 1980s and early 1990s and still perform on the UK and European festival circuit today. Dan also sings, plays banjo and mandolin and was once described as ''a God on the loop pedal''

Mike McGrother fronts the popular NE of England folk rock group 'The Wildcats of Kilkenny'. He is also known for his pioneering work introducing music and the arts to disadvantaged young people in the Stockton/Middlesburgh areas.

Jimi and Mike first met while performing back to back shows during a week long music festival in Kunming, China last October. Mike was playing with the Wildcats. Jimi was performing solo with backing tracks.

"I always say one of the best things about being in a band is meeting people and musicians across the world" said Mike. "Jimi's bagpipe wizardry and music blew us away. Great guy too, a lot of fun to work with.

"When we returned home from China I was struck with the idea of  bringing in Dan and persuading Jimi to work on a new project entitled 'An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman'. Fortunately both agreed, just so long as we did one or two ACDC covers. Ok I said, let's do this".

An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman promises to be a totally unique collaboration featuring Mike's fiddle and folk tinged blarney, Dan's looped guitar drive and Jimi's distinctive bagpipe sound.

Tickets for the May 4 show can be booked by calling Stockton Arts Centre. The three lads promise to create a night of music, craic and merriment with an explosive finale of rousing 'celtic' anthemns.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

New Video of ancient poetry

Ancient poetry from the British Isles, from a time 1500 years ago when the common language in much of Scotland and the north of England was Cumbric or 'Old Welsh'. Special thanks to Professor Marged Haycock of Aberystwyth University in Wales without whose help this project would not have been possible. Diolch yn fawr i Marged. Parch! Thanks also to my artist friend Eric Clark for his work on this project, our third collaboration on poetry from yr Hen Ogledd (the Old North)

Heddwch! (Peace!)

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Monster Mix EP big hit on Bandcamp

With so far over 180 downloads since its release mid - December, Jimi's 'Monster Mix' EP has been a surprise success on the on-line global music download site 'Bandcamp'


Jimi has now been informed he qualifies for a 'Bandcamp Power-Up' (UPLOAD LIMIT INCREASED TO 600MB PER TRACK) 


Jimi said the 'Monster Mix' EP had been great fun and good business,  "particularly as it started out as just a punt to try out Bandcamp".


"I would like to thank everyone who hit the download button" he added. "I've received some great messages from people all around the world saying how much they enjoy the EP. It has also allowed me to reconnect with many old friends and fans who seem to love it"


Jimi said all forthcoming musical projects will be released on Bandcamp first. Click on link below EP cover photo to access Jimi's Bandcamp.