BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER Minneapolis 2007 - Piper's Crow
Although all four members of this phenomenal Celt band have myriad projects going at any particular time, it is in Piper's Crow that they appear to shine most brightly. The group's ensemble play on their eponymous album (issued in early 2006) is often breathtaking, an exotic assortment of bagpipes and other wind instruments conspiring with guitar, fiddle, and Laura MacKenzie's lovely voice. Each Crow can be counted. Dick Hensold is a master piper with an exquisite touch. Violinist Zack Kline plays sprightly lines, sometimes with a jazz inflection. Karen Mueller provides earthy drive on guitar and bouzouki. And MacKenzie, when not singing, enriches the lush melodies on flute, concertina, and more pipes. Together, the acoustic quartet twist around each other with empathetic agility, feeding off one another's ideas. Piper's Crow keep a relatively low profile; they last surfaced at a major venue in January, with a birthday tribute to Robby Burns. But the group's members are all over town, busy elsewhere until the piper crows triumphantly again.