Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums Wake Up There, Man!

Texas Platters

Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums

Wake Up There, Man!

The story is not apocryphal: Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums might not exist as a band if Kevin Kendryx hadn't worn a kilt to celebrate Sean Connery's birthday in 1977. While many bands boast auspicious beginnings, few have the longevity of local 23-year-old bagpipe and drum outfit, headed today by pipe major Ken Liechti. Of course any bagpipe group is going to find itself in a class of its own in Austin, Texas, the sympathetic support of the local Celtic community notwithstanding. Through sheer dedication and no fear of the avant-garde (they merged temporarily with percussion group Sambaxé to produce an album a couple of years ago), STPD have developed a rabid following even among those for whom bagpipes are synonymous with torture. Wake Up features seamless medleys of non-traditional and original tunes -- where else might you hear Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" done on pipes? -- but it's the haunting traditional renditions ("Mrs. MacDougal," "Come By the Hills," "Castle Dangerous") that truly capture the Highland heart. Even in Texas.

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