Off Kilter – One of Epcot’s Best!
If you have ever been to Epcot and walked past Canada in World Showcase, then odds are you’ve at least heard Off Kilter. A blend of Canadian-Celtic Rock n Roll, good times and good music are what formed when this group began preforming back in 1997. Yes… they have been around for 13 years, and many people overlook these guys, but those who have seen them know that they are not to be missed.
Off Kilter is made up of five gentlemen who are from, literally, everywhere, and it is truly a multicultural group. Jamie Holton, the band’s piper, has been with the Disney Company since he was 20, and has been playing the bagpipes since he was 11 (he started winning competitions at 16). Originally, Jamie was in a traditional piping troupe at Disney, however after a few years he met Off Kilter co-founder, bassist and lead singer, Mark Weldon. Mark is from Ireland and has an extensive touring career with many bands in his native country. They had the idea for a Celtic rock band, pitched the idea to Disney, and the rest is history.
After the band got the green light from Disney, they needed a few more members to complete the group and came across three guys who fit the mold perfectly. Scott Zymowski, a native Floridian who had been playing the drums since he was 13, had played with well-known musicians such as the Allman Brothers and Les Dudek. Tony “Miracle Fingers” Escapa, who hails from Puerto Rico and is a master of the keyboard, was next up to join the group; he came from his own band named “EscapeFM,” which had toured Europe at one point. Finally, the group needed a lead guitar, and they found Kentucky native Randy Hollbrook. Playing since he was 9, Randy is an accomplished guitarist. He’d been in numerous groups, and before joining Off Kilter he could be found at Disney’s Pleasure Island with “Frankie and the West End Boys.”
So a group from Florida, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and Kentucky can be found in Orlando playing traditional Celtic music that’s been “rocked up a little bit” (as Jamie would describe it). I realize it’s quite an odd combination, but I assure you they are quite good. Their 5 CDs and 13 year history in Epcot should silence any doubters.
Playing such traditional songs as “Scotland the Brave,” “Danny Boy,” and my personal favorite “Fields of Athenry,”along with some non-traditional songs such as “Summer of 69” (hey, it’s a Canadian song!) and “Johnny B. Goode,” they have brought fans back again and again.
The next time you are in Epcot, make sure to stop by and see these guys; you won’t be disappointed. Also, keep track of their website to see if they are coming to an area near you. They do tour to various Scottish Games and other Celtic Festivals throughout the southeast.
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This post is part of the Dismarks Disney Blog Carnival. If you’re interested in Disney, be sure to check out the carnival for some more great Disney-related reading.