Celtic influences can be found in Canada, and more so in their music!  The Internet certainly has expanded the reach of the music which is great news.  Canadian Celtic Music is so unique and wonderful to listen to.  The purpose of this page is to spread the word about Canadian Celtic Musicians.

There are links to various artist websites, including the ones I've designed and/or maintain for The Rankins, Wendy MacIsaac, and Jackie Dunn, links to subscribe to various mailing lists to keep up to date on several Canadian Celtic artists, and also a column where I'll keep you up to date on various events in Canada such as media appearances and CD releases.

Hope you like this page and let me know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc.  If you're having trouble locating a CD listed here, or would like more information on a particular item, please don't hesitate to contact me.

This page was last updated on November 23, 2011


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TBA


Past Artist Features

April 2005 - Troy MacGillivray
January-February 2005 - East Coast Music Awards
January-February 2004 -
Dave Gunning
December 2003 -
2003 CD Releases
September 2003 -
Wendy MacIsaac
August 2003 - Mac Morin
July 2003 -
Banshee
May-June 2003 - Glenn Graham
March-April 2003 -
East Coast Music Awards
January-February 2003 - Celtic Colours International Festival
October 2002 -
Howie MacDonald
September 2002 - Searson
August 2002 -
Cynthia MacLeod
July 2002 -
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival
June 2002 - Natalie MacMaster
May 2002 -
Ivonne Hernandez
April 2002 -
The Carsons
March 2002 - Lennie Gallant
February 2002 - Patricia Murray
January 2002 -
Samantha Robichaud
December 2001 - The Ennis Sisters
November 2001 - Celtic Colours International Festival
September/October 2001 - Jimmy Rankin
August 2001 - Kendra & Troy MacGillivray
July 2001 - Kindle
June 2001 - Slainte Mhath
May 2001 - Jennifer Roland
April 2001 - April Verch
March 2001 - The Fables
February 2001 - Sons of Maxwell
January 2001 - The Punters
November/December 2000 - Men of the Deeps
October 2000 -  Tania Elizabeth
September 2000 - Mary Jane Lamond


Canadian Celtic Artist CD & Concert Reviews

Purchasing Links

Subscribe to the Canadian Celtic Music Mailing List
(click above to be notified about events in your area, new CD's, etc.)


TBA


Artist Websites

39 Toes - official
Ardyth & Jennifer - official
Craig Atkinson
- official
Banshee
- official
Barachois
- official
Barley Brae - official
Barra MacNeils - official
Barrage
- official
Andrea Beaton - official
Gordon Belsher - official
Beolach - official
Bill Hilly Band, The - official
Blackthorn - official
La Bottine Souriante - official
Jim Branningan - official
John Allan Cameron - official
Captain Tractor - official
Carsons, The - official
Ceilidh Revue - official
Celtae - official
Celtic Attack - official
Timothy Chaisson - official
Adam Cooke - official
J.P. Cormier - official
Cormiers, The - official
Cottars, The - official
Chrissy Crowley - official
Heather Dale - official
Tracey Dares - official
Brad Davidge - official
Duhks, The - official
Jackie Dunn-MacIsaac - official
Ecclestons, The - official
Tania Elizabeth - official
Empty Flask - official
Ennis Sisters, The - official
Enter the Haggis - official
Evans & Doherty - official
Fables, The - official
Fiddlers 3 - official
Fiddlers Sons - official
Fiddles & Feet - official
Fortune's Hand - official
Lennie Gallant - official
John Gracie - official
Glenn Graham - official
Grand Dérangement - official
Ann Gray - official
Great Big Sea - official
Mitchell Grobb - official
Dave Gunning - official
Bruce Guthro - official
Timothy Harper - official
Ivonne Hernandez - official
Ivan Hicks - official
Jerry Holland - official
Irish Descendants - official
Jug in Hand - official
Korb, Ron - official
La Swing de Suete - official
Mary Jane Lamond - official
Lazy Jacks - official
Leahy - official
Leahy - unofficial
Lochaber - official
Buddy MacDonald - official
Howie MacDonald - official
John MacDonald - official
Allister MacGillivray - official
Kendra MacGillivray - official
Troy MacGillivray - official
Ashley MacIsaac - official
Dave MacIsaac - unofficial
Wendy MacIsaac - official
Wendy MacIsaac - official
Cynthia MacLeod - official
Natalie MacMaster - official
Natalie MacMaster - unofficial
Paul MacNeil - official
Rita MacNeil - official
Cyril MacPhee - official
Mad Pudding - official
Mad Violet - official
Masterless Men - official
Jon Matthews - official
McCarrel, Meagan - official
John McDermott
- official
McGinty - official
Men of the Deeps - official
Mac Morin - official
Anne Murray - official
Patricia Murray - official
Mutiny Gone Overboard - official
Joy Norman - official
Fergus O'Byrne - unofficial
Paperboys, The - official
Pogey - official
Alycia Putnam - official
Quagmyre - official
Rankins, The - official fan site
Jimmy Rankin - official
Rawlins Cross - official
Stacey Lynn Read - official
Samantha Robichaud - official
Jennifer Roland - official
Rotheby-Thomas, Jaime - official
Gordie Sampson - official
Sabir Sisters - unofficial
Seanachie - official
Searson - official
Shaye - official
Shenanigan - official
Signal Hill - official
Siochana - official
Slainte Mhath - official
Slainte Mhath - unofficial
Sons of Maxwell - official
Spirit of the West - official
Splinters, The - official
Streels, The - official
Brenda Stubbert - official
Squish - official
Tiller's Folly - official
Town Pants, The - official
April Verch - official
Victoria Fiddle Society - official
Vishten - official
Calvin Vollrath - official
Walter Bodega Band - official
Richard Wood - official


Venue Websites

British Columbia

Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver)
ArtSpring (Salt Spring Island)
Boot Pub (Whistler)
Buffalo Bill's Bar & Grill (Whistler)
Edward Milne Community School (Sooke)
Gabby's Cabaret (Vancouver)
GM Place (Vancouver)
Key City Theatre (Cranbrook)
Legends (Victoria)
McPherson Playhouse (Victoria)
North Peace Cultural Centre (Fort St. John)
Orpheum Theatre (Vancouver)
Pacific Fleet Club (Victoria)
Royal Theatre
(Victoria)
Sanscha Community Centre (Sidney)
Sid Williams Theatre (Courtenay)
Skyreach Place (Kelowna)
Tidemark Theatre (Campbell River)

Alberta

Banff Centre (Banff)
Citadel Theatre (Edmonton)
College Theatre (Grande Prairie)
Empress Theatre (Ft. MacLeod)
Festival Place (Sherwood Park)
Jack Singer Concert Hall (Calgary)
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (Edmonton)
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (Calgary)
Winspear Centre (Edmonton)

Saskatchewan

Broadway Theatre (Saskatoon)
Louis' Pub (Saskatoon)
Pump Roadhouse (Regina) Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts (Regina)

Manitoba

Club Regent (Winnipeg)

Ontario

Aultsville Theatre (Cornwall)
Barrymore's Music Hall (Ottawa)
Brockville Arts Centre

Centrepoint Theatre (Ottawa)
Grand Theatre (Kingston)
Hamilton Place Studio Theatre
Horseshoe Tavern
(Toronto)
River Run Centre (Guelph)
Showplace Peterborough

Quebec

Hurley's Irish Pub (Montreal)
O'Donnell's Pub (Montreal)

New Brunswick

Capitol Theatre (Moncton)
Dolan's Pub (Fredericton)
Imperial Theatre
(Saint John)
O'Leary's Pub (Saint John)
Playhouse (Fredericton)

Nova Scotia

deCoste Entertainment Centre (Pictou)
Marquee Club
(Halifax)
Octagon Arts Centre (Dingwall)
Old Triangle Irish Alehouse (Halifax)
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (Halifax)
Red Shoe Pub (Mabou)
Savoy Theatre (Glace Bay)
Sherbrooke Village Courthouse
(Sherbrooke Village)
Strathspey Place (Mabou)
Judique Community Centre (Judique)
West Mabou Square Dancing

Prince Edward Island

Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre (Summerside)
Olde Dublin Pub
(Charlottetown)

Newfoundland

Arts & Culture Centre (Corner Brook)
Arts & Culture Centre (Gander)
Arts & Culture Centre (Grand Falls-Windsor)
Arts & Culture Centre (Labrador West)
Arts & Culture Centre
(St. John's)
Arts & Culture Centre (Stephenville)
Mile One Stadium (St. John's)

Yukon

Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse)


Mailing Lists


Click to subscribe to The Barra MacNeils Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to the Canadian Celtic Music Mailing List


Click to subscribe to The Ennis Sisters Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to the Leahy Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to the Howie MacDonald Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to the Natalie MacMaster Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to The Rankins Fans Mailing List


Click to subscribe to the Gordie Sampson Fans Mailing List


Media Appearances - TV
July 2005

TBA


Media Appearances - Radio
July 2005

CBC's Atlantic Airwaves - Halifax, NS - Saturdays at 5:05pm - 

101.5 The Hawk's East Coast Rising - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Sundays 9am-noon AT -

780 KIXX - East Coast Kitchen Racket with Jack Bonaparte - broadcast live Sunday mornings from 11am-1pm at Pogue Fado (1581 Barrington St) in Halifax 

101.5 The Hawk's Highland Fling with Bob MacEachern - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Sundays 6:06pm-7:00pm AT - 

101.5 The Hawk's Music of Ireland with Paul Davis - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Sundays 7:04pm-8:00pm AT -


Canadian Celtic Publications

Celtic Heritage Magazine

- Contains several Canadian Celtic articles in each issue, CD reviews, clan information, travel info and more

- Subscription rates are:

- Canada: 1 year $19.95 CDN, 2 years $34.95 CDN, 3 years $44.95 CDN
- US: 1 year $19.95 US, 2 years $34.95 US, 3 years $44.95 US
- Overseas: 1 year $40 US

Visit their website at www.celticheritage.ns.ca for more information.

