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Glengarry Bhoys

Their years of determined touring and consistent output have cemented the status of Glengarry Bhoys at the top of the independent music scene. In the United States, they are a major act on the Celtic festival circuit as well as their club shows, which draw the size of crowds usually associated with the significant pop acts of today. In Canada, their appeal is much at the same pace, most tellingly evidenced by their continual placing in the top ten of purchases made through the major online retailers.

The Bhoys have their roots in Glengarry, Ontario. The area was settled by Scots highlanders in the early 1800's but has also been home to a strong French element for some 400 years. These groups have lived in close harmony, perhaps originally born of their mutual disdain for the British, but also given their mutual interests in farming, religion, politics and music. The inter-marriage of French and Scots created a unique blend of culture. This harmony is nowhere more evident than in the Bhoys' music, which draws on their combined musical heritages.

The deep roots of these cultures resonate with many a music lover and none more so than the band themselves. The common observation of those who have been enchanted by their live shows is that clearly, this is a band in love with music and performing. As one reviewer was moved to report, "if these Bhoys don't get you a-movin' then your skin's on way too tight." The energy and good humour, as much a part of their shows as their musicianship crosses all cultures and ages and it is not uncommon to see a grandparent and grandchild dancing together in the aisles! Their concerts are an expression of joy, honest and compelling.

It is this joy and devotion that has been captured on Rhoots. Recorded in Ottawa and produced by the band and Graham Brewer, it is the culmination of what they have built thus far and a bridge to continued vistas. Fourteen songs that paint from the full palette of emotions and a diverse range of musical styles, that defines the band's sound.

Rhoots pays homage to continuing cultural legacies in reinterpretations of traditional jigs and reels and also showcases the strong songwriting of the Bhoys. These Bhoys are made of solid character, whether it be standing by your values and keeping a watchful eye on the music industry of which they are a part, as in "Angels Gather" or being resilient in the face of adversity, such as "Let It Rain". As James reflects, "perseverance will serve you in good stead for life's storm clouds." "The Landed Immigrant" tells the true-to-life story of the hardships of becoming a citizen of a foreign land and also extols the benefits reaped of a multi-cultural society, which has a rich experience to offer. There is a search for all that is good and noble with "Hero". There is the nature of our human spirit within "Cycles" and the personal frailties we must overcome in "Fear".

The most requested song at Glengarry Bhoys shows is surely "M'en Va A La Fontaine (Zigue Zon)" From the tradition of chanson a repondre, a call-and-response song similar to traditional Scottish waulking songs. It tells story of a young woman who is pulled from the water by noblemen with less-than-noble intentions but escapes to preserve herself for true love.

The Bhoys also sing of their own backyard in "Apple Hill Jigz" and "Le Chemin Vers Harrington". Apple Hill is a hamlet in North Glengarry. Unlike Cape Breton or other highland settlements where the fiddle was the predominant instrument at kitchen gatherings, Glengarry was a piping community. The piano would signal the beginning of the ceilidh and the pipes, fiddles and singers would soon enliven the festivities. "Apple Hill Jigz" invite you into this party. As Shelley says, "the road to Harrington winds its way through the Laurentian mountains to my home. Depite the drawbacks of potholes and logging trucks, when I'm on "Le Chemin Vers Harrington", I know I'm close to home.

Rhoots celebrates home and knowing where you're from allows you to continue discovering yourself as you travel near and far. This is an album that explores the conditions of the heart and the intellect but, of course, peppered throughout are the lively expressions of joy that also demand nothing more than a willingness to dance.

Theirs is a pastiche of cultural and musical landscapes, drawing inspiration from heritage and folklore for reconstruction in a contemporary setting. Glengarry Bhoys welcome you to discover Rhoots -traditions carried on, new traditions begun.

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Listener Comments

Member Name: KingArthur
Date Posted: 13-Jul-2014
Comments: The Glengarry Bhoys are still rocking after all of these years. Glad to see they kept the band going!Review on Glengarry BhoysVisit Artist Page

Member Name: Rindy
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2011

Comments: Hi Gilliechattan I've liked this artist from day one. And I agree there should be more talk about them. Were not the only ones as I see their up for the Bagpipes in the Celtic Radio Music awards. Glengarry Bhoys,song Zeto,Album Eight. Slainte

Member Name: Gilliechattan
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2011

Comments: I was following this post, surprised that their has been no activity in quite awhile. While it is true the band has been through several reincarnations, the current line up is a good one. Graham and Ziggy are still in the band along with a very good Piper, Ewan and a wild and crazy fiddler, D'arcy. They are as fun live as they ever were, although lately returning more to their musical roots.Check em out, love to talk to any new or longstanding fans, particularly those of us who were lucky enough to see their performances in Uxbridge.

Member Name: Brandondough
Date Posted: 17-Mar-2008

Comments: Where are the Boyhs this weekend?

Member Name: Turkceltic
Date Posted: 03-Nov-2005

Comments: I checked it ,and yea, thats the group that i search ,thanks both of u


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Glengarry, Ontario

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