This year at the Games, we’re going on a musical adventure. We’re going to tell the stories of what became of Scottish music after it reached American shores. Our Festival Music Stage will take a journey with Scottish music, through the Appalachians where it became bluegrass, to the honky-tonks of Nashville and Bakersfield where it evolved into Country Music, when it met the Blues and became rock’n’roll. Along the way, we’ll feature two Ayrshire lads: Jamie McGeechan, a terrific award-winning singer songwriter who recently moved from Scotland to America; and John Ballantyne whose brand of house-rocking honky-tonk is well known on the Chicago music scene. We’re delighted to continue our partnership with our friends at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, whose incredible teachers will join us on stage (Cook County Revelers and the Silver Rose Trio). And, we’re absolutely thrilled that a group of superb jazz musicians, the Charlie O’Neill Trio, from DePaul University’s Music School will explore Scottish music and well known Scottish melodies through experimental improvisation. Artist bios below. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey…..bring your dancing shoes and your sense of adventure!
Award winning singer-songwriter
Born in Falkirk and raised in Ayrshire, Jamie has released three albums to date, High Hopes in 2015, Midnight Kingdom in 2020 (which was nominated for Scottish Album of The Year) and Roots in 2016 (which saw Jamie record the songs of Robert Burns live inside Burns Cottage in Alloway, Scotland making history as the first person to do this). Jamie has performed at festivals across the world including Celtic Connections and The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Camperdown Burns Festival in Australia, New York Tartan Week, New Hampshire Highland Games, ScotFest in Oklahoma, Ohio Scottish Games and the South East Florida Scottish Festival. Jamie has performed on TV shows including BBC Alba’s RAPAL show, STV’s The Hour and has had his music played on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio Scotland and Celtic Music Radio. At times performing under his own name and other times performing under the name of ‘Little Fire’ Jamie has experimented with sounds and genres through his career so far but his distinctive vocals remain a constant throughout.
Jamie McGeehan performs at 5.30pm on Friday, June 17th and at 12:00pm & 5pm on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
The Cook County Revelers
The Cook County Revelers is one half of the Volo Bogtrotters, one of the Midwest’s favorite old-time string bands over the last four decades. Fiddler Paul Tyler is a folklorist and scholar of early country music. Banjoist Fred Campeau and guitarist Steve Rosen are multi-instrumentalists conversant in many styles of American folk music. They are chiefly sought out for the drive they bring to square and contra dance events. Paul and Steve are teacher’s at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.
The Cook County Revelers perform at 7:00pm Friday, June 17, 2022.
Silver Rose Trio
Three of the Midwest’s most beloved performers of Rockabilly, Swing, Folk and Oldtime Country combine talents in this stunning trio: Barb Silverman “folk festival in a box” from Laketown Buskers and Teflons fame; Steve Rosen “Folk Buddha” from the Volo Bogtrotters; and regional go-to fiddler Rick Veras who appeared with Rocky Stone, Patsy Montana and in multiple theatre productions. Silver Rose supports rich vocal harmony with an arsenal of banjo, washboard, guitar, mandolin, bones, fiddle, feet, and their obvious deep love of American roots music. Barb, Steve and Rick are teachers at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.
The Silver Rose Trio perform at 3:00pm on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Charlie O’Neill Trio
Charlie O’Neill is a jazz drummer from Chicago. He is joined by Leo Buczkowski on bass and Adam Kastler on piano. They are all jazz performance students at DePaul University. The Charlie O’Neill Trio will explore Scottish tunes and improvise around famous Scottish melodies.
The Charlie O’Neill Trio perform at pm on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart
John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart bring a mix of Honky-Tonk, old school country originals and deep cut covers (all delivered with dry humor and a sense of great fun) that will transport you to a Texas dance hall for the night. Born in Scotland but raised on pure Honky-Tonk, Ballantyne delivers authentic Americana with his talented Chicago based crew. Some of you might spot a familiar face playing bass guitar with Crazy Heart. Genuine Scottish-American-Houserockin’-Honky-Tonk.
John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart perform at 8.30pm on Friday, June 17th and 7.30pm on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Buy Tickets for the 2022 Scottish Festival & Highland Games to be held June 17-18 at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca.