Starting in late 2001, Tartanic began touring the United States branching out from Texas and in their current season in 2008, have been gracing stages in Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Dallas, San Antonio, and other cities in Southern California, Northern California, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Mixing bagpipe classics like "Amazing Grace" with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and "Smoke on the Water" the act acquired quite a following. The show delivers comedy within a Celtic/World/Rock show. Even original and contemporary tunes screaming out on bagpipes are nearly overcome with the complicated thunder of all the drums. As Becca Bacon Martin of the Morning News in Northwest Arkansas wrote in article from a January performance in Eureka Springs, "It's like a rock ‘n’ roll unplugged bagpipe theater show without a plot,[Tartanic] is a fully audience-integrated show that goes against the usual band formula.” On Chicago’s WGN, Tartanic rolled out the rock for the WGN Morning News as a featured musical act in 2006. Now in talks for a film soundtrack on a major theatrical release, it appears as if the world will be “exposed” to these men—if not the other way around.
Dressed in kilts and sunglasses, Tartanic gives its audiences a barrage of sound from not one but TWO Highland Bagpipes, and three percussionists. Imagine one dancer, six drums, six drones, 18 notes, fast fingers, high comedy, flying bagpipes, taste-defying stunts and scorching hot music played at over 120 beats per minute with driving speed and high-volume, all brought to you by five men without pants.
Jay Kruse, a native Texan now transplanted to Las Vegas plays percussion along with David Macejka from upstate New York. Both are accomplished musicians; David plays the New Orleans Jazz Festival as the percussionist for C.J. Chenier every year in long-standing annual fete, while Jay's background is in Jazz bass guitar and handcrafting flutes--even travelling to Turkey to hone his skills on the Ney, a long bamboo reed instrument.
The sound is driven by the melodies brought by bagpipers Mike McNutt and Andrew Beck. McNutt is a sound engineer from Tennessee. Mike has mixed everything from country western music to bagpipes, and has since relocated to Boston. Having just released his first solo album, Mike carries the torch for taking the ancient skirl of bagpipes into the modern age. Andrew Beck, the band's youngest member is a trained Emergency Medical Technician, and award-winning piper from upper Michigan. Andrew also cultivates the next level of “master pipers” in an exclusive bagpipe conservatory he teaches every summer in Milwaukee.
Together, the sound is undeniable—even miles away. With the skills of not one, but two, award-winning bagpipers, Tartanic is a force to be reckoned with.
The future looks very bright for Tartanic, with two new albums just released in 2008. "Unleashed" is by far the most professional live recording of “rock ‘n’ roll bagpipes” the band has ever released, giving amazing sonic quality to the raucous show. The new studio release, "Uncivilized", captures the true range of all Tartanic’s musicians and then some. New expressions in dance, tribal, swing and even hip-hop fusions of Great Highland bagpipes and world percussion flow through solid engineering to bring an audio landscape full of uncharted terrain. Tartanic sails strongly with the wind at their back, and the music always at high tide.