Dirty Linen Magazine

- Contains several Canadian Celtic articles in each issue, CD reviews, festival information, and more

- Subscription rates are:

Canada: 1 year $30.00 USD, 2 years $55.00 USD
US: 1 year $22.00 USD, 2 years $38.00 USD
Overseas: 1 year $40.00 USD, 2 years $75.00 USD

- Visit their website at www.dirtylinen.com for more information.

What's Goin On Magazine

- Contains several Canadian Celtic articles in each issue, CD reviews, news updates and more

- Visit their website at http://www.whatsgoinon.ca/ for more information.


Canada Fiddle &/or Celtic Music Camps

Orangeville Fiddle & Stepdance Camp Winter Workshop #2
Orangeville, Ontario
February 18-20, 2005

Gaelic College March Break Workshop
St. Ann's, NS
March 11-14, 2005
Instructors include: 
Bagpipe Music - Alasdair Gillies, John MacPhee, Catherine Watt
Bodhran - Lisa Gallant
Cape Breton Fiddle - Stan Chapman, Troy MacGillivray, Boyd MacNeil, Dara Smith
Cape Breton Step Dance - Jean MacNeil, Betty Matheson
Gaelic Language & Song - Angus MacLeod, Hector MacNeil
Highland Dance - Carleigh Leighton, Kelly MacArthur, TBA
Piano Accompaniment - Carol Ann MacDougall, Ryan MacNeil
Drumming - David Kershaw

NorthWest Fiddle Fest
Smithers, BC
March 13-17, 2004
Instructors include: Jerry Holland, Jenny Lester, Oliver Schroer, Gordon Stobbe, Brian Pickell, Roxanna Sabir, Marian Rose, Corbin Keep, Jaime Rokeby-Thomas

Cape Breton Style Fiddle & Step Camp
Barry's Bay, ON
March 14-18, 2005
Instructors include: Sandy MacIntyre, Kimberely Fraser, Jeffery Gosse, Mary MacIntyre, Eleanor Matte, Bonnie Jean MacDonald, Nicole MacIntyre

Pacific Fiddle College
Hope, BC
March 20-25, 2005
Instructors include: TBC

Emma Lake Fiddle Camp
Emma Lake, Saskatchewan
June 26-30, 2005
July 3-7, 2005
July 10-14, 2005
Instructors include: Calvin Vollrath, John Arcand, Jerry Holland, Stephanie Labbee, Gordon Stobbe, Ray Bell, Freddie Pelletier, Kim de LaForest, Everett Larson, Randy Foster, J.J. Guy, Clinton Pelletier, Ken Jefferson, Buddy Spicher, Gord Fisch, Amanda Horbach, Jack Dublanica, Patti Lamoureux, Ivonne Hernandez

Cape Breton Style Fiddle & Step Camp
Barry's Bay, ON
June 27-July 1, 2005
Instructors include: Brenda Stubbert, Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Kendra MacGillivray, Kay Henderhan, others TBA

Old Time Fiddle & Step Camp
Barry's Bay, ON
July 4-8, 2005
Instructors include: Chad Wolfe, Bruce Woods, Tyler Beckett, Pierre Schryer, Lindsay Beckett, Others TBA

Sunshine Coast Summer School of Celtic Music
July 5-9, 2004
Roberts Creek, BC
(on the Sunshine Coast - access by ferry from Vancouver)
Instructors include: 
Fiddle: Iain Fraser, Scotland - Scottish fiddle; Pierre Schryer, Canada - Canadian fiddle; David Greenberg, Canada - Cape Breton fiddle; Pete Clark, Scotland - Scottish fiddle; Catriona MacDonald, Scotland - Shetland fiddle; Oliver Schroer, Canada - fiddle; Roxanna Sabir, Canada - Irish fiddle; Jaime Rokeby-Thomas, Canada - Canadian fiddle; Danny Hart, Canada - Scottish fiddle
Andy Hillhouse, Canada - guitar; Ian Clark, Canada - guitar; Natalie Haas, USA - cello; Ian Lowthian, Scotland - accordion; Heather Beckmyer, Canada - piano; Debra Pinchbeck, Canada - dance.

MusicCamp Alberta
Red Deer, AB

Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp
Nashville, TN - Montgomery Bell State Park
June 18-24, 2005
Instructors include: Angella Ahn, Darol Anger, Rachel Barton, Sara Caswell, Carol Cook, Laura Cortese, Randy Elmore, Brittany Haas, Natalie Haas, Aubrey Haynie, Judy Hyman, Bruce Molsky, Carrie Rodriguez, Buddy Spicher, Jesse Stockman, Yale Strom, Mark Wood

Mark O'Connor San Diego Strings Conference
San Diego, CA - Point Loma Nazarene University
July 24-30, 2005
Instructors include: Fiddle/Violin: Gilles Apap, Daniel Carwile, Jesus Florido, Johnny Frigo, George Gao, Matt Glaser, Christian Howes, Nick Kendall, Jeremy Kittel, Andy Leftwich, Natalie MacMaster,  Adela Pena, Mark Wood; Viola:
Kenji Bunch, Carol Cook , David Wallace; Cello: Rushad Eggleston, Natalie Haas, Chris White; Bass: Jon Burr, Rachel Calin, Ranaan Meyer

Gaelic College
St. Ann's, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
June 27-July 1, 2005
July 4-8, 2005
July 11-15, 2005
July 18-29, 2005
August 8-12, 2005
August 15-19, 2005
August 22-26, 2005
Instructors include: 

SANDRA BALD-JONES, JOCELYN ROSE BROGAN, STAN CHAPMAN, BONNIE JEAN (MACDONALD) CUTCLIFFE, TRACEY DARES MACNEIL, DOMINIQUE DODGE, MELISSA EMMONS, LISA GALLANT, ALASDAIR GILLIES, SANDY GORDON, MANCE GRADY, GLENN GRAHAM, ALYS HOWE, DAVID KERSHAW, GRAHAM KIRKWOOD, CARLEIGH LEIGHTON, KELLY MACARTHUR, JEFF MACDONALD, MARIE MACDONALD,  CAROL ANN MACDOUGALL, SABRA MACGILLIVRAY, ELIZABETH MACINNES, MAIRI MACINNES, SANDY MACINTYRE, CARL MACKENZIE, SUSAN MACLEAN, ANGUS MACLEOD, BOYD MACNEIL, HECTOR MACNEIL, JEAN MACNEIL, RYAN MACNEIL, JOHN MACPHEE, BETTY MATHESON, SHEILA MILNE, CATRIONA PARSONS, ANDY ROGERS, EDWARD (ED) RODGERS, JENNIFER ROLAND, DARA SMITH, CATHERINE WATT, HEATHER YULE,

Disciplines covered under the curriculum for studies include: Great Highland Bagpipes, Cape Breton Fiddle, Cape Breton Step Dance, Celtic Harp, Drumming & Bodhran, Gaelic Language & Song, Gaelic Song, Highland Dance, Piano Accompaniment, Scottish Country Dance, Scottish Small Pipes, Traditional Piping, Weaving

Gaelic College in Vermont
Shelburne Farms, Vermont, USA
July 25-29, 2005
Instructors include: Kendra MacGillivray, Troy MacGillivray, Jennifer Roland, Sandy McIntyre, others

Gaelic College Irish Week
St. Ann's, NS
August 1-5, 2005
Instructors include: TBC

Orangeville Fiddle & Stepdance Camp
Orangeville, Ontario
July 10-15, 2005
Instructors include: Mark Sullivan, Erin Kelly, Jenn Stacey, Jacinthe Trudeau, Judy Waymouth, Chad Wolfe, Tyler Beckett, Linsey Beckett, Kendra Norris, Bruce Woods, Debbie Reid, and Lloyd Wilson

Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival & Workshops
Rollo Bay, Prince Edward Island
July 15-17, 2005
Instructors include: 

Pacific Institute of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts
Parksville, BC - Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort
July 3-8, 2005
Instructors include: 

Kootenay Branch #9 Fiddle Workshop
Castlegar, BC
July 18-22, 2005
Instructors include Gordon Stobbe, Keith Wilson, Nadia Olafson, Alice Wilson

BC Fiddle Treat
Gavin Lake, BC
July 26-31, 2004
Instructors include: Mike Sanyshyn, Gordon Stobbe, Riel Aubichon, Michelle Bruce, Andrew Goulet, Sandra Flavel, Vic Ukrainetz, Keith Wilson, Bruce Blair, Charlotte Lapp, Alice Wilson, Craig McGregor, Jaime White

Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music
Inverness, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
August 1-5, 2005 (Advanced/Masters)
Instructors include: Kimberley Fraser, Brenda Stubbert and Stephanie Wills
August 8-12, 2005 (Intermediate)
Instructors include: fiddlers Wendy MacIsaac, Mairi Rankin, pianist Mac Morin, guitarist Pat Gillis, and piper Ryan MacNeil
August 15-19, 2005 (Beginner)
Instructors include: fiddlers Andrea Beaton and Glenn Graham, guitar and piano will be announced

Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp
Denver, Colorado
August 7-14, 2005
August 14-21, 2005
Instructors include TBC

Strings Across the Sky
Yellowknife & Rae, NWT
August 9-17, 2005
Instructors include:
Jaime RT,

Music on the Wheatley
Wheatley River, PEI
August 19-21, 2005
Instructors include:
Gordon Stobbe, Kim Holmes, Skip Holmes, Kim Vincent, & more

Cowichan Fiddle Festival
Duncan, BC
August 19-21, 2005
Instructors include:
Jaime RT, 

Ceili 2004 Irish Music & Dance Camp
Harrison Hot Springs, BC
August 15-20, 2004
Contact: Leslie Wilson 604-290-4129
Fiddle instructors including Liz Carroll, Michelle Bergin, and Brian Conway

By The Canal Fiddle Camp
Nepean, Ontario
August 21-25, 2005
Instructors include:
Fiddle: Calvin Vollrath, Patti Kusturok-Lamoureux, Brian Hebert, Winnie Chafe, Rachel Hamilton, Terri-Lynn Mahusky, Jacinthe Trudeau
Piano: Jim Hunter, Geoff Horrocks

Salt Spring Fiddle Workshop
Salt Spring Island, BC
August 21-26, 2005
Instructors include:
Jaime RT,


Canada Fiddle Contests

Kamloops Fiddle Contest
Kamloops, British Columbia
May 7, 2005

Fiddleworks Annual Competition
Chelmsford, ON
May 13-14, 2005

Central Fraser Valley Fiddle Contest
Abbotsford, British Columbia
May 21, 2005

Ottawa Fiddle & Stepdance Competition
Ottawa, ON

Quesnel Fiddle Contest & 2005 Provincial Championships
Quesnel, British Columbia
June 4, 2005

Canadian Olde Tyme Fiddle & Step Dance Contest
Douro, Ontario
June 3-4, 2005

Kelowna Fiddle Contest
Kelowna, British Columbia
June 10-11, 2005

Vankleek Hill Fiddle & Dance Contest
Vankleek Hill, ON

Southwestern Ontario Open Fiddle & Stepdance Championships
Tavistock, ON
July 1-2, 2005

Govan Old Tyme Fiddle Festival
Govan, Saskatchewan
July 8-9, 2005

Huronia Fiddle & Stepdance Contest
Penetanguishene, ON
July 8-9, 2005

Maritime Fiddle Festival
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
July 7-11, 2005

Richibucto Annual Fiddling & Step Dancing Contest
Richibucto, New Brunswick

Newmarket Fiddle & Stepdance Festival
Newmarket, ON

Bobcaygeon Fiddle Contest
Bobcaygeon, ON
July 22-23, 2005

Prince George Fiddle Contest
Prince George, British Columbia

Donnybrook Fiddle & Step Dance Competition
Donnybrook, ON

Shelburne Old Time Fiddle Contest
Shelburne, Ontario
August 3-7, 2005

Sturgeon Falls Step Dance & Fiddle Festival
Sturgeon Falls, Ontario

John Arcand FiddleFest
Saskatoon, SK
August 12-14, 2005

Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship
Nepean, Ontario
August 27, 2005

Cowichan FiddleFest
Duncan, BC

Pembroke Old Time Fiddling & Stepdancing Championships
Pembroke, ON
Sept 3-4, 2005

Merritt Fiddle Contest
Merritt, BC
Sept 3, 2005


Canada Folk Music (with Cape Breton artists) Festivals
January 2005

TBA

February 2005

4-20 - Ottawa, ON - Winterlude

5 - Avonlea, SK - Mid-Winter Celtic Festival

11-20 - Winnipeg, MB - Festival du Voyageur

17-20 - Sydney, NS - East Coast Music Awards

24-27 - Whitehorse, YK - Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival - performers include Ivonne Hernandez

March 2005

11-17 - Vancouver, BC - CelticFest Vancouver - performers include Ivonne & Kalissa Hernandez

April 2005

TBA

May 2005

5-23 - Ottawa, ON - Canadian Tulip Festival

June 2005

2-4 - Halifax, NS - Halifax Celtic Feis

10-12 - Brockville, ON - Brockville Celtic Festival

 - Joussard, AB - North Country Fair

18 - Brampton, ON - Brampton Folk Festival - 905-796-9357

24-26 - Oakville, ON - Waterfront Festival

24-26 - Smithers, BC -  Midsummer Festival

July 2005

1-10 - Victoria, BC - FolkFest

1-3 - Canso, NS - Stan Rogers Folk Music Festival

 - Sudbury, ON - Northern Lights Festival Boreal

7-10 - London, ON - Sunfest

7-10 - Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg Folk Festival

8-10 - Courtenay, BC - Vancouver Island Music Festival

8-10 - Orillia, ON - Mariposa Festival - 416-588-3655

8-17 - Calgary, AB - Calgary Stampede

9-17 - Harrison Hot Springs, BC -  Harrison Festival of the Arts

15-17 - Ness Creek, SK - Ness Creek Music Festival

15-17 - Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Folk Music Festival

15-17 - Miramichi, NB - Irish Festival on the Miramichi

15-17 - Fort MacLeod, AB - South Country Fair

15-17 - London, ON - Home Country Folk Festival

15-17 - Yellowknife, NWT - Folk on the Rocks

15-17 - Perth, ON - Stewart Park Festival

21-24 - Calgary, AB - Folk Festival

21-25 - Chapleau, ON - Chapleau Nature Festival

 - Dawson City, YK - Dawson City Music Festival

22-24 - Duncan, BC - Islands Folk Festival

22-24 - Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival

  - New Glasgow, NS - Riverfront Jubilee

29-31 - Cambridge, ON - Millrace Festival of Traditional Folk Music

29-31 - Comox, BC - Fillberg Festival

29-31 - Hazelton, BC - Kispiox Valley Music Festival

29-31 - Regina, SK - Regina Folk Festival

30-31 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Heritage Days Folk Festival

31 - Winnipeg, MB - Folklorama

August 2005

 - New Glasgow, NS - Riverfront Jubilee

1 - Comox, BC - Fillberg Festival

1 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Heritage Days Folk Festival

1-15 - Winnipeg, MB - Folklorama

1-5 - Miramichi, NB - Miramichi Folk Song Festival

4-7 - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Folk Festival

4-7 - Lunenburg, NS - Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival

 - Hamilton, ON - Festival of Friends - 905-525-6644

5-7 - Goderich, ON - Celtic Roots Festival - performers include Kendra & Troy MacGillivray

 - Montreal, PQ - St-Ambroise Montreal International Celtic Festival

12-14 - Ear Falls, ON - Trout Forest Music Festival

12-14 - Fergus, ON - Fergus Scottish Festival - 519-787-0099

12-14 - Salmon Arm, BC - Roots & Blues Festival

19-21 - Owen Sound, ON - Summerfolk

25-28 - Ottawa, ON - CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival

26-28 - Pefferlaw, ON - Eaglewood Folk Festival

September 2005

2-5 - Gatineau, PQ - Hot Air Balloon Festival

October 2005

7-15 - Cape Breton, NS - Celtic Colours International Festival

Artist Tour Dates
July-September 2005
For more info, visit the artists websites to the left
All dates subject to change - please verify before making plans to attend a show

