Tartanic
Gig Seeker Pro

Tartanic

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band World Celtic

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Enter the Houston, Texas-based Tartanic. Astute and self-assured enough to fly in the face of contemporary convention, Tartanic combines monster musicianship, aesthetic diversity and new wave-era passion and conviction into a formidable combination that may, given the proper exposure, single-handedly provide the aesthetic impetus necessary to end the musical doldrums.

Fronted by the highly charismatic percussionist Adrian Walter, Tartanic draws its distinctive musical persona from the twin bagpipes and a bevy of bass-heavy percussion.

Throughout the proceedings, the level of musicianship remains remarkably high, at times even reflecting the improvisational perspective espoused by such jazz giants as John Coltrane, Herman “Sun Ra” Blount and Charles Mingus.

But can Tartanic make the necessary transition from studio visionaries to a formidable live entity? In concert, Tartanic brings an inspiring and reassuring ferocity and intensity to the proceedings, drawing enthusiastic response from Renaissance purists and rock and roll enthusiasts alike.

And as Tartanic has most aptly demonstrate[s]...inspiration, combined with their own perspiration, has combined to provide what could likely be a key voice in a new musical generation.
- Michael McDowell, Blitz Magazine


Tartanic, a Houston bagpipe band with a comedic edge, returns to Eureka Springs for the second January in a row, and frontman Adrian Walter hopes the performance is met with the same enthusiasm.

"We felt like Scottish ambassadors," Walter says of last year's visit. "We were probably treated better than we deserve! But everyone had a good time, especially at the after-party at the Pied Piper!

To go from the auditorium to the 'ye old pub' setting was really a treat." Tartanic was born out of Walter's interest in the Texas Renaissance Festival and the bagpipe ensembles he saw there. "It wasn't too long before I picked out some dances and a little drumming," he recounts. In 1998, he formed the Loch Dhu Dancers, named after a single-malt Scotch whiskey.

"We were different because we were young, pushing the envelope, dancing to Celtic rock," he says. "People liked the dancing and comedy but they loved the music!”

Tartanic has been happily playing Renaissance festivals, Highland Games, Irish Festivals, International festivals and shows like the one in Eureka Springs ever since, and Walter admits the "Tartanic experience" bagpipers leaping from the stage and running through the audience, dancing with the lassies and mixing bagpipe classics like "Amazing Grace" with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"has acquired quite a following. "It's like a rock ‘n’ roll unplugged bagpipe theater show without a plot," he says.

"We do a fully audience-integrated show that goes against the usual band formula.”

Maybe it's normal to follow a band from Arizona, California,Texas, Kansas City, to Michigan, just to swoon over the frontman. And it's undeniably strange that the band that evokes this level of devotion is a bagpipe band: "Imagine one dancer, six drums, six drones, 18 notes,fast fingers,high comedy, flying bagpipes, taste-defying stunts and scorching hot music played at over 120 beats per minute with driving speed and high-volume, all brought to you by five men without pants," describes Walter, a frontman in the best Mick Jagger tradition.

"I thought playing the anachronism of a rock star at a Renaissance festival would really give people a unique experience," explains Walter, the dancer and drummer who founded and fronts Houston bagpipe band Tartanic. "Most people don't get to walk around in a kilt and sunglasses! Why wouldn't you want to go for that?"

By Becca Bacon Martin
The Morning News
Northwest Arkansas
- Becca Bacon Martin, The Morning News NW Arkansas


The sky was blue, the sun was warm and the stage was blindingly lit by too much natural sunlight. Empty benches sat waiting for an audience. The audience stood not far away, under spreading oaks, while a wonderful ruckus of bagpipes and drums called in ever more eager participants. Under the shade, in the dirt, Tartanic was on display.

Perhaps "display" is too formal a word. Half the reason they were in the dirt was to play with the audience. That's "with," not just "for." While Renaissance fair concerts are almost always participatory affairs, few groups take it to such extremes. Moving far from the "clap on cue" rules, members of the band hauled in parts of the audience to dance, chased each other around with sticks, flipped up their kilts and performed a few acrobatics that left the life of their instruments, if not themselves, in the hands of startled listeners.

Those of the audience not bold enough to join in the show were kept pinned by some of the best traditional Scottish music ever played by a bunch of Americans. Playing such classic tunes as "Scotland the Brave," "The Ladies' Hornpipe" and of course the ancient "Smoke on the Water," the four-player group proved it's not the size of the band, it's what you do with it. Two bagpipes and two drummers are more than enough to trump an orchestra for sheer richness of sound, if they have enough flair.

Tartanic has flair and to spare. The mingling of drums and bagpipes is perhaps the only music that could compete with TRF's finale fireworks show for sheer sensory exaltation. Heard at the end of the day, under the blazing rockets, Tartanic is the spotlight. But their daily performances are a more accessible treat, and will leave you with stories to tell your family on your return home.
- Sarah Meador, Rambles Magazine


Discography

Universal, 2012
Uncensored Vol II: Unbelievably Steamed, 2011
Unfaire, 2010
Unavoidable (Greatest Hits), 2009
Uncivilized, 2008
Unleashed, 2008
Unstoppable, 2007
UncensoreI Vol. I, 2007
Unmistakeable, 2005
Unthinkable, 2003

Photos

Bio

Nationally, Tartanic has been a favorite for better than ten consecutive years in Texas, Arizona, and Michigan Renaissance and Music festivals.  While adding new horizons in their 18 state-hopping history of performances at Highland Games, Irish Festivals and Renaissance Faires; they remain a universal, cross-cultural favorite.

Dressed in kilts and sunglasses, Tartanic gives its audiences a barrage of sound from not one but TWO Highland Bagpipes, 2 percussionists, 2 smokin' dancers, 8 drums, 6 drones, 18 notes, fast fingers, high comedy, flying bagpipes, taste-defying stunts and scorching hot music played at over 120 beats per minute with driving speed and high-volume, all brought to you by 4 men without pants and 2 talented lasses.

For instant media, Facebook has been where our 42K+ (gaining 30K in just the last three years!) fans post all the latest pics and vids--or Youtube (TartanicTV is our channel).  Whether we like it or not, it's all out there. 

So far, our relationship with our fans for the last 12 years has been to our favor, with Renaissance Magazine (and Podcast) Annual Awards (chosen by fans) leading Tartanic to earn a “#1 Best Musical Group of 2014” spot as well as for the last 4 years (2013-10) and a “Best CD of 2014”—which was not even Renaissance music per se—but a modern mix of traditional and non-traditional "bagpipery" meets EDM (Electronic Dance Music). 

Band Members