In the beginning, all was darkness — but lets skip signifigantly ahead…
The short story is that BagpiperDon jammed with a drum kit player at the end of Bumbershoot 2004. That session was recorded — the results of it were rough, but it sparked an idea in him. In the following years Don co-found a band called The Bag’n’Pipe Hoppers with the drum kit player from Bumbershoot. The Hoppers explored musically and performed as long and as far as they could go and then called it good.
Around 2006 Don formed Circle of Stone with his friend Anthony — who played a lot like Neal Peart of Rush.
Unfortunately, the name “Circle of Stone” had already been used by a metal band that was no longer playing …so… after some deliberating Don suggested that they become known as “Nae Regrets” – honoring one of his bagpipe-heroes, Martyn Bennett (RIP), taking the name from a track from Martyn Bennett’s last album.
Don and Anthony recorded a session album just before Northwest Folklife 2008 and were looking forward to a weekend of performing and releasing the band’s first album upon the world. About a week and a half before the event, Anthony unfortunately had to drop out. Don quickly went to work to save the day and find a replacement drum kit player.
While Don spoke with a number of good prospects, none seemed quite right or capable of filling Anthony’s shoes. Remembering that his boss’s husband was a professional drummer, and running out of time, Don crossed his fingers and spoke with his boss. Before he could finish his inquiry, a phone number with the name ”Thane” was put into his hands. Something in the first phone call let Don know that this was the drummer to work with. They met and jammed on the following Tuesday evening — a mere 3 days before the big annual event. In audition Thane proved that he was every bit the player Anthony had been — possibly better — and came in with an inextinguishable positive attitude. The new roots of Nae Regrets had been planted.
Folklife 2008 was was big success for Nae Regrets — saved with the support of some dancers, a few other musicians and the help of some generous friends, Thane and Don experienced a great musical success. Among other work, Nae Regrets played Mick Finsters’ 2009 StPat’s show, and by Folklife 2009 had solidly attracted Andrew to play Highland snare and Paul playing backing Highland bagpipes, Carol performing bellydance and Maggie providing Highland dance.
In time for Folklife 2009 Thane & Don worked up a professionally manufactured album – Ceòl gu Brath EP (“Music Forever”). An associate of Don’s in Texas — Sam, a photographer and graphic artist — very generously contributed his gifts helping to bring the album to fruition. Nae Regrets went on to sell more than 75% of the original stock over the four day weekend — which was easy to do with such great response from their Folklife audiences when an energy not previously see came from Nae Regrets.
Toward the end of the weekend, Don recorded 4 hours of Nae Regrets performing — mere luck akin nothing short of capturing lightening in a bottle — which a year later was made into the first full length album “Alive at Northwest Folklife 2009″.