This year the Games is bringing back some of our most popular Celtic performers, Men of Worth and Cathy Speer. We also welcome two popular local groups - new this year - New Shilling and Rose in the Heather, both most sought-after Celtic bands in the Pacific Northwest. New Shilling will perform both on the Entertainment Stage during the day and at the Ceilidh in the evening. In addition, we will have the "rock" band, Saturated Phats, performing Friday night at the pre-Games event.
Cruising along the road of Portland area bands you will find Saturated Phats parked at the intersection of rock, pop, celtic and country. The band crafts its music with care and energy, making sure dancers can dance, singers can sing (along) and drinkers can drink.
At performances you'll hear songs you know and songs that you'll learn to love from the band's debut CD. Give a listen on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other websites. Saturated Phats is excited to be performing at the Portland Highland Games.
Band members are Brian Baker (Clan Gunn), guitar and vocals; Ronnie Neighorn, guitar, keyboard and vocals; John Keys (Clan McDonald) saxophone and flute; Ryan Marquardt, bass; and Judas Espinor, drums and vocals. View their Facebook page here.
New Shilling plays traditional Celtic music with a modern groove - from heart-breaking ballads to classic pub tunes, from tender love songs to jigs and reels that will make you want to get up and dance. New Shilling's soaring fiddle and stirring pipes, laid against an energizing rhythm, make this band a local favorite.
The members of New Shilling are four of the most popular Celtic musicians in the Pacific Northwest and known for their inventive, fun and exceptional musicianship.
The band can easily transform from traditional Irish and Scottish songs and instrumentals to jazz, country, reggae, old rock and roll, and any combination of the above! All the members have played together in various bands over the years, including the fondly remembered Full Shilling.
Peter Yeates (guitar, lead and backing vocals) is a veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist from Dublin, Ireland. He has taken his early rock roots and combined them with his Celtic influences to create a hard-driving yet soulful sound. Peter has toured much of the world as a solo act and also with various Irish musicians, including James Kelly (Planxty, Patrick Street), Noel Hill (Planxty), Tommy Hayes (Stockton's Wing) and accordion player Paddy O'Brian.
Eddie Parente (fiddle, backing vocals), from Jersey City, NJ, is a master violinist whose classical training and jazz rhythms, country swing, Celtic sensibilities and sense of fun make him one of the Pacific Northwest's most sought-after fiddlers. Eddie has played with Touchstone (winners of Folk Album of the Year), The Trail Band, Full Shilling and myriad other groups.
Rob Barrick (bass, Highland pipes, electronic pipes) of Victoria, BC, a life-long piper, began his musical life playing in competitive pipe bands. After moving to the US, he played bass in several rock bands before collaborating with Peter Yeates to form Full Shilling, a Celtic fusion group. His rock-steady bass grounds and propels New Shilling's sound. Rob has also played and recorded with a wide variety of Portland area Celtic groups. He is also an approved adjudicator through the BC Pipers Association and is much in demand as a piper for Highland dance competitions.
Ken Larson (bodhrán, lead and backing vocals) originally from Minneapolis, MN, has developed an inventive and unique style in his three decades of playing bodhrán. He pulls an amazing range of sounds from the simple Irish drum. He has toured the US with Peter Yeates, in the nearly twenty years of collaboration, and has also performed and recorded with some of the premier Celtic groups in the Portland area.
Rose in the Heather
Folk, Celtic, contemporary ballads, fiddle, rhythm and melody guitars, bass, percussion and vocals bring you traditional and new sounds by this fun group of Celtic musicians. Band members are Julie "Rose" Zamudio, Mike Zamudio, Chris Huye, John Parrott, Curt Erickson, Lisa Cogrove and Mark Nielsen.
To learn more about the band and their music, go to www.RoseInTheHeather.com.
Men of Worth
The folk-music duo, Men of Worth, was formed by James Keigher (Ireland) and Donnie Macdonald (Isle of Lewis, Scotland) in 1986. They each play a handful of instruments, among them mandolin, guitar, concertina and bodhran, a handheld drum. James and Donnie are now living in Southern Oregon and Northern California respectively.
Men of Worth’s tunes and songs are authentic, closely connected to their heritage. Scotsman Donnie Macdonald sings some in his native Gaelic, while Irishman James Keigher includes time-polished pieces saved from the oral traditions of his native County Mayo.
The emotion and tradition of their homeland song heritage stayed with the pair. "We could
not grow away from those sounds," said Macdonald, "so we have preserved them as accurately
and authentically as we can, in our performances." "We entertain people with the real music of
our regions; we have an ancient yet fresh musical story to tell."
Sometimes that music comes from prosaic sources – Keigher wrote one song after overhearing two old ladies gossiping about him in a village market – and sometimes from traditional music passed down the generations. Several of Macdonald’s songs come from his mother’s own poetry and from Hebridean crofters’ airs.
Together Men of Worth blend their voices with harmony and support their collection of songs with their varied selection of instruments. They have a very simple approach to their presentation, and in keeping with tradition, remain true to the music and story. Their show is a unique combination of humor, exciting tunes, and soulful, heartfelt ballads.
Men of Worth are an international act and have earned much respect and success in two decades of touring, playing concerts across the US, from Alaska to Texas. They also take guided tours to their own musical roots; leading folk fans to the western isles of Scotland and to Ireland’s heartland to hear the music of the isles in its own home. Cultural presentations in schools have received rave reviews by students and teachers alike. Performing in concerts, festivals, and having recorded ten albums, Men of Worth continue the very tradition from which they evolved.
Cathy Speer has been a musical guest at the Portland Highland Games for a number of years and it is one of her favorite places to perform. With her loyal guitar, Cathy sings both traditional Celtic songs and those that she has written. Her pure and gentle voice can soothe even the most savage beast! Folks who listen come away relaxed and uplifted.
Cathy loves her Scottish heritage and owes much of her love for Celtic music to her grandmother's southern musical roots. "What I love about singing folk music is the telling of a story in a way that touches the soul."
Cathy lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, with her two youngest children who sometimes perform with her. She invites you to come and listen, and even to sing along. You may contact her to sing at your special event or venue. firstname.lastname@example.org