5.0. Has Something for Everyone
I really couldn’t imagine listening to an entire album of bagpipes… Well, I couldn’t until I heard The Rogues latest album, 5.O.
The fifth release by Houston’s remarkable bagpipe & percussion quartet, The Rogues, is not just another bagpipe album. It’s the crossover album that will make fans of those who never before liked the bagpipes. The Rogues take a very traditional instrument, add modern arrangements and a very Celtic world-beat sound, to create a Grammy*-nominated masterpiece. (*I was mistaken with the original post. The band was not nominated for a Grammy.)
“Gypsy” was my first favorite tune from the album. It opens with very simple flamenco-like percussion and adds The Rogues’ signature dual bagpipes of Jimmy Mitchell and Lars Sloan. Then enter the percussive magic of Randy Wothke who backs Leandra La Greca…a Gypsy Flamenco dancer! The song stands out as an introduction to the beautiful mischief yet to come.
“Bonny Portmore” belongs in a movie. The familiar melody opens with Wothke on keyboards and Brian Thomas of the Houston Symphony on French Horn. How they were able to blend that horn with two Bb bagpipes that enter in the second verse, I don¹t know, but the result is amazing and sounds wonderful, as does Wothke’s original aire, “The Rose of Sharon.”
5.0 has tunes for the traditionalists, but also features some of the newly, vogue bagpipe rock. “Cullen Anderson” by Lars Sloan is an epic bagpipe rock song with beautiful guest vocals by Emily Vacek. It smokes with a full drum kit, blazing bagpipes and some rocking Bazouki-playing by Wolf Loescher. And of course, the one thing you can always expect from any of The Rogues albums is that their roguish sense of humor permeates throughout the album.
5.0 has something for everyone from the newbie to the seasoned Celtic music fan. When you listen to it, you will find something that will bring a smile to your face and have you listening to the album again and again for many years to come.
Similar Artists: Tannahill Weavers, Rare Air, Bagpipe music bands
Cats. Kilts. Science Fiction. Irish drinking songs. Nowhere else but from the bizarre imagination of Marc Gunn would those four elements be so riotously integrated. He is the Chief Editor of the Celtic Music Magazine and host of the award-winning Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.