Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

JazzMetaz by Scottish Andrew

Jazz electric fiddle by Scottish Andrew on Routenote at JAZZMETAZ.com

Andrew Hennessey, Caller & Fiddler

Andrew Hennessey is a contemporary Scottish fiddle player based in Fife, Scotland who comes from the traditions of the Scottish fiddle orchestra and folk bands. He has also toured with folk rock and function bands e.g. playing support to Status Quo in Holland.
His modern blues, rock and country styles have been utilised by various line-ups both onstage and in recording sessions.
His electric fiddle style can be heard to originate from the Donegal and Shetland folk traditions and his Jazz violin style has been compared to Don ‘SugarCane’ Harris by prominent Edinburgh Jazz percussionist Alan Pendreigh.
Andrew Hennessey, Scottish Andrew, is also a featured composer with Skyrocket records.
Andrew’s world music Jazzmetaz set has been played at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in the Scottish western islands.

Andrew also calls and demonstrates over 20+ Scottish ceilidh dances with his own engaging style that is sure to involve the audience whether at beginner or more advanced level and has also called and demonstrated many ceilidh dances for International audiences. E.g. International weddings, corporate events or coach parties.

Andrew can be engaged either as a traditional or contemporary electric fiddle player to e.g. add :-

· a ceilidh/dance caller set into a contemporary function band line-up, or, · for deputy/session ceilidh or folk band work e.g. Arthur Wilson of Jacouse, or,

· as a lead blues/country/rock player either for onstage line-ups, · or, for studio work e.g. Edinburgh based John Bruce’s Jim Brown Blues Project.

· Or as a composer in the Scottish and Celtic tradition e.g. Skyrocket records · To DJ and call a ‘solo’ ceilidh set at an event with his own recorded music. · Or as a solo artiste with his world music ‘Jazzmetaz’ set.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Swash breaker

Swash, as an artform, is a layer of colour, objects and textures that have washed over the creative canvas like breaking waves of colour on the shore.
These waves create light-filled vistas from the microscopic and macroscopic world.
Swash is an artform in the Scottish modernist and colourist tradition and was first developed by Andrew Hennessey in July 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Totem and Digital Taboo

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

musicians in the workhouse

We recently ditched a music agency that was trying to sell my band way too cheap. For some reason not based on economic reality there are several bands working for this guy that are not incorporating the usual costs associated with maintaining themselves as professional musicians into their asking price.
This is very charitable of them.
One of the clients for that agency contacted us directly hoping to get us to play at dirt cheap rates and when he heard my Very Reasonable quote he said he 'don't need this' and could get one of these gulag bands for a fraction of the price.
These bands are actually subsidising their agent and their clients - for out of their measly wages has to be deducted petrol costs, class one vehicle insurance, public liability insurance, PAT testing of all gear plus regular equipment maintenance and replacement as this fairly expensive kit tends to get knocked and broken, new cables, strings, performance clothing etc etc etc

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pop Quiz - What are the sound check issues for this gig ?

OK - here's the problem ... what are your thoughts on it.

electric fiddle, semi acoustic guitar and non amplified full drum kit.
high vaulted ceiling, hard walls and floor.

Not too many people on the Scottish dance scene seem to know how to mix a fiddle.
In some ceilidh bands with accordions for example - the fiddle player probably should have stayed at home or is eye candy .. [that wouldn't've been me though :)]

The most common error in scottish dance music when mixing fiddles is that people just boost the top end of the fiddle to make it cut. When they do that they take the tonal quality of the fiddle out of the equation. In some lineups with e.g. accordions that is often the only way that a fiddle would get heard at all as the fiddle shares all of its folk music range with the accordion.
Although I have personally been very lucky to have played with some fine musicians and sound engineers, I have often come across distorted high end fiddle mixes in many of the bands I have heard over the years.

In my band the Wild Geese, Fiddle dynamics are changeable as is the guitarists ...
obviously the overall dynamic changes when the hall fills ...
but whats the best way to approach the sound check for the first ceilidh dance at this venue ?

Can anyone see the issues with drums electric fiddle and semiacoustic guitar ?
what would you be looking for in that sound check ?

Your comments are welcome.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Public Entertainment License - the cull on Scottish arts

The new Public Entertainmenmt License introduced april fools day 1st april 2012 seems very much like the end of the world for grass root arts and entertainment.
Anything vaguely arty sounding in an un-licensed pub could be construed as an illegal act by the bar management - with the consequences of ejection and perhaps even barring of artistes.
Its like a bunch of people got together and decided to destroy artistic expression at even the most amateur level.