39 Toes
July

TBA

August

13 - Alma, NB - Alma Activity Centre

Ardyth & Jennifer
July

TBA

August

10 - Pictou, NS - Hector Festival

Banshee
July

24 - Summerside, PE - Spinnackers Landing
29 - Children's Events - Seaside Daze - Dominion, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
29-30 - Rollie's Wharf - North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia - 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM
30 - Sydney, NS - Sydney Minor Ball Field
31 - Seaside Daze - Closing Ceremonies and Fireworks Display - Dominion, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

August

11 - Officer's Square Concert - Fredericton, NB - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
13 - Lucy Maud Montgomery Festival - Cavendish, PEI at the site of Lucy Maud's Cavendish home near Green Gables. Join us for a special acoustic performance with Bryon and Shelley Chase and Stacey Lynn Read from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
13 - Pictou, NS - Press Room Pub - 9:30pm
14 - Summerside, PE - Spinnackers Landing

Barra MacNeils
July

TBA

August

10 - Pictou, NS - deCoste Centre
13 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Civic Centre
26 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa SuperEX

September

23-25 - Hopkinton, NH - New Hampshire Highland Games

Barrage
July

TBA

August

TBA

Beaton, Andrea
July

20 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall Dance with Joel Chiasson (10:00-1:00am)
23 - West Mabou, NS - Dance
25 - Brook Village, NS - Dance with Joel Chiasson (9:30-1:00am)
27 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall Dance (10:00-1:00am)
29 - Christmas Island, NS - Ceilidh & Dance with Kinnon & Betty Beaton (8:00-1:00am)
31 - Broad Cove, NS - Broad Cove Concert

August

3 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall Dance with Joel Chiasson (10:00-1:00am)
6 - Port Hood, NS - Pig & Whistle at Arena with Shelly Campbell
9 - Scotsville, NS - Dance with Troy MacGillivray (10:00-1:00am)
10 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall Dance (10:00-1:00am)
15 - Brook Village, NS - Dance with Troy MacGillivray (9:30-1:00am)
17 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall Dance (10:00-1:00am)
19 - Johnstown, NS - Dance with Kinnon & Betty Beaton
20 - Cheticamp, NS - The Doryman (2:00-6:00pm)

Beaton, Kinnon & Betty Lou
July

29 - Christmas Island, NS - Hall

August

14 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub
19 - Johnstown, NS - Hall

Belsher, Gordon
July

23 - Dance - Emyvale Community Centre - 9:30 pm
24 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Cynthia MacLeod and special guest Maxine MacLeod

August

3 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Cynthia MacLeod and special guest Lester MacPherson
4 - "Close to the Ground" concert series with Eddy Quinn & Fiddlers' Sons - Kaylee Hall, Poole's Corner 7:30 pm
14 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Cynthia MacLeod and special guest Eddy Quinn
24 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Cynthia MacLeod and special guest Janet McGarry

September

4 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Cynthia MacLeod and special guest Dino Dunsford

Beolach
July

TBA

August

1 - Halifax, NS - MacDonald Bridge Celebration
8-12 - Inverness, NS - Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music
12 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Pub Under the Stars
13 - Port Hastings, NS - Gala Performance at the Causeway Celebrations
23 - Georgetown, PE - King's Playhouse

Bills, The
July

22 - Warwick, England - Warwick Folk Festival
23 - Brookfield, Renfrewshire, Scotland - Brookfield Village Hall
24 - Brampton, England - Brampton Folk Festival
28-29 - Cambridge, England - Cambridge Folk Festival
31 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival

August

1 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival
4-6 - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Folk Music Festival

September

2-4 - Pagosa Springs, CO - Four Corners Folk Festival
9-11 - Sisters, OR - Sisters Folk Festival
17 - Bishop, CA - Millpond Festival
23 - Newman, CA - West Side Theatre
24 - Templeton, CA - Castoro Cellars
25 - Modesto, CA - Congregation Beth Shalom

October

TBA

November

11-13 - Brookville, FL - Riverhawk Music Festival

Blou

July

TBA

August

6 - Quebec, PQ - Fętes de la Nouvelle-France
14 - Bouctouche, NB - Pays de la Sagouine
18-25 - France
26 - Annapolis Royal, NS

La Bottine Souriante
July

TBA

August

TBA

Cameron, Derrick & Melody
July

20 - St. Peter's, NS - Bras d'or Lakes Inn
27
- St. Peter's, NS - Bras d'or Lakes Inn

August

TBA

September

TBA

Captain Tractor
July

TBA

August

TBA

Celtae
July

TBA

August

TBA

Chaisson, Timothy
July

TBA

August

TBA

Cormier, JP & Hilda Chiasson-Cormier
July

22-24 - Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Festival
30-31 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival

August

1 - Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival
5-7 - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Folk Festival
14 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green
26-31 - Boulder Creek, CA - Valley of the Moon School of Music

September

1-3 - Boulder Creek, CA - Valley of the Moon School of Music
11 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse
24 - Cornish, ME - Apple Acres Bluegrass Gathering

Cottars, The
July

23-24 - Pittsfield, MA - Berkshire Community College, presented by The Colonial Theatre
29 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts
30-31 - Cornish, ME - Ossipee Valley Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival

August

5-7 - Dublin, OH - Dublin Irish Festival
19 - Owen Sound, ON - Summerfolk
21 - Toronto, ON - Harbourfront Centre
26 - West Hartford, CT - Wilde Auditorium, University of Hartford

September

3-4 - Kansas City, MO - Kansas City Irish Fest

Crush
July

24 - Mount Pearl, NFLD - Mount Pearl City Days

August

TBA

Debison, Aselin
July

TBA

August

23 - Ottawa, ON - Lansdowne Park

September

16 - Thornhill, ON - Thornhill Community Centre

October

TBA

November

16 - Fredericton, NB - The Playhouse
19 - Moncton, NB - Capitol Theatre

Duhks, The
July

22-24 - Bean Blossom, IN - Magnoliafest - Mid-West

August

TBA

September

2 - Camp Mather, CA - Strawberry Festival
18 - North Olmstead, OH - Frostville Museum Nature Center

October

20-23 - Live Oak, FL - Magnoliafest

Dunn-MacIsaac, Jackie
July

TBA

August

12 - Port Hood, NS - Bayview
25 - Glencoe, NS - Hall 

Ecclestons, The
July

TBA

August

TBA

Ennis Sisters
July

TBA

August

TBA

September

17 - Ottawa, ON - Heart Institute Gala - Heart Westin Hotel

Enter The Haggis
July

24 - Manheim, PA - Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
29 - Frankfort, NY - Great American Irish Music Festival
30 - Glastonbury, CT - Greater Hartford Irish Music Festival

August

3 - Agawam, MA - Agawam Cultural Council
5 - Bethlehem, PA - Musikfest - 9PM @ Volkplatz Stage
27 - Cortland, NY - Cortland Celtic Festival
31 - Downers Grove, IL - Ballydoyle Pub

September

2-3 - Kansas City, MO - Kansas City Irish Festival
17 - Altamont, NY - Irish 2000 Music Festival
23 - Hopkinton State Fairgrounds, NH - New Hampshire Highland Games 

Evans and Doherty
July

TBA

Fables
July

30 - Gambo, NL - Gambo Days

August

TBA

Fiddles and Feet
July

TBA

August

8 - Hubbards, NS - Ceilidh on the Cove

September

10 - Halifax, NS - Old Triangle Pub

October

15 - Halifax, NS - Old Triangle Pub

Fortune's Hand
July

TBA

August

TBA

Fraser, Kimberley
July

TBA

August

24-30 - Tonder, Denmark - Tonder Festival

Gallant, Lennie
July

24 - Rustico, PE - Rendez vous Rustico

August

5-7 - Lunenburg, NS - Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
9 - Georgetown, PE - King's Playhouse
19 - Mitchell, ON - Green Belt Farm
20-21 - Owen Sound, ON - Summerfolk Music Festival

September

TBA

October

7 - New Glasgow, NS - Glasgow Square Theatre
8 - Moncton, NB - Capitol Theatre

Glengarry Bhoys
July

TBA

Gracie, John
July

TBA

August

12-14 - Ear Falls, ON - Trout Forest Music Festival

September

TBA

October

TBA

November

26 - Lac du Bonnet, MB - Community Centre
28 - Neepawa, MB - Neepawa
Kaleidoscope Concerts
29 - Minnedosa, MB - Minnedosa Performing Arts

December

3 - Thompson, MB 

Graham, Glenn
July

29 - SW Margaree, NS - Hall

August

21 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub

Gunning, Dave
July

31 - New Glasgow, NS - Riverfront Jubilee

August

TBA

Guthro, Bruce
July

TBA

August

TBA

Hernandez, Ivonne

July

31 - Sisters, OR - Booher Family Music Camp

August

1-6 - Sisters, OR - Booher Family Music Camp
7 - Sidney, BC - Bandstand Concert Series

September

17-18 - Victoria, BC - Luxton Fair
25-26 - McPherson, KS - McPherson Scottish Festival

