In a Knot
Twisted Knickers is a unique band. Starting with traditional Celtic music, drawn primarily from the Scots and Irish traditions, they use both traditional and modern instruments to interpret that music in their own style. Along the way, they add some more modern and original pieces selected to reflect not only the traditions of all Celts, but the way the world sees the Celtic peoples, and the way the Celts see themselves. Their range runs from Scottish reels, jigs and Strathspeys through Irish slip-jigs with marches and waltzes tossed into the mix for good measure. Vocal interpretations add yet another dimension to the mix, drawing from both traditional and modern sources. Twisted Knickers consists of Linda McNair on Celtic harp, Arthur McNair on penny whistle and squeeze box, Beth Chatham doing percussion, concentrating primarily on bodhran, the traditional Irish frame drum, and Bruce Golightly, playing 12 string guitar, bodhran and whistle. Everyone pitches in on vocals, with different members of the band being featured in some pieces. Linda concentrates on harp. She plays the melody line and provides a background to round out the sound of the band with equal ease. Her clear lead and marvelous, improvised harmonic lines carry within them the heritage of O'Carolan, the finest Irish harpist and composer of all time. Arthur shares the melody lines with Linda on whistle. On lead, he provides a strong, sure line for the rest of the band to weave around, but can drop into the background, playing harmonies that weave through the melody line like the whispering of the winds in the highlands. He's also responsible for many of the arrangements the band uses and is a composer. What would a Celtic band be without a percussionist? Beth Chatham provides the heartbeat of the band. Her sure hand on the bodhran lays down a beat that drives jigs and reels so certainly that anyone with a bit of Celtic blood in their veins is ready to start dancing. She can shift in an instant, though, to a muted percussion style that echoes the heartbeat of the musician and is truly the soul of Celtic music Beth also writes and composes. She's done several songs reflecting the Celtic world view. Bruce is the utility infielder. Adding guitar to build on the rhythms inherent to Celtic music, he can also branch out into playing lead. He can also pick up bodhran or whistle, allowing the band to freedom to explore unconventional arrangements. He is one of the composers and arrangers for the group. The CD 'In A Knot' is out first 'full length' outing. It contains music in the traditional forms, played with a more modern style and our unique approach while preserving the feel of the original Celtic forms. Part of this more modern 'feel' is due to the fact that some of the instrumentation either did not exist at the time the pieces were written or the unusual combination of instruments. Guitar, for example, was not in common use in the Celtic lands at the time most of these pieces were compossed, and combining Celtic harp with penny whistle and guitar was unheard of at the time.