Volume XIII Number 5 - May 2004


Well, Woodland came and went, hotter than usual on Saturday, but sales were definately up from last year even though the crowd was down. We had a good turnout, with full-time help from Jamie Cavin and much-appreciated breakdown help from Bryan Reynolds (now the proud owner of a JB3 bagpipe). Thanks, all! And just WHO was that Mystery Woman? Spam that around the net, campers...

Speaking of SPAM, aren't you all sick of the inundation of junk email? I receive an average of 350 junk messages a day, almost all of which are rejected by my SPAM filter, but I still have to scroll through them in case there's a legit inquiry or order message from a customer. I'm going to develop a generic reply to all this, something like:

'Thank you for your most interesting offer of product. No, I don't need larger, firmer breasts, nor do I yet feel the need for Xanax, Viagra, Cialis, or any other drug currently not in my medicine cabinet. Neither do I need links to women who will 'do anything' - unless they'll clean my house, organise my garage, or keep my books. I also have no interest whatsoever in investigating my neighbors, painless bikini waxing (?!), discount inkjet cartridges, Kodak digital cameras, losing weight while I sleep (I'd rather do it while awake, thank you), regrowing hair, phony college degrees, lower mortgage rates, OR ANYTHING ELSE! Oh, yes, one last item: all you embroidery companies in Pakistan, BUZZ OFF! I already have a company that I have been doing business with for over five years now, and you're not going to be able to undercut his prices or improve on his quality. GET IT?'

AND what's up with the Marine Pipers Network? No newsletter since last November! I know you're busy, Justin, but at least put up a skeleton issue!

Soo - where DO we go from here? I'll be playing 'wandering piper' at the Squaw Valley Celtic Festival on June 19th at the famous Squaw famous Valley. All those of you in the Reno/Tahoe area who aren't going to the Campbell games can hear me at the ski resort. Pipes on skis - a concept too frightening for words! Yow!

Black Part Speaks...  

Good chanter reeds are again getting hard to find.  It used to be that you just bought Warnocks, but that was when Steve Megarity worked for Warnock.  Then we had Megarity-Ross reeds most of which were pretty good.  I played these reeds for years with great success.  Then everyone was onto the Gilmore Reeds.  I tried these but they didn't make me sound much like  the band from down under, and didn't last much longer than a couple of weeks.  So I still had a couple of long bladed Warnocks, and I'm currently using one of those right now.  Its OK, but I wonder if it'll last as long.  The same could be said about the Ross Reeds, currently made by Andy Ross since Steve Megarity went back to Glasgow.  The Ross reeds look like the Megarity-Ross reeds, but are a bit more crude-looking fresh out of the box. 

I've tried Andrew Frater's reeds and these are pretty good, but don't last quite as long, and are only available from guess who? - CUILLINN CRAFT!  The Higgins Reeds are still out there for those looking for an instant reed that may not last through massed bands.  There are now Lee reeds that are clones of the Warnocks, and may perform as well. And finally, there are John Elliot's Sound Supreme reeds, just new out on the market.  I purchased three of these recently, and so far I'm impressed with the craftsmanship, selection of cane, and most of all the tone.  The Elliots seem to play well in a Naill, Kintail 2000, and in Gibson chanters.  Longevity remains to be seen.  Yes, good chanter reeds, like good people, are getting harder to find, and when you find either, they aren't with us long enough.  

Ol' Black Part 

(BP will have more about the Elliot reeds and the new Harris Reedz next month)

until next month....