Brian Dickson has been playing traditional Scottish and Irish music for over 4 decades, from humble beginnings at age 17 on amateur stages in Scottish folk clubs, to concert and festival appearances in Canada, Germany and the USA including a concert appearance at the prestigious seven Celtic nation "Festival Interceltique" De Lorient, this is arguably the largest Celtic Festivals on the planet; running for nine days the event takes over the streets and venues of the coastal community Lorient, Brittany. Locals who don't like hearing Pipe band music day and night shutter up their homes and leave town for the week.
"I had the honor of traveling abroad as the lead male vocalist with a Scottish themed stage show called "Come by the Hills." This 40 person variety show featured the impressive Pipes and Drums of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, along with the highly accomplished Schiehallion Dancers who included in their ranks at least two World Champion Highland Dancers, the Schiehallions dance choreographer a World Champion herself is also an highly respected International Highland Dance Judge. So believe me when I say the dancers and choreography were outstanding.
I was the lead male vocalist in the shows group of Celtic musicians featuring harp, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and harmony vocals. The highlight for me was leading the finale with the pipes and drums backing me up, this was one of those hair on the back of your neck moments, imagine the whole cast assembled wearing their fine colors and tartans as we built the finale from a simple solo singer to a rousing anthem performed by the whole cast. That time was so special to me, and I miss it a lot."
Without a doubt Brian's voice is his strength, ranging from deep baritone and bass across three octave's to falsetto tenor, Brian truly creates magical interpretations and moods drawing his audience into each song.
Each show is laced with stories and Scottish humor, "It's not just about the music, I want my shows to be a cultural experience for the audience, I want them to laugh and I want them to cry." Brian's rendition of 'Danny Boy' has become his most requested song and the one that draws the most tears. "Danny Boy has been so overdone over the years and I really hesitated to include this in my shows, but once performed this song took on a life of it's own, I can't get away from it now, it has become a part of every show. I just hope that my rendition pays the song proper respect. A song done properly creates a mood and if any song needs to be treated properly it's "Danny Boy," for some reason this song resonates home with every individual in my audiences, I see it in their faces, and this effects the way I deliver the song, many in the audience drifting off to a deeply personal and sacred place."
Brian accompanies himself playing 6 string guitar and harmonica and occasionally picks up the Bodhran (Celtic war drum) for some driving anthems. And speaking of drums Brian added drum machine rhythms "to fill out my sound and pump up some of the toe tappers," and 3 voice harmonizer "to fill in the choruses a bit." With harmonica & guitar, drums & harmonies it certainly sounds like more than one person on stage.
If the technology is available (Plasma or LCD TV or a presentation projector,) Brian also has available for your production a slide show of Scottish Scenery to project behind his performance, this will surely further create a special atmosphere and "A Wee Breath O' Scotland," guaranteed to make anyone want to visit the highlands.
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