Anything vaguely sing-song or prosaic, or any unwanted joke could be construed as illicit stand-up. The Scottish National party did this - the 'guardians' of all things Scottish like its music and ceilidh traditions, its rich heritage and folklore, its stories and arts - all gone and wiped. People starting out will have no place to rehearse and refine their professional talents - its like a BIG lethal Dose of Roundup insecticide has been dumped on all the Scottish Artistes and Performers at a grass roots level.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celtic fiddle and guitar - the Lonely Crags

from the 1984 Celtic show Children of the Storm the compositions and arrangements of Andrew Hennessey and Colin Dawson - performed at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Crown Folk Club, EUFSS's Lady Glenorchy Church crypt. The youtube Link

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Quest for the Tower of the Winds

Here is an excerpt from the Quest for the Tower of the Winds - written in the days I was still seeking my path towards Christ. This is a piece on chaos and robotics and the eternal love and peace of Heaven. Taken from the poetry collection SHORES OF THE DREAMING RAINBOW [on Lulu.com]


What is substantial has but a part to play
in the ephemeral season of the soul –
and would I could journey through the snow
or lie gazing in a meadow of flowers.
I would say more on silent winter –
that the stars of springtime might, from the headlands of space,

illumine the path through the spring
to the warm sunrise of summer.
And if what is not substantial is a handicap,
a poor relation of need, then I may worry not,
for all my cares will vanish
if trouble does not persist.
And that the fire of my spirit
blazes full in the bitter cold of the winter solstice –
I shall say 'gather round'
the full horror of life I wish to vanquish - if but for a moment ..
And my flame shall say -
Fear not for I have stood in the raging wind of hells teeth
And faced the might of Titans
With a sling and a pebble
And were the pathway full of pebbles, I will go on
For it is nearly Dawn.
And when I, like the Fool
shall stand at last on the lip of the chasm of birth,
I shall take my leap
to find that world contained
in the enchanted Tower of the Winds.
The Barbarian has a hope, and so that he forgets it,
the apples of Eden are made into Cider,
But so that we fulfil this, we repeat it to ourselves
for we have no mind with which to remember.
The fruits of knowledge, the reams of information
Must either to Hell be taken, or the Heaven sent.
For their workings
seem beyond the scope of mere mortality
to understand.
And there, with our ships despatched to heaven or hell,
our Lottery ticket bought,
our minds again full of the solstice and the equinox
shall we again assume the handicap of barbarism
'Stead of the evils of civilisation ?
or is there a Real Hope ?
The futile grasp of the wisest of Elders
in watching the slaughter of each epoch
must decide: What is the best way to die –
for there is the crux of the matter.
If our ships return from Heaven,

they will bring us the machines
to maintain our world in the rightness of decency,
quenching even the most avaricious of thirst with free gifts –
from a dedicated matrix of machinery –
But, if our ships from Hell return,
then the day of the robot and the slave
shall like the reaper, scythe the resistance of the organic,
and chain the spirit
in an electronically fabricated eternity.
And even for the briefest of incarnations,
the tomb of the machine is no place to die.

The seer shall part our clouds with the voice of wisdom –
shall this information be our master - or our slave.
If our master - then we shall become as hard as crystal,
as cold as the cold void –
the thief of the organic breath - petrifier of the heart.
Slaves of Greater Empires than a mere Barbarian tribe
wait to capture this wild bird called man
in a mesh of alien steel and intelligent device.
Oh that my journey begins –

for I will travel through that desert of information
to find the jewels that lie hidden in the dust,
And I shall take them to the roof of the World,
The Tower of the Winds - and then -
We shall see what we shall see.
I have studied History, Hermit - my heritage, our birthright -
I have a mind to say that this Barbarian idea is a hoax .......
Here is history Hermit -

It is summer, and corn like the mellow gold
of newborn suns
rustles in the wind that blows
from across the ocean,
and poppies the symbol of slumber,
their red splash
marks the passing of a soul
against the painted blue of the Madonna's Mantle –

Holy Child, thy birth marks the dawn,
and your teardrops, the silver of the Novas
in the eternal cycle of life,

as the starfields likewise nurture their crops of gold,
the womb of the martyr,
the fight of a prayer.
Find this crop ready to eat,
the thresher is pounding, the scythe is pure,
the bread is whole, the dwelling is ready
and the butterfly sips the nectar –
a gift of spring - a gift of winter, a gift of Being.
Now Barbarian is the toil of belief wholesome
without the curse of the black banner of war,
and the axe, silver-whetted over the time of snow,
ready to fell timber - can also defend hope.
Glory is the power of thy childlike mind
and fool become predator
wills to build a safer dwelling
in which to protect his fears.
And thus goes the lesson of History, Hermit,

Monday, February 27, 2012

JOCK THE BANKER - Tam O Shanter meets the M8 motorway

http://www.cafepress.com/robertburns Andrew Hennessey - ScottishAndrew creating Scottish culture for the 21st Century.

