Entertainers

Our Entertainers

FRH Homecoming Logo (5)

Musicians

Introducing
Kirk McLeod & KIR

Performances Saturday & Sunday

Joining us for two very special performances, KIR, the Kirk McLeod Seven Nations Trio, will be taking to the Homecoming stage on Saturday evening after dinner! In addition, they will be waking us up on Sunday morning for a rousing performance as we say goodbye to the Ridge!

Kirk McLeod is founder, leader, song writer/composer and lead singer for internationally famous SEVEN NATIONS CELTIC ROCK BAND…with nearly 30 years performing across the country and around the world. Kirk and his 7N band were the first to introduce Celtic Rock music to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games many years ago and continues to be the headliner band both at the Games Celtic Rock Concert & on the MacRae Meadows Grove 2 stage.

A professional Great Scottish Highland Piper trained by several renowned master pipers, Kirk first introduced the bagpipe to his rock band in the mid 1990’s and created a whole new genre of music that combined traditional Celtic instrumentation with pop/rock music. With a very few exceptions of existing Scottish songs, all of the music recorded and performed since then by Seven Nations has been written and composed by Kirk. The total library of original music includes over 19 albums.

Kirk’s father was Scottish and his mother was English. His Scottish family immigrated from the Isle of Skye and Glasgow beginning in the early 1800’s; journeying along with the thousands of other Scots who first landed along the coasts of North Carolina.

After his parents met and began a family, Kirk ended up living, going to school and working in the U.K. during part of his youth and teens; moving back and forth between the U.S. and U.K. until eventually being hired to perform at Walt Disney World Epcot Center at the young age of 19.

Since childhood, music has been my driving force. I started playing my mother’s piano at age 4. Next came the Scottish Highland bagpipes at 12, and the guitar soon after. From my late teens on I played with bands doing Celtic music on weekends and rock music during the week. But it wasn’t until the mid-90’s that I got the idea to add bagpipes to the rock music. That was the advent of the Celtic Rock genre in the US. And that was the inspiration for Seven Nations.

For nearly 30 years, I’ve traveled the globe performing with Seven Nations at festivals, stadium concerts, and even a 2001 performance at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY.

Our music has been featured on ESPN, CNN, the Discovery Channel, the BBC, NPR, PBS, plus various US and Canadian TV shows. Probably the proudest moment was when it was played on the International Space Station in 2001. Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield—a music lover and guitarist—took our Seven Nations’ “Factory” CD aboard the Space Station on several occasions as one of the few personal items he was allowed to bring along.

~Kirk McLeod
(A brief autobiographical excerpt from Kirk’s “Cultures Collide” ™ TV series production)

KIR MUSIC & TRIO

“KIR” is a Scottish Gaelic word that has many meanings depending on its use. It is often found as the prefix for a variety of Gaelic words and just happens to be the first three letters of Kirk’s first name. The musical concept was inspired by Kirk’s Scottish family heritage and was officially given birth in 2014.

As a solo expansion from his Seven Nations band, Kirk wanted to draw upon his Scottish culture and Gaelic language roots to create music that incorporated more of that ancient Scottish Gaelic and “vocables” into the lyrics of his songs. He was also looking to explore the opportunity to reach out beyond the specific Seven Nations band identity, dig deeper into authentic Scottish/Celtic musical influences and, once again, venture into a new musical genre arena.

The KIR Trio offers the flexibility to blend Kirk’s original “KIR” compositions along with popular Seven Nations’ music for fans in both large and more intimate settings. Although the KIR Trio is technically a smaller lineup of musicians than the 5-person Seven Nations Band, it, nonetheless, continues to feature the same full sound. The Trio typically includes Kirk (on lead vocals, guitar, keyboard and—when not singing—bagpipes), plus his fiddler and drummer. KIR fans always come away richly entertained and with a whole new appreciation for the cross-over connection between the sounds of traditional Scottish/Celtic music and its contemporary interpretations.

Kirk & KIR will be performing Saturday and Sunday at Fraser's Ridge Homecoming 2021!

Tom Eure & Amelia Osborne

With over 12 years on the Celtic music scene, singer/songwriter Tom Eure, along with his musical partner Amelia Osborne, offer up a heartfelt fusion of folk, Celtic, and Appalachian influences. The two multi-instrumentalists swirl together fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, bodhráns, and rousing vocal harmonies, painting a musical picture that is fresh and uplifting. Their latest album “The Coin, The Prayer & The Crow” is available now. The release is a joyful retrospective of folk traditions with an eye set on the future.

The Celtic Sessions

The Celtic Sessions is a Celtic Band from Western North Carolina that features musicians who have a strong authentic Celtic roots background. The members also understand the Celtic connection to the music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Being well versed on a wide variety of musical instruments, their program will take Outlander fans & Homecoming attendees back to deep Celtic roots through the music they perform plus the stories and notes that they share during the program.

The Overmountain Tavern Players

The Overmountain Tavern Players from Elkin, NC, bring its audiences an array of original and fresh sounding material that melds the backgrounds of these talented songwriters and instrumentalists into a unique fusion of folk, Celtic, Newgrass, and Americana. The combined musical backgrounds of these performers come through in many textures and colors in an astonishing style that’s been described as unique and enchanting. Band members share their song and instrumental writing prowness in a wide variety of subjects including historical events, life changing experiences, relationships to various cultures, and humankind’s role in its stewardship of the Planet Earth.

Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections Band was formed in 1998 when the National Park Service sponsored a recording project along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trial utilizing performers who were familiar and skilled in both Celtic music and the Scots Irish music of the Southern Appalachian Highlands region. The recording project was called “Kings Mountain Live.” The music featured lively Jigs, Hornpipes and Reels and tavern songs of the 18th Century. In addition, the CD project incorporated narration by King Mountain historians about the Revolutionary War campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Since then, Celtic Connections has performed the music at a variety of venues which included Robert Burns events, Scottish events at Midlands Golf Course in the NC Sandhills, NC Highland Games and MerleFest.

The band members are: RG Absher, Randy Gambill, Wes Tuttle and Billy Gee. The performers are not only skilled in Celtic music, but play the Appalachian and Bluegrass music styles which grew out of the old world Celtic influences. There typical sets include everything from ancient airs on the hammered dulcimer, 18th century tavern songs and toe tapping barn dance music.