and now it's come to this. (Razor & Tie Entertainment)
Cover for the Seven Nations' latest CD,
Bob Malesky, NPR News
Seven Nations fiddle player Dan Stacey in NPR's Studio 4A in Washington, D.C.
Although you may not have heard of the band Seven Nations, you may have heard their music. The "Celtic rock" group played at the 2002 Winter Olympics torch-lighting ceremony, and were also the first American band to be invited to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. The Florida-based band has opened for such acts as Live, Violent Femmes and Cowboy Mouth among others.
Seven Nations has recorded several independently-produced CDs, but the group derives most of its recognition from an extremely active tour schedule and live shows that draw rave reviews for lively interaction with the audience. "With over 200 dates a year, the word relentless comes to mind," says Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen.
Between shows in Annapolis, Md., and Richmond, Va., the five hard-working band members took time out for a performance chat in Studio 4A at NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The band members are:
• Kirk McLeod — lead singer, songwriter, guitar and piano player
• Dan Stacey — fiddle
• Scott Long — bagpipes
• Struby — bass
• Crisco — drums.
According to group leader McLeod, Seven Nations first began as an alternative rock band in New York, then decided to add bagpipes and fiddle to "try and get noticed."
They briefly called themselves Clan na Gael, and even wore kilts on stage. They have been known as Seven Nations since 1995.
For their latest studio effort, called and now it's come to this, Seven Nations teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Robert Carranza (Beck, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Ozomatli). And unlike their previous efforts, which featured traditional Celtic tunes and instrumentals amid the rock and roll, the latest album's songs are almost all straight ahead rock and pop.