Hicks, Ivan
July

22 - Riverview, NB - Reunion

August

4 - Miramichi, NB - Marimichi Folksong Festival
5 - Cavendish, PE - Rainbow Valley

Holland, Jerry
July

23-30 - Elkins, WV - Augusta Heritage Centre

August

5 - Dingwall, NS - Octagon

September

2 - SW Margaree, NS - Hall

Irish Descendants
July

23 - Bracebridge, ON - Centennial Centre
24 - Palmer Rapids, ON - Palmer Rapids Twin Music Festival

August

TBA

September

9-10 - Downers Grove, IL - Ballydoyle Pub and Restaurant
16 - Williamsville, NY - Club Infinity
17 - Altamont, NY - Altamont Fairgrounds
18 - Richmond, ON - Fairground Arena

Irish Rovers
July

TBA

August

TBA

Kelly, Terry
July

TBA

August

TBA

Lamond, Mary Jane
July

TBA

August

TBA

Leahy
July

30 - Lakeside, OH - Lakeside Festival

August

6-7 - Dublin, OH - Dublin Irish Festival
13 - Bushkill, PA - Mountain Celtic Festival
18 - Washburn, WI - Big Top Chautauqua Festival 
19-21 - Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee Irish Festival

September

17 - Altamont, NY - Irish 2000 Festival

October

11-12 - Markham, ON - Markham Theatre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
13 - Chatham, ON - Kiwanis Theatre - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
14-15 - St. Catharine's, ON - Brock Centre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
16 - Oakville, ON - Oakville Centre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
17 - North Brampton, ON - Heritage Theatre - Natalie & Donnell Leahy

23 - Somerville, NJ
25 - Hampton, VA
26 - Pomona, NJ
27 - Baltimore, MD
28 - Strathmore, MD
29 - Philadelphia, PA
30 - Rocky Mount, NC

MacDonald, Buddy
July

22-23 - Dundee, NS - Chanter's Pub @ Dundee Resort
25-29 - Ingonish, NS - Keltic Lodge

August

TBA

MacDonald, Howie
July

TBA

August

7 - Belle Cote, NS
19 - SW Margaree, NS - Hall

September

1 - Toronto, ON - Bow and Arrow
2 - Windsor, ON

MacGillivray, Kendra
July

25-29 - Shelburne, VT - Gaelic College USA Summer School - Instructor
31 - Goderich, ON - Celtic College - Instructor

August

1-4 - Goderich, ON - Celtic College - Instructor
5-7 - Goderich, ON - Celtic Roots Festival
13 - Summerside, PE - Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre
15-19 - St. Ann's, NS - Gaelic College - Instructor
20 - New Glasgow, NS - Festival of Tartans
27 - Summerside, PE - Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre

MacGillivray, Troy
July

24 - St. John's, NL - St. John's Jazz Festival
25-29 - Shelburne, VT - Gaelic College USA Summer School - Instructor
31 - Goderich, ON - Celtic College - Instructor

August

1-4 - Goderich, ON - Celtic College - Instructor
5-7 - Goderich, ON - Celtic Roots Festival
9 - Scotsville, NS - Hall - with Andrea Beaton
15 - Brook Village, NS - Hall - with Andrea Beaton
18 - Glencoe, NS - Hall
20 - New Glasgow, NS - Festival of Tartans
24-30 - Tonder, Denmark - Tonder Festival

MacIsaac, Ashley
July

28 - St. John's, NL - George Street Festival

August

6-7 - Dublin, OH - Dublin Irish Festival

September

17 - Victoria, BC - Sugar on Yates
18 - North Vancouver, BC - Capilano Performing Arts Theatre
19 - Whistler, BC - Maurice Young Millennium Place
21 - Lake Country, BC - Creekside Theatre
22 - Cranbrook, BC - Key City Theatre
23 - Pincher Creek, AB - Pincher Creek Cult. Affairs
24 - Okotoks, AB - The First United Performing Arts Center

October

1-23 - NYC, Mexico City, Melbourne Australia - Orion Project

MacIsaac, Dave
July

TBA

August

7 - Belle Cote, NS

September

1 - Toronto, ON - Bow and Arrow
2 - Windsor, ON

MacIsaac, Wendy
July

TBA

August

8-12 - Inverness, NS - Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music
12 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Pub Under the Stars, Port Hawkesbury (Causeway Celebration)
13 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Canso Causeway Gala, Civic Centre
23 - Georgetown, PE - King's Playhouse

MacKinnon, Krista
July

TBA

August

TBA

MacLeod, Cynthia
July

24 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Gordon Belsher and special guest Leon Gallant
26 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
27 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Lester Stubbert and special guest Greg Bungay
31 - Tignish Irish Folk Festival - Tignish, PEI - 3:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
31 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Jon Matthews

August

1 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
3 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Gordon Belsher and special guest Lester MacPherson
4 -
"Close To The Ground" - Kaylee Hall, Pooles Corner, PEI - 8:00pm - hosted by Fiddlers' Sons
7 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Lester Stubbert
9 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
10 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Jon Matthews and special guest Joey Kitson
13 - 3rd Annual Islandwide Stepdancing and Fiddling Championships - Basilica Rec Centre, Charlottetown, PEI - 1:00pm
14 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Gordon Belsher and special guest Eddy Quinn
16 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
17 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Lester Stubbert and special guests Vans Bryant & Harold Noye
21 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Jon Matthews and special guest Leon Gallant
22 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
24 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Gordon Belsher and special guests Janet McGarry & Serge Bernard
28 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Lester Stubbert and special guest Kendall Docherty
30 -
Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
31 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Jon Matthews and special guest Greg Bungay

September

4 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Gordon Belsher and special guest Dino Dunsford
6 - "Close To The Ground" - Kensington, PEI - 8:00pm - hosted by Fiddlers' Sons
7 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Lester Stubbert
9 - Ceilidh - Benevolent Irish Society, Charlottetown, PEI - 8:00pm
12 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
13 - Olde Dublin Pub - Charlottetown, PEI - 9:00pm - with Gordon Belsher
14 - Ceilidh - Brackley Beach Community Centre, Brackley Beach, PEI - 7:30pm - with Jon Matthews and special guest Eddy Quinn
29 - "Close To The Ground" - Kaylee Hall, Pooles Corner, PEI - 8:00pm - hosted by Fiddlers' Sons - with Lester Stubbert

MacMaster, Buddy
July

TBA

August

TBA

MacMaster, Natalie
July

25-29 - San Diego, CA - Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp - Instructor
30 - Fredericton, NB - University of New Brunswick

August

20-21 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Folk Festival

September

17 - Batavia, IL - Ramsey Auditorium
18 - Cedar Falls, IA - Gallagher Bluedorn PAC

October

11-12 - Markham, ON - Markham Theatre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
13 - Chatham, ON - Kiwanis Theatre - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
14-15 - St. Catharine's, ON - Brock Centre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
16 - Oakville, ON - Oakville Centre for the Arts - Natalie & Donnell Leahy
17 - North Brampton, ON - Heritage Theatre - Natalie & Donnell Leahy

MacNeil, Rita
July

TBA

August

TBA

September

7 - Portage La Prairie, MB - WILLIAM GLESBY CENTRE
11 - Lloydminster, SK - VIC JUBA THEATRE
12 - Fort Saskatchwan, AB  - DOW CENTENNIAL CENTRE
14  - Vernon, BC - VERNON & DISTRICT PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
15 - Kelowna, BC - KELOWNA COMMUNITY THEATRE
16 - Penticton, BC - PEN-HI AUDITORIUM

Mad Violet
July

30 - Peterborough, ON - Festival of Lights

August

TBA

McGinty
July

TBA

August

TBA

Men of the Deeps
July

TBA

August

13 - Sydney, NS - Love Africa Project
16 - Glace Bay, NS - Miner's Museum
23 - Glace Bay, NS - Miner's Museum
30 - Glace Bay, NS - Miner's Museum

Morin, Mac
July

22 - Inverness, NS - Inverness Crab Fest - with Ian MacDougall
24 -  Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - with Mairi Rankin
26 - Scotsville, NS - Dance  - with Ian MacDougall
28 - Inverness, NS - Concert in the Park - with Ian MacDougall
30 - Cheticamp, NS - Doryman - with Ian MacDougall

August

1 - Halifax, NS - MacDonald Bridge Celebration - with Beolach
4 - Glencoe, NS - Dance - with Dara Smith
5 - South West Margaree, NS - Dance - with Ian MacDougall
7 - Belle Cote, NS - Concert - with Howie MacDonald and Dave MacIsaac
8-12 - Inverside, NS - Ceilidh Trail School of Music - with
Beolach
12 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Pub under the Stars - with
Beolach
13 - Sydney, NS - African Relief Concert
13 - Port Hastings, NS - Gala Performance at the Causeway Celebrations - with
Beolach
16 - Scotsville, NS - Dance - with Dara Smith
19 - South West Margaree, NS - Dance - with Howie MacDonald
22 - Brook Village, NS - Dance - with Ian MacDougall
23 - Georgetown, PEI - Kings Playhouse - with
Beolach
25 - Glencoe, NS - Dance - with Jackie Dunn MacIsaac

