Hootin’ and Hollerin’ at the Hootananny!
On my trip to Scotland I happened to land in a few of the coolest pubs I have ever been to...anywhere! First it was the Potstill in Glasgow, then in Inverness we found the wild and wooly Hootananny.
After a cruise on Loch Ness and a tour of the Urquhart Castle, we asked around for a laid-back pub that offers entertainment and a nice beer and ale selection. A resounding, "Hootananny!" is what we heard from every local we ran into. What we found as soon as we walked in was traditional Scottish music and traditional Scottish brews.
The Hootananny offers three floors with different entertainment on each. At the top is the Bothy Sofa Bar, a chilled, very relaxed area with a guy playing solo acoustic guitar. Mad Hatters in the middle featured an American style blues band, rocking and familiar, but we could find that anywhere back home.
We spent the majority of our time downstairs in Ceilidh Cafe Bar seated a couple of tables away from several musicians playing at a round table. My knee was bouncing and my head was nodding to the fiddles, mandolins, accordions, guitars, flutes, and whatever else the musicians pulled out of a case. The players rotated in and out of the jam session seamlessly, offering non-stop grass roots music. I couldn't help but think about the Irish and Scottish immigrants' influence on American blues and Appalachian bluegrass. I know, I know, awfully ethnocentric of me, but I am American!
We had so much fun at Hootananny that we ended up going there each of our two nights in Inverness. Matt, Brad and I all agreed that this is the type of bar we could easily become regulars in. We even me a very nice older gentleman who was indeed a regular who went drink for drink with us on our second night out! [more ]