Killiecrankie (band)

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GenresTraditional Scottish folk
Years active1990
  • Bill Aitken
  • Martin Smit

Killiecrankie was a Canadian traditional Scottish folk band formed in 1990 and based out of Stratford, Ontario. Members included Bill Aitken, Allison Lupton and Martin Smit. In 1992 Andrea Barstad, who previously performed and recorded with Tamarack,[1] joined the band. The band performed traditional Scottish music for concerts, celtic and folk festivals and Scottish dances throughout southern Ontario.


Bill Aitken: fiddle, guitar, cittern, mandolin, vocals

Allison Lupton: flute, whistles, vocals

Martin Smit: guitar, piano, vocals

Andrea Barstad: fiddle, vocals

Band leader, Bill Aitken is from Glasgow, Scotland and musically similar to Altan with a twin fiddle and flute front line. [2]"His song repertoire has obviously been influenced by fellow Glaswegian, Jamie McMenamy."[3] Aitken wrote several tunes on The Haggis Egg recording, as well as the ballad, Far Frae Your Hame, which reflects on the sadness emigrants feel leaving their native land.[4] "Killiecrankie offered a more traditional approach to Celtic music, offering jigs, reels, airs with great style, excellent playing and thoughtful arrangements"[5]

Their debut album, High Road to Linton was released in 1992. The band performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, Mill Race Festival, Stratford Summer Sounds, Peterborough Folk Festival, Wye Marsh Festival, The Fergus Highland Games, and the Earth Song Festival.[6]

A second album, The Haggis Egg, was released in 1994[7] and both albums were featured regularly on CBC Radio’s Max Ferguson|The Max Ferguson Show. In March 1992, Max Ferguson penned a letter to the band: "After a long day auditioning this week's crop of cassettes and CDs and finding most of them rather dismal, it was like a breath of fresh air when I heard just the first few lines of your group's cassette. I've just finished listening to both sides and thoroughly enjoyed it — fine voices, fine instrumentals and a tasteful choice of material..."[8]

The band's love of traditional Scottish music is what fuels their energy. [9]A review appearing in Canadian Folk Music BULLETIN: “Killiecrankie may be based in Ontario, but their take on Scottish music is as good as anything originating in Scotland itself and The Haggis Egg is an album you'll return to again and again, because like the best traditional music, its appeal is timeless."[10]

The band disbanded in 1996.[11]Allison Lupton launched a solo career as a singer-songwriter with Allison Lupton Music where she has received critical appraise and is a nominee for the 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Traditional Singer of the Year.[12] Lupton won the 2015 Folk Music Ontario Songwriter of the Year Award.[13] In 2009, Martin Smit formed the band, Seventh Town, located in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

In the media



  1. Sinclair, Alex. "Tamarack".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. O'Regan, John (1994). "Killiecrankie:The Haggis Egg". Rock N Reel Magazine.
  3. Winick, Steve (September 1992). "Nerds and Whey". Dirty Linen Magazine. 41: 70.
  4. Killiecrankie (1994). The Haggis Egg (CD). dB Recording Studios. Cambridge, Ontario.
  5. Chapryk, Jim (1992). "Celtic night at city hall a blend of styles". The Beacon Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Gunn, Deborah (March 16, 1994). "If It's Nae Scottish". The Windsor Star.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Killiecrankie. Northern Journey, Release 2.0". 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2020-10-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "MaxFerguson_Killiecrankie". Google Docs. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  9. Long, Cheryl (May 11, 1993). "Celtic Concert raising funds for Cambridge Church". Cambridge Reporter.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. De Lint, Charles (1996). "Killiecrankie: The Haggis Egg" (PDF). Canadian Folk Music BULLETIN. 30.3: 41.
  11. "Northern Journey, Release 2.0". 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  12. "THE CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS ANNOUNCE 2020 NOMINEES | Canadian Folk Music Awards". Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  13. "FMO Award Winners :: Folk Music Ontario". Retrieved 2020-10-30.

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