CANADIAN fiddle-player Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys should have a rather different gigging experience when they return to Inverness this weekend.
Friday sees the award-winning ensemble entertain a sit down crowd in Ed Court’s OneTouch Theatre, but their last visit to the Highland Capital saw them in the less formal setting of Hootananny’s Ceilidh Bar.
"We liked it a lot," MacKeeman said.
"It was great. It was a nice crowded bar and we had some friends open — a local band. We had a great time."
Perhaps one reason the band were so warmly received are the obvious musical links between the Highlands and the east coast of Canada.
"There’s a lot of Scottish heritage over home, for sure," MacKeeman acknowledged.
Originally from "New Scotland" itself, Nova Scotia, MacKeeman and the rest of the band now call fellow Maritime province Prince Edward Island home.
"It definitely has its own musical identity, but a lot of it is taken from Scottish and English and Irish heritage, so there’s a mixture of it all.
"There are definitely some American influences in our music as well. We just play the music we like so we can go anywhere from rockabilly and bluegrass to some traditional Canadian influences."
One thing that the Canadians seem to have all their own, however, is the tendency of fiddle-players to break into a spot of step-dancing, none more so than Gordie "Crazy Legs" MacKeeman, who has thrilled audiences the world over not only with his fast fiddle playing, but also his fleet-footedness.
"I started off dancing first," MacKeeman said.
"Back home dancing and fiddling go hand in hand, so one led into another."
Combing the two on stage also seems to come naturally to MacKeeman.
"In fact, sometimes In find it harder to stand still," he admitted.
"One time we were recording an album and my feet were making so much noise that they made me stand on a cushion."Gordie Mackeeman and His Rhythm Boys are at the OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness, on Friday 31st January.