April 16, 2015

Journey almost complete for Pipes & Sticks project

The original somewhat bizarre trek down the USA’s apocryphal Route 66 rock n roll highway took only a few weeks when drummers Mike Cole and Jim Kilpatrick and pipers Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Willie McCallum drove and played across the country in 2012.

Three years later the ambitious Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 movie project will finally become available following lengthy appeals for Kickstarter funding and sponsors to make the product a reality.

Filmmaker John McDonald of Pasadena, California, who tagged along with the five musicians capturing performances at all kinds of unusual places and all sorts of intriguing characters, said he got extra incentive to get the product out when the five stars of the show confirmed that they would be at the “Master Class Seminars” workshop later in the month.

Mike Cole, Jim Kilpatrick, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Willie McCallum (L-R) cool their barking dogs in the Pacific Ocean at the end of their 2012 Route 66 journey.


“We are finally releasing Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 to the world, almost three years to the day from when the tour ended on the shores of Pacific,” McDonald said. “What gave us the incentive to complete the project was learning that the five guys would all be in Peterborough at the end of the month. We did not want to miss this unique opportunity to have a launch party on April 25.”

The five pipers and drummers fulfilled a nostalgia-laced dream to travel down the now mostly dilapidated US Highway 66, once the major thoroughfare across the Midwestern and Western US, starting in Chicago and finishing in California.

In addition to a packaged DVD, Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 will be available to stream or download on the net. Pricing is not yet known.

Cole, Liddell, Kilpatrick, MacColl and McCallum each contributed to a diary of the trip in a multi-part series on pipes|drums in sync with the journey in 2012. Readers can search the pipes|drums Archive for all of the installments. Just key in “Route 66” in the Title field.

McDonald also created On The Day, a movie from the 2008 Spirit of Scotland Grade 1 band of superstar pipers and drummers, which assembled for one week, competed in the World Pipe Band Championships, qualified for the Final, and finished eleventh overall.


  1. Many thanks to Willie, Jim, Stuart, Mike and Angus for inviting me along to film their ambitious road trip. I can’t imagine a better way to have experienced “The Mother Road of America.” Even though there were a few bumps, blind curves, potholes and detours, both on the road and in completing the documentary, we always knew we would arrive at our destination. I also want to thank our incredible film crew, especially co-producer and fellow piper Jim Allan for donating so much of his time, talent and resources to the project. And finally, a huge thanks to those in our piping and drumming community who joined the journey by donating money to the project so that we can all now get our vicarious kicks on Route 66. — John McDonald, Director



Forgotten Password?