'Father' Mike
From Amherst Scottish Festival

Mike introduces Penny Whiskey.

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Well, after two days of riding 40+ miles, topped off with the Big Sugar concert Friday night, you’d think I’d take a day to rest. No, not when the Amherst Scottish Festival is the next day!

I’ve enjoyed this festival many times over the past years and didn’t see any reason not to go again this year. I always enjoy the music, whether it be the bands on the main stage or the pipe bands marching on the field. There’s just something about a couple dozen pipers and drummers marching towards you that just grabs you until you feel it in your gut. No wonder they went to battle that way, it sure intimidated their enemies.

Stone Row
From Amherst Scottish Festival

It was good too see so many friends there that I’ve come to know over the years, all fans of the music. Even a few others that I knew from other places. There was a pretty close-knit community of fans of the band Kilbrannan who all seemed to be there. Of course, that group has become two, Penny Whiskey and Stone Row, both of which played at the festival.

Penny Whiskey
From Amherst Scottish Festival

Kirk McWhorter, leader of Penny Whiskey, seemed to be in charge of the show, and had a great set of acts there. I didn’t get there early in the morning, so I didn’t see them all, but was there in time for those I really wanted to hear.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without something new to me and this year didn’t disappoint. I was introduced to the music of HarpBeat, a collaboration of a harpist, Carol Farrar and a duo, known as Step In Time. (Monte and Marcia Jones)

From Amherst Scottish Festival

Both accomplished acts, they were on the bill separately, but as the story was told on stage, they were appearing on a morning TV show where they were told there was only time left for one song and asked if they could do a song together. They rehearsed during a commercial break and pulled it off so well, they decided to work together.

Here’s a video of Stone Row