By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Returning for their sixth appearance at the Walpole Public Library, Scottish folk band, North Sea Gas, were warmly welcomed within the Community Room this past Thursday. Band members, Ronnie MacDonald, Grant Simpson, and Dave Gilfillan, have been playing and touring worldwide for over forty years. They have recorded nineteen albums all together and are constantly adding new material to their shows.
In regards to North Sea Gas, the Friends of the Walpole Public Library stated, “A recent album, ‘The Fire and the Passion of Scotland’ won the 2013 Album of the Year award from Celtic Radio in the U.S. as well as first place in the ‘Jigs and Reels’ category for the set of tunes on the album.” Celtic Radio went on to mention, “The band displays an attachment and a reverence for their roots from the very start. The music feels genuine, unpretentious, and spontaneous, with a fondness for storytelling and beautiful harmonies.”
The room was packed with avid folk music lovers, including someone who could be considered North Sea Gas’ number one fan, Linda Zelenski. First hearing of the band a little over twenty years ago, Zelenski ironically reached out to Dan Gilfillan to learn more about the band and where to find more of their music. Upon conversing back and forth, Zelenski ended up playing a major role in getting the members of the band their green cards so they could start touring within the United States. They have been in contact ever since and she now ‘manages’ the band while they tour throughout the United States and Canada.
Zelenski additionally stated, “They [North Sea Gas] are usually in the states for four to six weeks, but it has been averaging about a month lately. Ever since Covid, it has changed everything. 2020 was their 40th anniversary and the 40th anniversary CD came out in late 2021. It has been difficult. Covid really took the bloom out of everything. … But we kept going. We kept plugging away.”
President of the Friends of Walpole Public Library, Philip Czachorowski, was also in attendance. He, along with the crowd, were absolutely thrilled to welcome back North Sea Gas for their sixth appearance and mentioned how honored the Friends of the Library felt to be able to sponsor this event. One can only hope this lively and vivacious band will be back to play at the WPL for years to come.