September

1 - Toronto, ON - Bow and Arrow - with Howie MacDonald and Dave MacIsaac
2 - Windsor, ON - Dance - with Howie MacDonald and Dave MacIsaac
12 - Brook Village - Dance - with Ian MacDougall
17 - PEI - with Beolach

Murray, Patricia
July

TBA

August

11 - Pictou, NS - deCoste Centre - Hector Festival
27 - Belfast, PE - Annual Lord Selkirk Charity Classic

Mutiny Gone Overboard
July

TBA

August

TBA

Paperboys
July

22 - Wenatchee, WA - Tsillan Cellars
30 - Vernon, BC - Camperama

August

5 - Auburn, WA - Shades of Summer Sundown at Game Farm Park
6 - Anacortes, WA - Anacortes Arts Festival

September

TBA

October

13 - Fareham, England - Ashcroft Arts Centre
14 - Nailsea, England - Ring of Bells
15 - Birmingham, England - The Red Lion
16 - Hitchin, England - The Sun Hotel
21 - New Milton, England - Forest Arts Centre
22 - Shropshire, England - Whitchurch Leisure Centre

Pogey
July

23 - Fredericton, NB - New Brunswick Highland Games
Delta River Front

Putnam, Alycia
July

29 - Fredericton, NB - Cathedral Concert Series, Christ Church Cathedral

August

8 - Hubbards, NS - Ceilidh on the Cove (with Fiddles and Feet)

September

10 - Halifax, NS - Old Triangle Pub (with Fiddles and Feet)

October

15 - Halifax, NS - Old Triangle Pub (with Fiddles and Feet)

Quagmyre
July

TBA

August

4 - London, ON - Grand Theatre
5-6 - Livonla, MI - St. Andrews Society of Detroit Highland Games

Rankin, Jimmy
July

TBA

August

13 - St. George's, NL - Blueberry Festival
19 - Lawrencetown, NS - Annapolis Valley Exhibition

Rankin, Raylene
July

TBA

August

TBA

Rankin Sisters, The
July

TBA

August

TBA

Robichaud, Samantha
July

24 - San Diego, CA - Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp

August

10 - Riverview, NB - Riverview Gazebo
21 - Memramcook, NB - Beaumont Church

Roland, Jennifer
July

24-29 - Vermont - Gaelic College USA School

August

TBA

Sampson, Gordie
July

22 - Prince George, BC - FolkFest

August

20 - Toronto, ON - Harbourfront Centre

Searson
July

23 - Palmer Rapids, ON - Palmer Rapids Twin Music Festival
28 - Syracuse NY - Kitty Hoynes
29-30 - Utica, NY - Great American Irish Festival, Herkimer County Fair Grounds
30 - Syracuse, NY - St. Patrick's Irish Festival
31 - Montreal, PQ -
Montreal Highland Games
31 - Montreal, PQ - Hurley's Irish Pub

August

5-6 - Green Meade, Livonia, MI - St. Andrew's Society of Detroit
12-13 - Butte, MT - An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival
17 - Algonquin, IL - Claddagh Irish Pub
18 - Geneva, IL - Claddagh Irish Pub
20-21 - Hunter, NY - Hunter Mountain International Celtic Festival
22-24 - Ottawa, ON - Central Canada Exhibition
26 - Peoria, IL - 2005 Peoria Erin Feis
27 - Davenport, IA - Celtic Highland Games of the Quad Cities  

September

1 - Newark, NJ - Sheridan's Irish Pub 
2 - Fredericksburg, VA - Colonial Tavern
3 - Messhoppen, PA - Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair
9 - Syracuse, NY - Syracuse Guinness Irish Festival
10-11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Pittsburgh Irish Festival
16-18 - Indianapolis, IN - Indy Irish Fest
21-22 - Matunuck, RI - Joyce Family Pub 
23-25 - Concord, NH - New Hampshire Highland Games 

Shaye
July

TBA

August

TBA

September

TBA

October

TBA

November

12 - Peterborough, ON - Showplace Peterborough

Signal Hill
July

TBA

August

TBA

Slainte Mhath
July

TBA

Sons of Maxwell
July

29 - Fredericton, NB - UNB Reunion
31 - Halifax, NS - Natal Day Concert

August

5 - Port Hood, NS - Arena
6 - St. Andrews, NB
14 - Halifax, NS - Casino Nova Scotia - Free Outdoor Concert on Boardwalk
21 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green

Spirit of the West
July

30 - Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON - Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
31 - Bala, ON - Kee to Bala

August

4 - London, ON - Grand Theatre

Stubbert, Brenda
July

TBA

August

TBA

Tiller's Folly
July

28-31 - FOCHABERS, MORAY, SCOTLAND - Speyfest

August

13 - MOSES LAKE, WA

September

3-4 - POWELL RIVER, BC - Sunshine Coast Music Festival
16-17 - AURORA, NE - Aurora Family Festival

October

1 - LA GRANDE, OR - University of Eastern Oregon
8 - Langley, BC - Voices For Hospice, Chief Sepass Theatre, Langley Fine Arts School 

Verch, April
July

29-30 - Wolfeboro, NH - Great Waters Folk Festival

August

6 - Shelburne, ON - Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship 

September

2 - Charlestown, RI - Rhythm & Roots Festival
22 - Memphis, TN - PAE Conference - Official Showcase
23-24 - Barre,
VT - Barre Auditorium
25 - Hesston, KS
- Hesston Bethel Performing Arts
30 - Eastsound, WA - Orcas Theater & Community Center 

October

1 - Coupeville, WA - Coupville Performing Arts Centre
6 -
Newburyport, MA - Firehouse Center for the Arts
7-9 - Stillwater, NJ - Folk Project Fall Festival
14 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts
24-30 - Nashville, TN - IBMA WOB Conference

Vishten
July

3-24 - France & Italy

August

4-14 - France
18-30 - USA

Wood, Richard
July

TBA

August

TBA

 

New CD Releases

(Some CD's you may click on to purchase, others you may email us to inquire about purchasing)

WRC8-7721.gif (20747 bytes)

39 Toes
"Right"

Banshee
"A Clearer Path"
(Canada)

Barachois
"Naturel"

Andrea Beaton
"Cuts"
Purchase the CD

The Beaton Family of Mabou
"Cape Breton Fiddle & Piano Music"

Photo Coming

Karen Beaton with Joey Beaton
"How Sweet The Sound"

Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton
"Cape Breton Fiddle Compilation"

Kinnon Beaton
"Eoghan Dubh"

Beolach
"Variations"
(Canada)
Purchase the CD

The Bills
"Let em Run"

Blou
"Blou, Blanc, Rouge"

The Carsons
aka Kid Carson
"Underneath the Wheels"
(Canada)

Celtae
"No Regrets"

Photo coming

Winnie Chafe
"The Collective Works of Dr. Winnie Chafe"

Timothy Chaisson
"Something Acoustic"

Maybelle Chisholm MacQueen with Robert Deveaux, Joe Lefort & Brian Doyle
"Pure Celtic Heart - Volume 2"

J.P. Cormier
"Primary Color"

Joseph Cormier & J.P. Cormier
"Velvet Arm, Golden Hand"

The Cottars
"On Fire
Purchase the CD

Crush
"Face in the Crowd"

Brad Davidge
"Unfolded"
(Canada)
Brad is Natalie MacMaster's lead guitarist & Natalie appears on this CD

Aselin Debison
"Bigger Than Me"
Purchase the CD

Yvette d'Entremont
"Yvette d'Entremont"

The Duhks
"The Duhks"

Ennis Sisters
"Can't Be The Same"

Ennis Sisters
"Ennis Sisters"
(Canada)
CD Review
2002 ECMA Group of the Year
Purchase the CD

Ennis Sisters
"It's Not About You
(US Release)
Purchase

The Fables
"St. John's"
(Canada)

Lennie Gallant "Le Vent Boheme" (The Gypsy Wind)

Great Big Sea
"Sea of No Cares"
CD Review

Purchase

Great Big Sea
"Something Beautiful"
Purchase

Dave Gunning
"Two Bit World"

Bruce Guthro
"Guthro"
(Canada)
CD Review
3-time 2002 ECMA Winner including Male Artist of the Year
Purchase the CD

"The Heart of Cape Breton: Fiddle Music Recorded Live Along The Ceilidh Trail"
CD Review
Purchase

Irish Descendants
"Across the Water"

Terry Kelly
"The Power of the Dream"
(Canada)
CD Info
CD Review

Mary Jane Lamond
"Storas"

