Randy designed a tartan for the band in December 2012 that is listed in the Scottish Register of Tartans as The Rogues - United States. It became available for purchase in January of 2013 and over 20 kilts have been ordered. Anyone wanting one or information on the tartan can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were also able to host two fundraisers this year as well as make a substantial contribution to the Air Force Aid Society.
The second fundraiser was for our dear friends, Ingrid, Klaus and Chela, the owners of Medieval Moccasins. Ingrid was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer so we immediately planned our fundraiser for October 19th when we would be at the Maryland Renaissance Festival to help with her fight, but unfortunately she passed away only 2 months after diagnosis, so our fundraiser was to help with the medical expenses the family incurred. We were able to raise almost $6000 at the event and over $10,000 online. We'd like to thank Mike Rosman the Squire on the Wire, Volgemut, DragonSong, Tinsmith, EJ Jones and The Drum Runners for performing. Mike Rosman did an awesome job emceeing the event and thank you to everyone who volunteered their time, and especially Stacy Lute and Cherry for their organization skills.
We added two new venues in 2013 - The Connecticut Renaissance Festival Fall Show and the Sarasota Medieval Festival. Both were great events and we hope to be back next year for more weekends. It was wonderful to be able to perform again at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and also the Annapolis Irish Festival for the second year in a row. Our friends Dublin 5 do a great job of putting on the Irish Festival. That's a huge amount of work and we greatly appreciate it.
We also performed for a Marine Corps retirement ceremony for Jeff Dubinok at the National Museum of the Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel near Quantico. It was a beautiful chapel and the reception at the restaurant down the street was amazing. Thanks to Trish for asking us to perform.
Ewan and Randy also attended our friends Steve and Karen Francis' party for Steve's retirement from the Army. Congratulations and thanks to Jeff and Steve for their service, and extra thanks to Steve for all the great photos he takes of the band.
The band added some new faces to the roster in 2013. Pipers include Kyle Grasty from Pennsylvania and Jamie Everett from Florida. A new drummer that performed with us at the Connecticut Renaissance Festival, Andrew Meade, from Austin, TX. Playing a bodhran the way Bryan and I do (LOUD) is not easy, but Andrew was a great addition on that show. We still have Jimmy, Lars, Bryan, Ewan, Doug Frobese, David Goodman and myself, so no worries there.
The Christmas album, Hellbound Sleigh, is a project that we always said we SHOULD do, but just never did. Randy was always wary of a Christmas album because he didn't want it just to sound like Christmas tunes played by bagpipes. He wanted something more along the lines of a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album, with unique arrangements and instrumentation, where each track is something different, and we think we achieved that. The feedback on the album has been nothing but positive, from professionals and the public. Thanks to Lars, Doug, Kyle, Ewan, EJ, Bryan and Miriam-Rose for their contributions, and thanks to Andy Bradley and Les Lentz, the recording engineers in Houston and Maryland respectively. And much thanks to Todd Shearer for the awesome original cover art and album design. People always want to know where the name of the album came from. It's a derivative from the name of the first tune on the album - Hellbound Train - a wonderful tune by Mark Saul. Cherry and Randy were visiting friends Steve and Pam Brownlee in Louisiana and jokingly discussing album names, when Cherry threw out Hellbound Sleigh. Randy loved it and that's what stuck.
The band wrapped up the year with the Dickens on the Strand festival in Galveston, TX in December, a wonderful Dickens era festival that the band has performed at for many years.
As we go into the off-season we wish everyone a happy new year and hope to see you in the near future. Slainté!