About the Artist
There arent many groups in North America who could lay claim to possibly 18 different genres of music, but Torontos Enter The Haggis is one of them. To engage this quintet is to indulge rock, fusion, bluegrass, traditional Celtic fare, agitpop, folk, even Latin flavors. Sounds awfully confused, right? Wrong. ETH is one of those rare jewels that actually pulls it all off as if to own everything.
The Celtic influence remains palpably intact, which is likely the reason why core fans have stayed so loyal over the past decade. Still, Enter The Haggis continues to break new ground with every offering, and the power of the music is only made more significant by their socio-political conviction. 2004s Casualties Of Retail meshed the aforementioned musical synthesis with lyrics that grab a hold of pertinent issues and cut right to the chase. Standout tracks like "Gasoline" and "Congress" shone a light on a well-established social consciousness and channeled it through a sense of musical experimentation arguably unmatched by other groups with their origins.
ETHs live show is a musical feast- viscerally dynamic, emotionally uplifting and intellectually stimulating. The bands oeuvre darts effortlessly from the trad strains of, say, The Chieftains and the Pogues to the frenetic pop of early Elvis Costello and even to the Latin-tinged spirit of the Buena Vista Social Club and beyond, complete with Lewingtons deftly guitar playing, the reeling of Brian Buchanans flawless fiddle, the diverse rhythmic machinations of bassist Mark Abraham and drummer James Campbell, and Downies transporting pipes, not to mention the near-perfect vocal harmonies. In fact, if youre game, the groups undeniable power is documented in Live at Lanigans Ball, a film chronicling an Enter The Haggis performance at Plattsburgh, New Yorks Hartman Theatre in December of 2003, originally taped for a PBS special, and now available on DVD.
Produced by 4-time Grammy winner Neil Dorfsman (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Sting, Dire Straits), Soapbox Heroes, continues to establish Enter The Haggis as possessing tremendous musical flexibility while not abandoning their respect for the traditional Celtic genre. Having developed a rabid fan-base in North America from non-stop touring, Soapbox Heroes is widely anticipated, and should build on recent successes like performing on A&Es Breakfast for the Arts, and frequent airings on PBS (Out of Ireland; "ETH Live at Lanigans Ball" TV special).