Five well known pipers and drummers will get their kicks from Chicago to Los Angeles along the legendary Route 66 this spring taking their teaching and playing talents across the heartland of America in April 2012.
Dubbed “Pipes & Sticks on Route 66,” bass-drummer Mike Cole, snare-drummer Jim Kilpatrick, and pipers Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Willie McCallum will start in Chicago on April 2nd, with the first scheduled concert on April 7th at the Irish American Heritage Center Auditorium in Chicago.
“The idea hatched last May with a conversation Stuart [Liddell] and I had on a flight to the U.S.,” McCallum said. “We thought the trip sounded fantastic and we had both always wanted to do it. Doing it combined with the pipes sounded very logical. It then grew a bit when we considered how we could do some concerts, workshops with pipes and drums combined. We sat on it for a few weeks whilst we thought of the best way ahead.
“It was then a case of who we thought would be interested in coming along as a team of five.
Those we approached first agreed with no hesitation and we think it’s an amazingly talented line-up.”
Among the group is just about every important solo piping and drumming award, many of which have been won several times over. McCallum said that additional events will be announced as they are determined.
“We will stick as far as possible to the original Route 66, but there will be a few diversions along the way,” McCallum added, and said that the group will travel in a small bus, and will stay in motels en route.
A documentary film is also being planned, with Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band On The Day movie director John McDonald recording the adventure.
Before the United States developed the current Interstate system, Route 66 was the primary highway connecting the western half of the country, starting in Chicago and traversing St. Louis, Tulsa, Santa Fe, Flagstaff and ending in Los Angeles. Route 66 was made more famous referenced in several songs in the 1950s and ’60s.