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Drones and Bellows
the Dancing Dog (special guest, Brian McNeill)

The Danish-Scottish folk band's third recording (the second with McNeill's participation) finds them still in great form and full of ideas.

The Musicians:
Pam Naylor: flute, keyboard, smallpipes, whistle, vocals
Halvor Bogh: accordion, cittern, guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals
Anker Hintze: bodhran, percussion, eggs & bones, keyboard, vocals
Kenneth Reimer: double-bass, keyboard, guitar, vocals
Thomas Wieder: accordion, guitar, harmonica, vocals
Special guest: Brian McNeill: fiddle, concertina, bouzouki, banjo

" The Dancing Dog is a thoroughly enjoyable album, partially just because of the special, solid, less introspective spirit and musical patterns that a continental band can superimpose on Celtic music, but also because of the turns and diversity, and of course the enthusiasm and fine musicianship." - Judith Gennett, Green Man Review

In the band's own words:
The original „Drones & Bellows" was called „ Four Reel Drive" ! Pam and Halvor met and started playing music together soon after Tønder Festival 1987. It wasn't long before they were put in touch with Allan and Michael from Åbenrå. This formation continued playing and gradually making a name for itself until pressure of work forced Allan to quit the band in the autumn of 1992.

The remaining threesome could no longer call itself „Four Reel Drive" so a new name for the band had to be found. Since starting in the band Pam had taken up smallpipes and Halvor had started playing button accordion. These two instuments had begun to creep more and more into the repertoire often playing together, so Halvor hit on the idea of „Drones & Bellows".

„Drones & Bellows" had been a threesome for the best part of a year when Anker arrived on the scene. He had taught himself to play the bodhran and was looking for some musicians to terrorize - just joking Anker!

The band continued to flourish and the repertoire and stage performances were becoming more and more polished. It was only a matter of time till someone with influence noticed. So in the autumn of 1996 the band landed a sponsor contract with Heat Transfer Tønder and plans were made for the first CD, „Song of the Chanter". Rod Sinclair, who had followed the progress of the band since the very early days listened to the proposed material for the CD and agreed to produce it.

By this time Kenneth had been in Tønder for 3 years. He and Halvor were colleagues and the band had toyed with the idea of inviting him to join but the fear of not being able to get gigs as a five-piece had held them back. However, with the CD in the offing Kenneth came along as guest musician and quickly became indispensible.

„Song of the Chanter" was released in May 1997 and was very well received. The band had arranged and recorded Brian McNeill's „Destitution Road" on the album and this turned out to be a stroke of luck. Brian's initial reaction was very positive and the band was very proud but no one imagined he would still be listening to the album a year later and would offer to produce the band's second CD!

The second album, „Bothwell" benefited enormously from the collaboration with Brian McNeill, whom they have come to admire even more not only on a professional level but also as a friend. The collaboration with Brian is to be continued so who knows what the future holds.....

The Concert in Meldorf in Germany (09-23-00) was Michael's farewell to the band. His job has taken more and more of his time, and now he has decided it was the time to stop touring with the Band.

Luckily it will not affect the sound of the Band - Thomas Wieder has now been with us a year - and he has been working very hard to learn as much as possible from Michael's stuff.

We are still not reducing the "Drones & Bellows" sound - we're expanding our possibilities and sound with Thomas' ideas and new instruments too. It's getting even better all the time...

Now Kenneth is leaving the band - we are four again.

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