Leahy
"In All Things"

Purchase

Ashley MacIsaac
"Ashley MacIsaac"

Howie MacDonald & Ashley MacIsaac
"Cape Breton Fiddle Music NOT Calm"
(Canada)
CD Review
Purchase

Howie MacDonald
"Howie's Celtic Brew"
(Canada)

cd-ianmacdougall.jpg (8805 bytes)

Ian MacDougall
"From Foot Cape"

cd-danhughie.jpg (11135 bytes)

Dan Hughie MacEachern
"The Land of My Love"
2 CD Set

Kendra MacGillivray
"Over The Waves"
(Canada)
CD Review
2002 ECMA Female Artist of the Year & Instrumentalist of the Year
Purchase the CD

Troy MacGillivray
"Boomerang"
(Canada)
Purchase the CD

Pius MacIsaac
"Music From The Heart"

Wendy MacIsaac
"Timeline"
Purchase the CD

"MacKinnon's Brook Suite"
(with Scott MacMillan & Ian MacKinnon & Symphony Nova Scotia)
(Canada)
CD Review

Donald MacLellan
"The Dusky Meadow"
Purchase

Cynthia MacLeod
"Crackerjack"
(Canada)

Buddy MacMaster
"Cape Breton Tradition"
Purchase

Natalie MacMaster
"Blueprint"
Purchase

Natalie MacMaster
"Live"
Purchase

Rita MacNeil
"Blue Roses"

John McDermott
"A Time to Remember"
Purchase

Mad Violet
"Worry the Jury"

"More Bridges 2 Cross - The Bridges of Cape Breton County Vol 2"
Various Artists
(Canada)
CD Review
Purchase

Mac Morin
"Mac Morin"
Purchase the CD

Patricia Murray
"Fŕilt' Eilein a' Phrionnsa - Welcome to Prince Edward Island"

The Paperboys
"The Tenure

The Paperboys
"Dilapidated Beauty"

Alycia Putnam
"Fiddle Storm"

Jimmy Rankin
"Hand Made"

Purchase

Raylene Rankin
"Lambs in Spring"
Purchase

The Rankins
"Souvenir: 1989-1998"
Purchase

Mairi Rankin
"First Hand"
(Canada)
CD Review
Purchase the CD

Samantha Robichaud
"Vivacious"
(Canada)

Jaime RT
"Reach"
(Canada)

Gordie Sampson
"Sunburn"

Searson
"Follow"
(Canada)

Slainte Mhath
"VA"
(Canada)

Brenda Stubbert
"Music All Around"
(Canada)

April Verch
"From Where I Stand"
Purchase

Richard Wood
"Infectious"

New Video Releases

B0000V8FP6.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg (22705 bytes)

Great Big Sea
Great Big DVD

Purchase

Aselin Debison
"Sweet is the Melody in Concert"
Purchase

Buddy MacMaster
"Live in Concert"

"Rita's Celtic Celebration"
Featuring the Chieftains, Ashley MacIsaac, Barra MacNeils, Leahy, Mary Jane Lamond

New Book Releases

 

Natalie MacMaster
"Cape Breton Island Fiddle"
Purchase

Upcoming CD Releases

 

Jimmy Rankin
TBA

 

The Rankin Sisters
TBA


Cape Breton/Nova Scotia Celtic Music Events

July

22 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

22 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

22 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton

22 - Christmas Island, Ns - Fire Hall - Concert with Daimh

22 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

22 - Dingwall, NS - Octagon Theatre - Dwayne Cote

22 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Rob MacLean

23 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Daimh with Shelly Campbell

23 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - Andrea & Betty Lou Beaton

23 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - 

24 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - 

24 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Winnie Chafe

24 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Mairi Rankin & Mac Morin

24 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green Concert Series - 7pm - Free - Blou

25 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

25 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7 - Andrea Beaton & Joel Chaisson

25 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

26 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

26 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

26 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

26 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

26 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - Ian MacDougall & Mac Morin

27 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall - Andrea Beaton

27 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

27 - St. Peter's, NS - Bras d'or Lakes Inn - Derrick & Melody Cameron

27 - Bicentennial Theatre - Middle Musquodoit  NS  8:00 pm - Jason MacDonald

27 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

27 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

28 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

28 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6

28 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Daimh

28 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Melody & Derrick Cameron & guest

28 - Berwick, NS - Union Street Cafe - 8:00 pm - Jason MacDonald

29 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

29 - Halifax, NS - Stayner's Wharf - Jason MacDonald

29 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

29 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Glenn Graham & Joel Chaisson

29 - Christmas Island, NS - Fire Hall - An Teaghlach-Ceolmhor - The Musical Family with Hector MacNeil, Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton, Andrea Beaton, Neil MacNeil & family

29 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

29 - Christmas Island, NS - Fire Hall - Andrea Beaton, Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton

30 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - Melody Cameron, Callum MacKenzie, Tracey Dares & Derrick Cameron

30 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

30 - Cheticamp, NS - Doryman - Ian MacDougall & Mac Morin

30 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - 

30 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Jason MacDonald

31 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - 

31 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Carl MacKenzie

31 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6

31 - Broad Cove, NS - Broad Cove Chapel Grounds

31 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green Concert Series - 7pm - Free - Stampeders

August

1 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7

1 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

1 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

2 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

2 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - 

2 - Yarmouth, NS - Th'YARC - Jason MacDonald

2 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

2 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

2 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

3 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

3 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall - Andrea Beaton & Joel Chaisson

3 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

3 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton &

3 - Liverpool, NS - Jason MacDonald - Astor Theatre 

4 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

4 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6 - Dara Smith & Mac Morin

4 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Melody & Derrick Cameron & guest

5 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am -  - Ian MacDougall & Mac Morin

5 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

5 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

5 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

6 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

6 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton

6 - Port Hood, NS - Arena - Andrea Beaton & Shelly Campbell

6 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Alfie Zappacosta

7 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

7 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Joey & Karen Beaton & Mary Elizabeth MacMaster

7 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green Concert Series - 7pm - Free - Matt Mays and El Torpedo

8 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

8 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7

8 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

9 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

9 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

9 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

9 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - Andrea Beaton & Troy MacGillivray

9 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

10 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

10 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

10 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall - Andrea Beaton

10 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

11 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

11 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6

11 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Melody & Derrick Cameron & guest

12 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

12 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Derrick & Melody Cameron, Joel Chaisson, Calum MacKenzie

12 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

12 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

13 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

13 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

14 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

14 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton

14 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green Concert Series - 7pm - Free - JP Cormier

14 - Sydney, NS - Membertou TCC - Jason MacDonald

15 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

15 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7 - Andrea Beaton & Troy MacGillivray

15 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

16 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

16 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

16 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

16 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

16 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - Dara Smith & Mac Morin

17 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

17 - Mabou, NS - Mabou Hall - Andrea Beaton

17 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

17 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

18 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

18 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Melody & Derrick Cameron & guest

18 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6 - Troy MacGillivray

19 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

19 - Johnstown, NS - Hall - Andrea Beaton, Kinnon & Betty Lou Beaton

19 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

19 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Shelly Campbell & Allan Dewar

19 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Odd Couples Band

19 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

20 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

20 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

20 - Cheticamp, NS - Doryman Beverage Room - Andrea Beaton

20 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Banshee

21 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

21 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Glenn Graham

21 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Granville Green Concert Series - 7pm - Free - Sons of Maxwell

22 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

22 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

22 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7 - Ian MacDougall & Mac Morin

23 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

23 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

23 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

23 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - 

23 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

24 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

24 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

24 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

25 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

25 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6 - Jackie Dunn-MacIsaac & Mac Morin

25 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Melody & Derrick Cameron & guest

26 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Howie MacDonald & Mac Morin

26 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

26 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmond Hayden & Susan MacLean

26 - Wagmatcook, NS - Culture & Heritage Centre - Karen & Joey Beaton

26 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

27 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

27 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

28 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - 

28 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Paul MacNeil & Tracey Dares-MacNeil

29 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

29 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7

29 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Edmund Hayden & Jennifer Bowman

30 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

30 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

30 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Shelly Campbell & Susan MacLean

30 - Scotsville, NS - Scotsville Hall - 

30 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

31 - Louisbourg, NS - Louisbourg Playhouse - Lyrics & Laughter

31 - Baddeck, NS - Ceilidh @ St. Michael's Parish Hall - 7:30pm - $8 - Jennifer Bowman & Susan MacLean

31 - Judique, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - $6 - Ceilidhs with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

September

1 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6

2 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

2 - SW Margaree, NS - SW Margaree Hall - 19+ - 10pm-1am - Jerry Holland & Marion Dewar

