In January of 2009, Pete and I played a concert in Killiecrankie House. During a break, we stepped out into the icy chill for a smoke and the conversation turned to the fishing trips we'd missed out on the previous season with the nuts and bolts of making music occupying a lot of our time. If we could somehow combine the two, we'd be on to a winner.
We chose a selection of prime wild trout waters around the highlands and decided that mid june would be a nice time to fish them. Then we set about the task of finding venues within striking distance of the lochs. So began the Troot Tour.
We invited a good friend, author and musician, Jamie Jauncey to join us on piano. Jamie had a great time with the tunes but he hates fishing and 'politely' declined our offer to let him row. Jamie let our visits to some of the most beautiful remote parts of the Scottish highlands inspire his writing. He wrote 'The Bay Of Cod' while on the 2010 Troot Tour and posted it from Inverie.
Jamie couldn't make it for the third anual Troot Tour 2011 due to business and personal commitment including the release of his latest book, Room 121. Three Men In A Boat became Two Men In A Boat which caused some confusion especially as the band's name was still Three Men In A Boat. The appearances of surprise guests en route meant that we were anywhere between two and twelve piece, but never three.
To our rescue came Carol and Donald MacKenzie who run our concert in Tarskavaig village hall. They have always referred to us as 'The Trooters', a name which appeals as a less troublesome title and accommodates the fact that surprise performers are liable to join us.
|The Trooters are:|
Gregor started playing moothie at the age of 6 encouraged by his father who was a great mouth organ player. It was during childhood visits to Butterstone, Dunkeld where his fathers family of eleven siblings got together and played fiddles, moothies, melodeons and sang the old Scots songs that Gregor progressed to melodeon. Around this time, a mystery bus trip to Perth with his father ended at Wilkies music shop and the purchase of a piano accordion. Six years of lessons ensued with William & Marianne Campbell's Accordion School and eventually a place in the Campbell Accordion Orchestra. Playing his first gig at the age of 14, Gregor has worked with many bands including: Blackeyed Biddy, Cantychiels, Clan Terra, Ceilidh Minogue and Rusty Nail. He played with the Scottish Show Shehallion that opened the new Clyde Auditorium and has toured all over from Azerbaijan to Ecclefechan.
Born and raised in Dunfermline, Fife, Pete is now based in Perthshire, not far from the birth places of Niel Gow and Robert Mackintosh. He has performed and recorded with many notable musicians including Dougie MacLean, Rod Paterson, John Watt, Tich Frier, Jim Malcolm and the rock band Nazareth. In addition to private instruction, he is a tutor on the Scottish Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music & Drama in Glasgow. In recent years Pete has presented workshops and master classes at Edinburgh's annual ‘Fiddle’ event, Stirling University Summer School, Celtic Connections, Common Ground and at fiddle schools throughout Scotland and beyond. He has twice been on the adjudication panel at the annual Glenfiddich Fiddle competition at Blair Castle, Perthshire.