MacPhee leaving Slainte Mhath
By Laurel Munroe - Cape Breton Post
Cape Breton's hottest young Celtic band is losing one of its star performers.
Piper Bruce MacPhee announced Friday he is leaving Slainte Mhath to complete his university education.
"The time for me to finish my (business administration) degree is getting thin," MacPhee told the Cape Breton Post Sunday.
"It was tough; I had to decide whether to keep being a musician or not. It's been great, but the music industry is scary and time is starting to catch up to me."
MacPhee is nine credits short of his degree and plans to ultimately pursue a chartered accountant designation.
He admits Slainte Mhath's grueling touring schedule also played a part in his decision.
"I am sick of living out of a suitcase."
MacPhee is one of the founding members of Slainte Mhath. The band was born in 1994 when the Barra MacNeils asked younger brothers Ryan and Boyd and MacPhee to put together an opening act.
Lisa Gallant and Brian Talbot round out the group.
Slainte Mhath has played sold-out shows across Canada, the U.S. and Europe and shared stages with the likes of Natalie MacMaster, the legendary Scottish Celtic rock band Runrig, the Barra MacNeils, Great Big Sea, Ashley MacIsaac, Leahy and La Bottine Souriante.
In late 1999/early 2000, the band was featured in the Celtic stage show The Needfire, at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre.
MacPhee will continue to work behind the scenes as Slainte Mhath's finance manager.
He says the band is talking to new pipers and a replacement will likely be announced within a few weeks.
MacPhee isn't sure when his last gig with the band will be. He plans to stay on for a mini-tour at the end of December.
"I'd like to thank the fans for all their support," MacPhee says. "I'm sure I'll see them again some time. I'm definitely going to keep up with my pipes."