The Music Flowed in Williamsburg


By: Donovan Murray

The sounds from the stage this weekend at the Williamsburg Scottish Festival matched the turnout. It was GREAT! This is the second year Celtic Force has handled the entertainment for the festival, now into its third decade, and the combination of styles and personalities of the performers left those attending with wonderful memories. The weather turned out to be fantastic (no rain, a little warm) and the full moon that delivered its smile on Saturday night topped off a perfect evening. Seems that a new attendance record was set as well. Those performing not only complimented each other but there were several times during the weekend that different artists joined others on stage for a once in a lifetime jam.

As usual the power and sound of pipes and drums delivered by Albannach had everyone moving to the primal tunes and screaming loud enough to reach Richmond. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas wowed the audience with their blend of fiddle and cello that delivered listeners the passion and intensity of instruments that have left their marks on Celtic music history. Coyote Run, normally a long way from home, were pumped to be playing in their own backyard with sets that demonstrated their unique abilities, highlighted by tight harmonies and theatrical presentations, that took the audience to new places in the Celtic music experience. And when you consider that Williamsburg honors the military during their weekend, it was fitting to have the Air Force Heritage Aire Celtic Ensemble, based out of Langley, playing traditional and lighthearted tunes that showcased those individual musicians’ talents.

You know you have a good blend of talent when you see members of Coyote Run, along with Alasdair Fraser, join the Air Force Ensemble for a tune. To see the crowd on its feet getting dance step instructions from Alasdair so that everyone knows how to do a Scottish reel adds a special something to the day. Having local musicians such as So’loch & a group based out of the Green Oak Pub in Virginia Beach add their talents to the mix. And then Albannach invites Coyote Run & Graham Smith to join them on the final song of the weekend to end with a bang. That’s special!

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