16 tracks of our favorite music through the years, re-recorded live at the Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD to commemorate our 25th anniversary. Three pipers strong for this one with drums and keyboard in all the right places. Enjoy the fun!
Founded in Houston in 1994, The Rogues created a new genre of Celtic music with exceptionally well-played pipes and driving percussion and have become award-winning international artists. From Scottish Highland games to performing with a symphony orchestra, The Rogues deliver a commanding performance. Starting at the Texas Renaissance Festival in 1994, the band soon began performing out of state and added Scottish Highland Games and Celtic festivals and corporate shows. The band has produced it's own theater show called Celtic Crossroads, performed as a guest artist with the Air Force Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC and had music featured in the 2011 film "Kill the Irishman.". They also won 1st place in the original Strangford-Lough Celtic Battle of the Bands. The Rogues have performed in Las Vegas, Scotland, Greece, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Canada, several cruises and all over the United States. Usually performing with 2 pipers and 2 percussionists, our roster includes 12 top notch players from around the country. Members of the band have competed all over North America and Scotland, and won 1st place at the 1998 World Pipe Band Championships in Grade III, performing with the Hamilton Pipe Band out of Houston, TX. The Rogues have produced 10 albums and 2 DVDs to date and are listed in the official Grammy book for several nominations, though falling short of the final 5. The Rogues have a tradition of supporting charities, sometimes holding their own fundraisers supporting individuals and causes for soldiers. The band even has it's own tartan in the Scottish Register of Tartans. That Tartan is the background for the website!
CelticMusicPodcast.com Marc Gunn
"They shook the world with revolutionary bagpipe and drum music and led to a dozen imitators."
Ken Arpino - Director, Wolfsbane Productions August 31, 2017
"The Rogues are a great addition to any special event or concert series. Their high energy sets mixed with fun-loving personalities are sure to please any crowd. We will be happy to work with them again!"
Dr. Gilbert Corella, Music Director, Loudoun Symphonic Winds June 03, 2017
"The intense rhythms of the drums combined with the nostalgic sounds of the bagpipes energized all! The Rogues with the Loudoun Symphonic Winds drove the audience to their feet in a frenzy we haven’t seen before!"
Maryland Renaissance Festival Carolyn Spedden - Artistic Director
"On the Rogues' first performance day I stood at the back of the crowd to observe. By the end of the first song the crowd went wild. The atmosphere was charged with energy. The response was terrific and has stayed that way over many seasons."
Texas Renaissance Festival David Casey - Entertainment Director
"A lone piper bleating a mournful tune is one thing, The Rogues quite another. They are a genuine band that galvanizes an audience with precisely played rhythms and moves them through the hidden mysteries of Scottish tradition - they can make an Iranian wistful for Scotland! Their performance is a measured blend of stately hymns and rabble rousing anthems. It moves from dignity through defiance to abandoned joy and most important, the audience feels it."
Quotes From Fans
“Please consider coming back this year…I’ve been going to the faire for ten years and your group is the first to get a standing ovation.” - Kristin Olsen, Wisconsin
"Bought the Rogues "Made in Texas" at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in 2004. Have been wearin' it out in my truck stereo to and from work ever since. Already replaced the speakers....twice!" - Bernard M. Boyle, Maryland
“I had the pleasure of seeing you perform in Kansas City this year. It was the highlight of the weekend, as I have told a great number of my friends. Thank you for your wonderful music and for the information.” - Michael E. Longfellow, Kansas City, MO
"I’ve surfed around the web to different links for Celtic music and have found nothing to compare with your sound. The haunting melodies and sensuous rhythms, the magnificent harmonies and lively tempos, the fun and energy are just the best combination of pleasure to the senses. I hate to think we have to wait another year to see you perform again!" - Barbara Hunt, Springfield, Virginia
Houston Chronicle Eileen McClelland
"Bagpipes and drums in the wrong hands could be deafening. But under the influence of the kilt-clad Rogues, the effect is smoothly mesmerizing. Fans follow the Houston-based band around the country, from Renaissance fairs and Highland games to McGonigel's Mucky Duck tonight."
