PLATTSBURGH - The Toronto-based Celtic rock band Enter the Haggis is making its rounds across the East Coast for its annual month-long St. Patrick's Day celebration tour, and they're stopping here.
The four-man band, fresh off their week-long Cayamo Cruise out of Miami, will be bringing their unique blend of sounds from a fiddle, bagpipes, whistle, harmonica, piano, guitar, bass and drums, said guitar player and vocalist Trevor Lewington. The fusion of their sound, said Lewington, is what attracts people to their music.
"Our fiddle player was classically trained, grew up competing on the Canadian Old-Time fiddling circuit, and listening to Smashing Pumpkins," Lewington said, referring to Brian Buchanan. "Our bagpipe player [Craig Downie] came over from Scotland as a kid and picked up the pipes while living in Canada. Our bass player and drummer [Mark Abraham and Bruce McCarthy, respectively] went to college for jazz and I took a world music program in university."
Lewington said it's also the songwriting which makes their music standout and brings out energy in their shows.
"Of course, our amazing fashion sense doesn't hurt," he said.
Though the band has a performance lined up for this Sunday, March 13, at Gilligan's Getaway, it's not the first time they've been in the city by the lake.
"We played the Mayor's Cup back in 2003, I think it was. It was a huge show," recalled Lewington. "We met Paul Frederick and John Campbell there, who produced our PBS special, 'Live at Lanigan's Ball,' which was recorded at SUNY Plattsburgh ... We made a lot of fans through the Mayor's Cup and PBS filming, who have continued to come to shows through the years. Nice folks who are enthusiastic about music."
The band has played through 47 states and across their native Canada since they formed in 1996, and even toured in Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and Italy.
"This summer we're going back to Germany for an amazing festival in the courtyard of a 12th century castle," said Lewington.
According to Kellyn Slone, who handles public relations for Enter The Haggis, the band will head into the studio in April to begin recording its next studio album, the follow-up to 2009's Gutter Anthems. The band is "turning to its rabid fanbase for some financial help" and will offer "a slew of ways for them to get involved with the record" in return. That includes being able to get pre-sale signed copies to participating in the recording process - even getting a tattoo with Buchanan.
(Editor's Note: Enter the Haggis will play their all-ages show Sunday at Gilligan's, 7160, State Route 9, beginning at 8 p.m. Fans can find more info on the band's Web site, www.enterthehaggis.com, or find them on Facebook.