Cantrip – Scottish Trad Power Band

Jan 20, 2024 (Sat) / 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Buy Tickets here:
Venue: Phinney Center Concert Hall, Brick Building, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle

An Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in their musical arrangements! Swirling border pipes, raging fiddle, thunderous guitar and rich voices blend to create a sound energetic enough to tear the roof off!  The band sprung from a local music session in Edinburgh nearly 20 years ago, and after year of touring together, Cantrip has found a character like no other. Echoes can be heard of trad music from the 1960s and 70s, but the years have slowly infested their music with the sounds of funk, metal, bluegrass, swing, and even klezmer. Dan Houghton, Jon Bews, Alasdair White, and Eric McDonald stir the elements in a witches’ cauldron, slowly coalescing into chaotic order.


They are the closest of friends, and it is this friendship that has cemented the band’s musicality through the years and across ponds.

Dan Houghton began his career with the whistle at age seven and started playing bagpipes in the early nineties, proceeding to win the Scottish Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Open Borderpipes and New Composition events (multiple times), as well as the Maitre de Cornemuse at St. Chartier. He is also an accomplished player on flute, bouzouki and DADGAD guitar.

Jon Bews is a veteran fiddler, having started at age four. He came to Scots music from a classical education by way of Goth rock. A prizewinning graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 1994, he has performed and recorded with a diverse roster of artists and is currently active with two other Edinburgh based bands, Storm the Palace and OBT (Oakes/BewsThorpe).

Eric McDonald studied mandolin and guitar at Berklee College of Music. He cut his teeth playing for contra dances in New England, where he can still often be seen from the dance floor, in addition to his work with Cantrip. He also plays with Juno Winning Canadian folk legends The McDades and the trios Daymark and Kalos, familiar to many SFS concert-goers.

Alasdair White, originally from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, has over 20 years of globe-trotting experience with some of the best known names in Scottish, Irish and Breton music, including the Battlefield Band and Gaelic Super-group, Dàimh. Now residing in New York City, Alasdair rounds out the band with fiddle on many of Cantrip’s tours.

Join us for an evening of lively and soulful music with Cantrip!

Ticket Type


At Door

In Person-General



In Person-SFS/PNA member,
fulltime Student, or Senior 65+



In Person-Youth (6-17)           $10