Columbus Folk Music Society annually puts on a weekend of free concerts, workshops and assorted exhibits, the Central Ohio Folk Festival. It’s a friendly local event, tucked away in a country park surrounded by forest a few miles out of town.

Friends took me along to this May festival, and once parked, we strolled around, getting our bearings. Before we really knew where we were or what was going on, my bagpipe detectors began twitching and I dragged everybody in the direction of the performance stage. It was not only the bagpipe sound, but the tune too had caught my attention, Lindisfarne, and I enthusiastically informed my people that I too played it and knew its composer.

Piper John Glenn

Piper John Glenn

We sat on the grass in the sunshine and had our lunch while we enjoyed the rest of Mad Maudlin’s set (border pipes, bodhran, fiddle and guitar/voice), after which I approached the stage and got talking to the bagpiper, Joss Glenn, who was putting away his bagpipes of the day (he’d left his GHB at home). After I’d thanked him for his performance of Matt’s tune he told me his back story. He had come across Lindisfarne, loved it and wanted to play it, so he’d contacted Matt for permission, expecting a hefty performing rights invoice. He was amazed when Matt had simply allowed him to play it at no cost. [Matt, Piper Joss Glenn he says “thank you” again.]

Then, the punchline. I explained to him how I was tickled by the appropriateness of his tune, drifting across the field when we arrived, because one of my friends was called Matt and he comes from Seattle. To hear Matt Seattle playing this lovely pipe tune, visit

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