JOCK THE BANKER - a modern twist on Tam O Shanter

So dim the lights, for Rabbie's famous story
all over Scotland on his night
the witty people use as anchor
his case against the demon drink
we present oor Mags with, 'Jock the Banker'.
When weary shoppers leave the street
and trundle home to soak their feet
when Marks and Spencers closes doon
and working folks are leaving soon
Some part and say they're going for grub
but actually mean a noisy pub
with cheery friends it's open late and none will leave
till thirst they slake

They think not of the miles that lie
Of roads and lanes and sullen sky
before the door of hame is reached
where intae our lugs the time is screeched
a Scotsman's hame is no his castle
for a pint O what a hassle.
This truth found honest Jock the banker
driving home his mind the blanker
Oh Jock hads't thou but been sae wise
as ta'en thy ain wife Nel's advice
She's told you many times before
your blethering tongue goes over the score
and at the pub now every day you've sat and drank
up all your pay,
Then that Bob the Broker gives you booze
from cask conditioned Ale you choose,
She prophesised that, late or soon
a 'smokey bear' would drive doontoon
and catch'd by polis without fail
your licence gone and cold in jail.
Ah gentle dames it gars me greet
to think how monie counsels sweet
How monie lengthn'd sage advices

the husband frae the wife despises.
But to our tale: late shopping night
Jock was sozzled unco right
telling woes to Broker Bob
his trusty mate in faith did sob,
They had been fou for weeks the gither
each day had drunk as if no ither
And feeling better by the hour
his head did swell wi' laughter's power
heard not the pelting rain outside
the wind and sleet could go and hide.
As anxious friends their conscience able
minding home did leave the table
Jock and Bob were in fu' song,
But the time of leaving cheery throng
arrived at last be-chasing hope
for Mel at home waits with the rope.
At last in trousers for the keys
still grasping jar he downs the lees,
The rain had stopped, a perfect night
the moon was out, shining bright

That night a child might understand
the police had business on their hand.
Sitting in his Ghia Ford
with engine on he thanked the Lord
He revved her on through dub and mire
despising wind and rain and fire
whilst holding fast the leather-trimmed wheel
switching off before John Peel,
whiles glow' ring round wi prudent cares
lest Pandas catch him unawares.
By this time he was through the lights
where the Bikers hang oot nights
and up the lane that's half in dark
where droves of Mods their Scooters park.
Up ahead some wondrous sights
the Polis social Club with lights,
Through all the cars the beams were glancing
and loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn
what dangers thou canst make us scorn,
Across the carpark there was a queue

of Polis at a barbeque,
and some polis in a frenzied dance
to Human League they did all prance
then Heavy Metal, Dolly Parton
and a bit of Eric Clapton,
And on a garden chair amidst the decor
sat the monstrous beast, a Chief Inspector,
He with a smile turned up the tape
his minions now could not escape,
A Sairgent shakin' all his stripes
and men and wimmin different types
eating now belated luncheon
to happy music waving truncheon.
Cadets were stomping looking gruff
clicking rhythm with handcuff
and some there were a trifle drunk
doing pogo to loud punk.
To Jock there was enjoyment rife
and spied the chief Inspectors wife
at her sylph like form the men did quaver
she wasn't half a right wee raver,
In shouts of glee they called her Alice
the Queen of dancers in the Polis,

And how Jock sat like one bewitched
and thought his very een enriched,
His car window winding down
in passion at that sexy gown
he roars out 'Weel done Polis Queen'
and in an instant they looked mean,
And scarcely had his engine started
than the carpark gates before him parted,
Revving Pandas, blue lights flashin'
in numbers to the exit dashin'
and from a radio in the crowd
'catch that Drunk' resounds aloud.
Ah Jock, Ah Jock, thou'll get thy fairin'
in jail they'll roast thee like a herrin
in vain Nel awaits thy comin
Nel soon will be a woeful woman
Now do thy speedy utmost Ford
this rebore job is far from ord',
To make it to the turnpike junction
at speeds the Smokey's cannot function,
But ere the slip road he could gain
His new found hope did start to drain,

In his mirror was a bod
A Smokey from the flying squad,
Hard upon his car did press
did smash his boot and make a mess,
The Rover was lost unto the night
but Jock did leave his own back light.
Now wha this tale O truth shall read
ilk man and mothers son take heed,
Whene'er to drink you are inclined
and sexy police run in your mind, Think,
You may for joys ower often pay,
for panel beating and respray.





Thursday, January 05, 2012


Starring a huge and historic ensemble from the Scottish Blues scene; including John Bruce, Sky Tusk, Nobby Clarke, ROADHOUSE BLUES - and many more - including myself with Country fiddle on one track of the CD !
Scheduled for launch in april 2012 this CD is packed full of the Blues talents of Scotland.