"The Old Celts knew, that of all the sounds that mankind could make,
only the pipes could be heard in both worlds."
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Mike "Pops" McGee
“Michael “Pops” McGee is a bagpiper from Arizona, he currently has two albums available for purchase. His album, ‘Live from Potter’s Field,’ offers a nice collection of solo pipe tunes, many of them Christmas songs. The piping on this album is very good. Steady tone, and a chanter that blends well with the drones. These two often overlooked aspects of the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes are very important in the playing and presentation of the instrument. Michael McGee is no virtuoso, but I find it rather refreshing to listen to an album of solo piping that presents tunes in a stripped down manner that allows the tonal quality of the instrument to shine in a way that is usually lost in the blazing fast tunes common to solo piping collections. In addition to the Christmas tunes there are also several trad. tunes and some old hymns. A very enjoyable selection of solo piping, definitely worth checking out.
The new album (Good Night From Arcadian Haven) is finished at last! I
laid down the final track today. This project started out as a St.
Paddy’s project for release last March, but my son’s passing threw it
quite a curve. Now, I’ve got myself back together, and modified the
album to be more of a tribute to Evan.
I’ve incorporated some Small Pipes on the album in addition to a solo
Chanter. I hope you like it, it should be available early August on
CDBaby.com. I’ll also be posting the tunes on Soundcloud.com,
Reverbnation.com, and naturally, my page on Facebook.
My new album “Live
From Potter’s Field” is now selling on iTunes, as well as Amazon, CD Baby, Google
Play, Zonga, and several others!
This just seemed
like a “win-win” for everybody. You get
16 Bagpipe solos for the price of only 10.
Of course, if you only want to download a single tune you can do that
too. I’ve tried to include at least 1
tune for every occasion.
What kind of album title is
that? Well now, that is a secret. I can't tell you. But there
are more than enough clues on the album for you to figure it out!
Now, head for your closet, break out and dust off the old boom box!
Tracks one through four are Christmas carols. Theseare great to take caroling with you.
More than enough to get you and your's some cookies and cocoa, but not so
much as to get you "ran off"! “Good King Wencelas”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Joy To The World”
and “Oh Come All ye Faithful”. All guaranteed to bring Christmas cheer
to your neighbors.
In keeping with the holiday I follow those four with three hymns, “Nearer My God To Thee” (made famous by
the sinking of the Titanic), “Holy, Holy,
Holy” (which is a great recessional for emptying a chapel after services),
and a great short processional, “Praise
God From Whom All Blessings Flow”.
And, in acknowledging the more melancholy side of the Celtic spirit,
I've included four tunes for a passing; “Pleyel's Hymn”, “Going Home”, “Amazing Grace”, and a special short
medley of “Taps” and “Rally Round The Flag”.
Then... on a lighter note, I have also included “Happy Birthday To You”, and Wagner's “Bridal March”. I can't be too
Finally, I wrap it up with three classic Bagpipe marches; “Scotland The Brave”, “The Minstrel Boy To
The War Has Gone” and “The Rising Of
The Moon” (also known by “Wearing Of
The Green”.) The more astute among you will recognize the last two as
extreme Irish. I was going to include “God
Save Ireland”, but decided it was a little too strident for the season.
All of these tunes are performed on a single stand of bagpipes and are
exactly what you will have if you hire a piper to stand there beside you and
perform the tune. No vocals, no accompaniment, no editing tricks, just
pure piping. Very good for the Piper, very good for you and very good for
So download “Live From Potter’s Field” for some "instant gratification".
If I'm lucky enough to meet you at a gig I'll be sure to have a hard copy
CD to sell you!
July 11, 2013 I had the honor of piping my father home. The story of his 92 years would make Indiana Jones look like a cowardly school boy. To quote my cousin "he was the Dad we all wished we had". Blessings on the Wind, Father. The likes of you will not be seen again.
One of things I
enjoy most about the parties and events I play is when people come up and ask
to have their picture taken with me. Fun
for the Patron and fun for the Piper. Sadly though, I seldom if ever see these great
So the thought hit
me, if you will email your pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org , I will post
them on my various sites (Facebook, Reverbnation, etc) and give you credit for
the photo. Unless of course, you ask me
not to post it.
This seems to be one of those regretable moments when "Life" gets in the way of "Planning". I seem to have develop a few health issues that are going to prclude my piping for the next week or two! Once again, I'll miss this great Parade.
Regardless of my situation though, you should still plan on attending this magnificent event. And that's not just my opinion!
By Linda Kor:
"As the holiday season nears Winslow is planning to welcome it in with its 66th annual Christmas parade at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. This years’ theme is “Get Your Christmas Kicks on Route 66,” with the Standin’ on the Corner Foundation members past and present as the grand marshals. The Winslow Christmas Parade draws residents and guests from all around the state to enjoy what always proves to be a joyful holiday experience. Estimated crowds of up to 10,000 have been known to be in attendance, making Winslow’s Christmas Parade the largest in all of northern Arizona. Thank you."
Warmest regards, and see you soon, Michael "Pops" McGee
I ply my craft in the Great Southwestern Desert,as my Little Brother says "midway between sunrise over the haunted Superstition Mnts. and sunset over the desolate White Tank range. For the less poetic that would be Phoenix, Arizona. Ah, but where do I live? High on the Colorado Plateau. Deep with in an ancient forest that turned to stone millions of years ago!
I play bagpipes. Perhaps some still, starry, desert evening you've heard my piping on the soft, warm night air of the vast desert?
You'll know it's me, by the sparing use of ornamentation. I just refuse to guild the lilly. But that's OK! You see, the secret to piping is to play for yourself. If you're having fun, those around you will too. As long as the drones and chanter fill your heart and the hearts of those around you with mirth and joy, the ruckus you raise will be your own reward! Believe me when I tell you that nothing can raise a ruckus like a stand of bagpipes. No wonder the Saxons declared them an "instrument of war"!