Sound of Sleat brings Celtic music to Sykesville

Posted 1 week ago

The Sound of Sleat will make their debut performance at Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville Thursday. The Celtic quartet features Scottish small pipes, cello, piano, Celtic harp, accordion, guitar and vocals.

“The music comes across as being rather unique given the instruments we are using and weaving together,” said piper Bob Mitchell. “We get a really nice sound.”

The group plays traditional Scottish and Irish music and takes its name from the body of water between the Sleat peninsula, on the Isle of Skye, and Scotland. Also, Sleat can be translated from Scottish Gaelic and Old Norse to mean “smooth.”

Mitchell said the group members all have a long history of performing, but they have only been together in this group for two years. The band recently finished a self-titled CD that has been gaining positive attention in northern Virginia and nearby areas, he said. The upbeat jig “Rocking the Baby” has become their lead song.

“It was one of the pieces we really revolved around when we were forming the group,” said Mitchell.

Sound of Sleat’s goal, he said, is to bring together new and exciting interpretations of traditional piping tunes, airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys, marches and songs. Their styles and moods range from dance tunes to ballads.

Guitarist and vocalist Pat Egan was a founding member of the Irish bands Chulrua and the Hedge Band. He was a Washington Area Music Association nominee for Best Traditional Vocalist in 2010.

Tabby Finch is a multi-instrumentalist and long-time member of the Bogwanderers Ceili Band. She was also a founding member of Mucho Gusto, a world cafe/Latin band; Celtic band Jug of Punch; The Scones, an Irish pub band; and she performs in a duo with Pat Egan.

Karin Loya was a member of Fynesound, a Scottish/Irish quartet, and now plays with A Sheep at the Wheel and The Splendid Shilling Consort. Karin’s CD, “A Sheep at the Wheel,” was a WAMA nominee for Best Traditional Recording in 2010.

Bob Mitchell was for many years a member of Iona and Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra. He also works as a Highland piper for weddings and special events.