Rare Air

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Rare Air
Also known asNa Cabarfeidh
GenresCeltic folk
Years active1970s–1991 (1991)

Rare Air, formerly Na Cabarfeidh, was a Canadian band that played an eccentric mix of instruments, including bagpipes, flutes, whistles, bombardes, bass guitar, and keyboards.[1] Its first two albums were released under the name Na Cabarfeidh and the following four under the new name, Rare Air.


The group was founded in the late 1970s as a Celtic folk music band, was originally led by bagpipers Grier Coppins and Pat O'Gorman.[2][3] The name Na Cabarfeidh means "the Cabarfeidh" in Gaelic, referring to the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band in which they had both played.

In 1982, Na Cabarfeidh released an album produced by Sometimes We Do This Musical Productions. At the time of album, the band included Ian Goodfellow, Grier Coppins, Richard Murai, Patrick O'Gorman, and Trevor Ferrier. The instruments on this album were Great Highland Bagpipes, acoustic guitar, long drum, whistle, bombarde, biniou koz, peaucloche, voices, cylinder drums, and tabla. The song Bretonia was based on a melody of a Breton love song, "J'ai travaillé la longue des jours," as sung to the band by Pierrig Hercelin of Les Fougerets. Their sound was a fusion of Celtic, rock and a Caribbean beat.

After the band's second album, Rare Air, Goodfellow left, and the band changed its name to the more easily pronounced Rare Air.[1] In 1985, the group released Mad Plaid on the Flying Fish label.[4]

Rare Air toured the world, and extensively in the southern United States. Their early music took the sounds of Celtic music from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and North America and combined it with funky bass rhythms and driving polyrhythmic percussion.[5][6] In 1990, two of the four founding members, Trevor Ferrier and Richard Murai, left to pursue their own musical interests, and the band changed musical direction with the addition of Christian Frappier, Jeff Gill and Rich Greenspoon. Rare Air's music became more jazz-oriented and it was soon tagged with the "jazz fusion" label.

After the last album, Space Piper, the group disbanded.


  • Stick It in Your Ear (1981)[7]
  • Rare Air (1982)[1]
  • Mad Plaid (1984)[8]
  • Hard to Beat (1987)[9]
  • Primeval (1989)[9]
  • Space Piper (circa 1991)[10]


  1. ^ a b c " Na Cabarfeidh Rare Air". AllMusic Review by Richard Foss
  2. ^ "Older but still useful". Green Man Review, 28 May 2000
  3. ^ "AlgomaTrad Family Music, Dance and Arts Camp founders insist that although raw musical talent is sweet, passion is key for anyone primed to learn the craft". Sault Star, By Pauline Clark, August 14, 2015
  4. ^ Reviews: Pop - Recommended. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 12 January 1985. pp. 101–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ June Skinner Sawyers (2001). Celtic Music: A Complete Guide. Perseus (for Hbg). pp. 310–. ISBN 978-0-306-81007-7.
  6. ^ "Music Review", The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, March 19, 1989, Page 8. via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Great Highland Bagpipe". The Canadian Encyclopedia David Waterhouse. 02/07/2006
  8. ^ " Rare Air Mad Plaid". AllMusic Review by Richard Foss
  9. ^ a b "Artists > Rare Air". Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  10. ^ "Green Linnet". The Irish Music Review.

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