January 31, 2008

Cousin joins pop musicians to form new bagpipe ‘supergroup’

Lorne Cousin on stage during Madonna's 2004 Re-invention World Tour.With a January 24th performance at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival under its belt, Lorne Cousin‘s new “bagpipe supergroup,” DRAM!, is setting out to change the way the world thinks of Highland piping by putting it in context with mainstream popular music.

Cousin, who performed as a prominent act during Madonna’s 2004 “Re-invention” world tour, has joined up with Los Angeles-based musicians Steve Sidelnyk (Madonna, The Verve, Massive Attack), Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly) and Sean Spuehler (Madonna, Blur, William Orbit) to form the new band, which performed for the first time in Shanghai last August at the launch of the Dewar’s Academy of Whisky.

According to Cousin, the band aims to extend the boundaries of traditional bagpipe music and “reconstruct it for a universal audience never before reached.” The group has already recorded 10 tracks that will be released as part of an album, and has signed a publishing deal with Notting Hill Music.

“I am very excited about this project and privileged to be playing with musicians of such calibre,” Cousin said. “It is testament to the product we have that these guys wish to be involved. This is bagpipe music as you have never heard it before and is very exciting. We are based in Los Angeles and are now looking to perform at gigs not only in the States but across the world.”

Originally from Campbelltown, Scotland, Lorne Cousin was a successful solo piper on the Scottish circuit until he turned his sights on integrating Highland piping with pop music full time. Among his awards was being named # 6 on Scotland On Sunday‘s list of Scotland’s most eligible bachelors.


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