Category: Arts

The 1990s: A Good Decade For Men In Kilts At The Movies

Two movies that were issued in 1995 immediately spring to mind. They both portrayed real-life Scottish heroes of old. Liam Neeson starred as Scottish outlaw, Robert MacGregor, in Rob Roy and then there was Mel Gibson’s kilt-wearing portrayal of William Wallace in Braveheart. Whether William Wallace actually wore a kilt going into battle against the detestable English is a moot point, but it certainly made for some unforgettable scenes in the movie.

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Rufus Harley: America’s First Kilted Jazz Bagpiper

In 1963, while watching the Black Watch Pipe Band play at President Kennedy’s funeral, he found himself inspired to learn the bagpipes after unsuccessfully trying to mimic the bagpipe sound on his saxophone. Harley searched several local pawn shops for a decent set of bagpipes and finally found a set in New York City for $120. During his learning period, neighbors would call the police about the noice coming from Harley’s apartment. Harley would ask the cops, “Do I look like I’m Irish or Scottish?” keeping the police officers away long enough for him to learn the instrument. In 1964 Harley made his first public appearance playing his bagpipes.

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Book Review: Highland Fire: Guardians of the Stone, Book 1

In the year 1123, King David of Scotland has established a tenuous peace across the kingdom. Only one obstacle remains in his path towards lasting peace: the Dun Scoti, a wild Highland tribe fiercely opposed to outside rule. In a last-ditch effort to form an alliance with the dun Scoti, David arranges a marriage between clan leader Aidan and Lileas MacLaren. However, Lileas happens to be the daughter of the man who betrayed the dun Scoti clan, and lives under a tragic curse as punishment for her father’s crime. Even worse, Lileas is blackmailed into the arranged marriage under threat of bodily harm to her precious son. In spite of her troubled past, and his own resistance, the wild warrior Aidan finds himself growing unable to resist Lileas’s beauty and kindness. As kings and nobles play politics over the fate of Scotland, love brings two hearts together in a bond that will determine the land’s destiny.

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Book Review: Falling for the Highlander

Having been dealt one tragic blow after another, Lady Murine Carmichael comes under the cruel guardianship of her gambling drunkard of a half-brother. When Lord Danvries tries to sell Murine in exchange for a pair of Scottish horses, she decides enough is enough and boldly makes a break for it. To her surprise, Dougall Buchanan, the gallant Highlander who refused her brother’s offer, is more than willing to help Murine escape Lord Danvries’ clutches. Under the escort of Dougall and his valiant brothers, Murine sets out on the journey to freedom. But she gets more than she bargained for when and Dougall find themselves ever more drawn to each other. As she discovers that Dougall’s desire to protect her comes from a place far deeper than mere chivalry, and the passions he awakens within her, it isn’t long before she finds herself slipping under the dashing Highlander’s spell.

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20 Questions with Cooper McBean

Cooper McBean is guitarist and banjo player for The Devil Makes Three which, along with guitarist Pete Bernhard and upright bassist Lucia Turino, has become one of music’s more reliable and successful touring bands. Mixing bluegrass, rock, country, jazz and blues, the band continues to attract a diverse audience willing to support them in their exploration of sounds and styles. Life In A Kilt caught up with Cooper a few days before the release of “Redemption & Ruin,” the seventh album from The Devil Makes Three and we tossed out a few questions.

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The Kilted Snow Weasels: Carving Up Snow and Vikings in Canada

The Kilted Snow Weasels are a snow sculpting team based in Rockford, Illinois made up of members of “Clan McWeasel.” Angus McWeasel, Fergus McWeasel, Shamus McWeasel and Grunt McWeasel have, in one form or fashion, been snow sculpting for 21 years all over the Midwest. They are four-time Illinois State Champions and have placed as high as third place at the US National Snow Sculpting Competition.

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