MAC (Ryan McKasson, Elias Alexander & Colin Cotter)
The story of MAC begins in 2014 in the city of Boston, MA where a troupe of Celtic musicians waited out an apocalyptic snowstorm that had grounded flights for the foreseeable future – in times such as those, the only reasonable course of action is to head to the pub and play tunes until spring. It was at this marathon wintry jam session that MAC members Ryan McKasson (fiddle), Elias Alexander (bagpipes/vox), and Colin Cotter (guitar/vox) first played tunes together as a trio, laying the foundation of what was later to become MAC.
Fast-forward to September, 2015 when McKasson, Alexander, and Cotter were all in the same place for only the second time, in this case as performers at the KVMR Celtic Music Festival in Northern California. Ryan and Colin invited Elias (who was performing with famed Galician piper, Carlos Núñez) to join them on stage for some tunes and songs, and thus was MAC born!
MAC is, at its core, part the natural progression of Celtic music as it has worked away into the American consciousness. McKasson, Alexander, and Cotter are all three well-versed in the Celtic music tradition, and the music that they write and perform is steeped heavily in this timeless tradition while calling upon influences ranging from rock to classical. Their performances reveal fiery personas tempered with artistry, finesse, and virtuosity as they draw from a deep well of innovative original music and lush arrangements of traditional songs and tunes.
Ryan is a Scottish fiddler (former National Scottish Fiddle Champion) and tune writer from Seattle who tours with a number of well-known bands around the world. He is also in demand as a recording artist, appearing on two of Hanneke Cassel’s albums as well as on Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas’ album, “Highlander’s Farewell.” Elias is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, originally from Ashland, Oregon, now living in Boston. He tours nationally and internationally with several projects, and has performed with greats such as Carlos Nuñez, Alasdair Fraser, and Gillebrìde MacMillan. He is also a regular faculty member at Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, as well as being in demand for other music camps around the country. Colin is a guitarist, fiddler, singer, and songwriter who has toured internationally as the front man in bands and as a guitar accompanist to traditional fiddlers of varying backgrounds. He has released 4 studio albums largely of original music, has shared the stage with the likes of David Bromberg and Alasdair Fraser, and is a regular faculty member at Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School and the Mike Block String Camp.