Music

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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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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Scottish Thunder – Storming Your Castle

Austin, Texas has been home to a 10-gallon-hatful of innovative bands: Butthole Surfers, Spoon, Black Angels, The Dicks, Poi Dog Pondering and 13th Floor Elevators just to name a few. It cultivates an artistic environment that makes musicians explore, take chances and...

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