- Corporate body
Écosse is a combination of four of the National Capital Region’s favourite musicians.
The (thankfully) ubiquitous James Stephens does what he does best: he plays a dozen or so instruments, adds his wonderful voice and, with Duncan, directs the musical flow of the band. James will be remembered by many for his time with legendary Ottawa groups Fat Man Waving and Six Mile Bridge. He recorded, engineered and helped produce Écosse’s new album (The Auld Alliance) at his Stove Sound studio in Chelsea.
Duncan Gillis is another of the region’s brightest lights. Former bands include the brilliant and extremely popular Jimmy George. Duncan cut his musical teeth amongst the pipe band community and in countless sessions and groups over the years. He is an incredible piper and flute player who also adds his fine vocal talents to the mix. As well as all of the above, this new album highlights Duncan’s own invention, the Highland hornpipe, which is an integral part of Écosse’s sound. Duncan is the son of Cape Breton piper Allan James Gillis.
Wakefield’s Bobby Watt has been a fixture on the Canadian folk scene since before the Celtic surge welled up from the shores of Cape Breton and flowed over the rest of the country. A singer since his teens in his native Scotland, he was described by Warren Robinson, a past president of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, as “The best male voice in traditional music, anywhere!”
This motley crew is held together and indeed driven on by the wonderful drumming and percussive talents of Rob Graves, whose world beat rhythms add a decidedly exotic flavour to the Celtic and Québécois influences of the band.