by Kate Berube
For those currently counting the hours until the next BBP St. Patrick’s Day Parade, you’re not alone, and a new documentary might help hold you over! The first episode in a music travel series entitled Sounding Home, the 36-minute film follows the Northport Pipe and Drum Band throughout their parade rituals during the beloved annual Bayport-Blue Point St. Patrick’s Parade. Bagpipes Calling features Sayville’s own Celtic musicians Tom Falco and Luke Powers, and is narrated by its filmmaker Andrea Wozny, herself a Northport bagpiper. The majority of the story is centered around the after celebration inside the legendary Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport, who’s cemented place in the Long Island music scene once drew an eclectic pool of talent from near and far. For those acquainted with the area, the scenes are filled with local landmarks and familiar faces, including former Grey Horse proprietor Linda Ringhouse.
Wozny is a gifted storyteller, in equal parts folksy and sincere as she guides you through the day, but it’s the introduction of expert piper Luke Powers that makes you stop to realize you are witnessing something truly special. When speaking of Irish music and culture, Powers exudes a passion that can’t be feigned and its resulting authenticity is powerfully engaging, made all the more staggering when he begins to belt out Gaelic. You may have come for the beer, but you stayed to hear him play.
The Northport band is notable for its diverse membership, considering most pipe bands traditionally have a connection to a police, union, or fire association. The ensuing camaraderie between the band members is tangible and translates effortlessly through the screen. The genuine affection they display for each other, particularly Falco, is infectious and compels you to continue rooting for them long after the credits roll across the screen.
Bagpipes Calling is available for streaming on its website https://www.andreawozny.com/bagpipescalling