Last weekend RavensFire made it to the Scottish Ramble in St. Paul, MN. They invited us to play last year, but that was the week we played a series of pubs in Ireland. This year we made it, and we’re happy to have been there. The Ramble takes place in the Landmark Center, a wonderfully restored old Federal Building in the middle of downtown St Paul. We arrived to the sounds of bagpipes rattling throughout the building, and there were kilts everywhere!
The Ramble features traditional dancing, so there were dozens of young dancers on the main stage, accompanied by traditional instruments like the fiddle, the bodhran and squeezebox. Around the back of the atrium several vendors featured heritage wares. We even saw demonstrations of hand-held siege equipment from the early days of gunpowder in Scotland.
RavensFire performed in a beautiful old court room. Signs around the hallways reminded us of the ghosts of people like John Dillinger, Judge Henry Blackmun, James J. Hill, Senator Gene McCarthy, and more. For this event, the crowd enjoyed a wonderful set of traditional Scottish tunes and a few of Melissa’s originals. What fun to look at the mass of people smiling and singing along to favorites like My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean. Some of those folks could really belt out Bring back my Bonnie to me, including a woman singing along using sign language.
Everyone joined in for the last song of the day, heartily singing along to the familiar sound of Auld Lang Syne. After we left the stage, the next program event was a nice older gentleman in a kilt telling stories. His thick Scottish brogue drew me in. I wanted to stay and listen. Maybe next year.
The RavensFire Band is well known all around the Tri-state area for their energetic performances, beautiful vocal harmonies, and skilled instrumentals while playing and singing their unique collection of lively traditional Irish, Folk, World, Americana and original music.