Celtic Music Magazine Rhonda Eudaly November 18, 2014
When The Rogues' “Hellbound Sleigh” came up for review I jumped at it - even though I'm generally a stickler for not listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. This, I thought, would be a fun addition to my Christmas music collection. I figured it would be weirdly irreverent with the title. I was surprised.
Apart from the title track, Hellbound Sleigh is mostly a lovely and lively collection of familiar Christmas and Holiday songs - some stand alone, others as part of medleys. Most are instrumental with pipes and bagpipes, violins and drums - along with other instruments that do give these time-honored classics unique elements. For the traditional Celts, and because there aren't that many New Year's songs, The Rogues appeal to all with "Ros' Hogmanay".
I have friends who are bellydancers. I can totally see this album as the base of a holiday-themed dance routine for them. There's a tribal sense to the instrumentals that make you want to move to the rhythm. That's not so hard to imagine since there are tracks like "March, Pat-a-Pan and Reel" and "Christmas Eve Reel/The Maple Leaf/Joy to the World" medley.
There are amazing - and different - combinations of songs on this album, too. I wouldn't ever have considered melding "Jingle Bells" with "Good King Wenceslas", but this works. It really works - to the point that I'm really looking forward to having this in my Christmas playlist just for the fact that it's “different” and very intricate and cool. My church has a symphonic violin player. I'm very tempted to make him listen to "O Holy Night/Ave Maria" because it's beautifully performed and haunting at the same time. The skill and musicianship is intricate and skilled.
If you're like me and buy a new Christmas album each year, this is the one to get this year.
Piper and Drummer Online Andrew Berthoff October 03, 1999
The Rogues Create a Celtic Joyride
Unique and fun interpretations result in an often brilliant recording
Only a decade ago, most North American Celtic groups were just loose imitations of bands like Battlefield, Tannahill Weavers, and Osian. Today, the United States, in particular, appears to be not just riding the wave of interest in Celtic music, but creating its own tidal force.
The Rogues - the Houston, Texas, quartet of two pipers and two percussionists – have just released “Off Kilter,” their fourth recording, which presents a quite unique and distinctly modern take on the Celtic idiom.
It would be a mistake for competing pipers and drummers to take one look at the group and dismiss them as a bunch of Rob Roy revivalists, like those seen around many North American Highland games. The Rogues’ puffy shirted look is part of the overall spectacle.
“Off Kilter” is a distinctly modern approach to piping and drumming. But, unlike many of today’s Celtic music groups, The Rogues don’t seem to have much time for synthesizers or anything electronic, for that matter. With only one exception, their stuff is done using traditional instruments.
Their music, though, is anything but traditional. “Off Kilter” is a ceilidh of musical surprises, the most intriguing of which seem to be from piper Lars Sloan. Three tracks in particular – “Miss. P.,” “’Scuse Me?” and “Guinness Dog” – are wonderfully creative. From the dog barking samples in “Guinness Dog” to the bizarre vocal interjections in “’Scuse Me?,” Sloan’s compositions put an accent on fun, and usually come up with a percussion groove that makes the pipe music surge.
And it is the percussion that is perhaps the best overall part of “Off Kilter.” Bodhran, congas, bongos, claves, and God knows what else drive the whole thing along at a crazy pace. The only parts of the recording that get a bit ponderous are the points where the groups goes only with Highland pipes and pipe band snare, as in the start of the last track of hornpipes and reels. It’s relatively unexciting, but then the group gets grooving again with drum set and a more driving tempo.
“Off Kilter” is a difficult thing to summarize musically. The piping is very good, the instruments are well tuned, and the spirit is intensely positive. One thing’s for sure: the piping puritans will hate it.