3 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

4 - Glencoe, NS - Glencoe Mills Hall - All Ages - 1pm-1am - $6 - Andrea Beaton

5 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7 - Andrea Beaton

6 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

6 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

9 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

10 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

11 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Robbie & Isaac Fraser

12 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7 - Ian MacDougall & Mac Morin

13 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

13 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

16 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

17 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

18 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Rodney MacDonald

19 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7

20 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

20 - Mabou, NS - Community Hall -  7:30p-9p - $6 - Ceilidh with Karen & Joey Beaton & 

23 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

23 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Morgan Davis

24 - West Mabou, NS - West Mabou Hall - Square Dance - All Ages - 10pm-1am - $6 - 

25 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Brent Aucoin & Jason Roach

26 - Brook Village, NS - Brook Village Hall - Square Dance - 19+ - 9pm-1am - $7

27 - Port Hawkesbury, NS - Creamery - Ceilidh

30 - Creignish, NS - Community Centre - 8pm - Traditional Square Dancing

October

2 - Mabou, NS - Red Shoe Pub - Melody & Derrick Cameron & Guest


Miscellaneous Celtic Music Events & News

ECMA 2005 MUSIC AWARD WINNERS & NOMINEES
(Winners in Bold)

FACTOR Album of the Year

  • High Low (Nathan Wiley) – producers:  Nathan Wiley, Ken MacCaull

  • House of Ill Fame (The Trews) – producer:  Gordie Johnson

  • Sunburn (Gordie Sampson) – producers:  Gordie Sampson, Matt Dematteo

  • The Bridge (Shaye) – producers: Jay Joyce, Bill Bell

  • Truthfully Truthfully (Joel Plaskett Emergency) – producers:  Ian McGettigan, Joel Plaskett

Female Artist of the Year  

  • Jill Barber

  • Natalie MacMaster

  • Rita MacNeil

  • Susan Crowe

  • Teresa Doyle

Male Artist of the Year  

  • Dave Gunning

  • Gary Beals

  • George Canyon

  • Gordie Sampson

  • Nathan Wiley

Group of the Year

  • Brothers In Stereo

  • Great Big Sea

  • Joel Plaskett Emergency

  • Shaye

  • The Trews

CBC Galaxie Rising Star of the Year  

  • Duane Andrews

  • Garrett Mason

  • Gary Beals

  • George Canyon

  • Madviolet

Single of the Year

  • Bad Enough (Crush) – producer:  Gavin Brown

  • Butterfly (Jimmy Rankin) – producers:  Tim Thorney, Jimmy Rankin

  • Happy Baby (Shaye) – producer:  Jay Joyce

  • Not Ready To Go (The Trews) – producer:  Gordie Johnson

  • Sunburn (Gordie Sampson) – producer:  Gordie Sampson

  • When I Am King ( Great Big Sea ) – producer:  Michael Phillip Wojewoda

SOCAN Songwriter of the Year  

  • Alan Doyle (When I Am King - performed by Great Big Sea )

  • Gordie Sampson, Brian Daly, Troy Verges (Sunburn - performed by Gordie Sampson)

  • Jimmy Rankin (Butterfly - performed by Jimmy Rankin)

  • Kim Stockwood, Damhnait Doyle, Tara MacLean, Jay Joyce (Happy Baby - performed by Shaye)

  • Nathan Wiley (High Low  - performed by Nathan Wiley)

Video of the Year  

  • Butterfly (Jimmy Rankin) – director:  Margaret Malandruccolo

  • Not Ready To Go (The Trews) – director:  Stephen Scott

  • So Perfect (Mir) – directors:  Mir, Rohan Fernando

  • Way Back In The Day (Universal Soul) – director:  Bradley Cayford

  • When I Am King ( Great Big Sea ) – director:  Andrew MacNaughtan

Entertainer of the Year  

  • Crush

  • George Canyon

  • Jimmy Rankin

  • Natalie MacMaster

  • The Trews

Enregistrement francophone de l’année  commandité par CBC Galaxie  

  • Coeur variable (Danny Boudreau)

  • Dérangé (Grand Dérangement)

  • Kilogrammes, reason, sexe, taekwondo & amour (Luc Tardif)

  • La route m’appelle (Daniel Léger)

  • Vishten (Vishten)

Folk Recording of the Year  

  • Always Home (Eric Angus Whyte)

  • Miss Canada (Little Miss Moffat)

  • Oh Heart (Jill Barber)

  • Redhead (Isaac and Blewett)

  • two-bit world (Dave Gunning)

Instrumental Recording of the Year  

  • Blueprint (Natalie MacMaster)

  • It’s About Time (Allie Bennett)

  • Variations (Beňlach)

  • Vivacious (Samantha Robichaud)

  • X8… a mandolin collection (J.P. Cormier)

Pop Recording of the Year  

  • Last Man Standing (Barry Canning)

  • Something Beautiful (Great Big Sea)

  • Sunburn (Gordie Sampson)

  • The Bridge (Shaye)

  • Worry The Jury (Madviolet)

Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year  

  • Blueprint (Natalie MacMaster)

  • Cuts (Andrea Beaton)

  • It’s About Time (Allie Bennett)

  • Jenny Gear and The Whiskey Kittens (Jenny Gear)

  • Vivacious (Samantha Robichaud)

Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year  

  • A Clearer Path (Banshee)

  • Blou, Blanc, Rouge (Blou)

  • On Fire! (The Cottars)

  • Variations (Beňlach)

  • Vishten (Vishten)

Sydney, Nova Scotia ­ Gordie Sampson, Great Big Sea, Shaye and The Trews are blazing hot with five nominations each for the 2005 East Coast Music Awards.

George Canyon, Natalie MacMaster, Jimmy Rankin and Nathan Wiley are sizzling with four nods each and Joel Plaskett follows closely with three. Several other artists have double nominations. A complete list of music and industry award nominees can be found here.

The East Coast Music Association is pleased to announce 125 nominations in 25 music categories and 68 industry nominations in 14 categories for 2005.

Nominees are chosen by juries comprised of music industry professionals and stakeholders from the ECMA’s five regions: Mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

“The diversity represented by our nominees this year is incredible,” said Shelley Nordstrom, chair of the ECMA board of directors. “It shows just how much the east coast music scene has developed and evolved over the years and how artists of all genres have been inspired to excel.”

The industry awards will be presented during the ECMA 2005 Industry Awards & Brunch, Friday, February 18, 2005, hosted by Cape Breton comedian Bette MacDonald.

“From broadcasters and venues to graphic designers and managers, the industry awards celebrate those people who work hard, behind the scenes, to build and maintain a strong east coast music industry,” said Nordstrom.

This year, the East Coast Music Association unveils a new category: Folk Recording of the Year. This award recognizes acoustic-based, contemporary material that represents the musical expressions of the performer(s). At least 75% of the tracks must be vocal. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

The nominees for this year’s coveted Entertainer of the Year award ­ the only East Coast Music Award voted on by the public ­ are George Canyon, Crush, Natalie MacMaster, Jimmy Rankin and The Trews.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out how you can vote for your favourite entertainer! The East Coast Music Association membership votes on all other categories.

The ECMAs will take place in Sydney, Cape Breton, February 17-20, and will culminate in the ECMA Awards Gala Show, broadcast on CBC Television, Sunday, February 20 starting at 8 p.m. in all time zones (8:30 NT).

Canadian country music star, Nova Scotia native and multiple ECMA nominee George Canyon will host the live broadcast.

Tickets for the ECMA 2005 Gala Awards Show at Sydney’s Centre 200 will go on sale Friday, December 17 at 9 a.m. by phoning 564-6668. Showcase tickets will also be available.

For bios and photos of nominees, and for further information on regional representation and multiple nominations, please visit www.ecma.ca.

2004 ECMA Winners
February 15, 2004

FACTOR Album of the Year

Get Back Change - Ron Hynes

Female Artist of the Year

Damhnait Doyle

Male Artist of the Year

Jimmy Rankin

Group of the Year

Crush

Entertainer of the Year

Crush

New Artist / Group of the Year

Matt Mays

Single of the Year

King for a Day - Crush

SOCAN Songwriter of the Year

Cory Tetford & Gordie Sampson ( King For A Day - Crush )

Video of the Year

The Rest of My Life - Sloan

Aboriginal Recording of the Year

Welcome to Forever - Forever

African-Canadian Recording of the Year

Only Me - Dutch Robinson

Alternative Recording of the Year

Talkin' Honky Blues - Buck 65

Bluegrass Recording of the Year

The Shores of Nova Scotia - Birchmountain Bluegrass Band

Blues Recording of the Year

Live At Last - Matt Minglewood

Children's Recording of the Year

Computer Cat - Donna & Andy

Classical Recording of the Year

Stravinsky: Works for Violin and Piano - Jasper Wood

Country Recording of the Year

Get Back Change - Ron Hynes

Francophone Recording of the Year

Blou Blanc Rouge - Blou

Gospel Recording of the Year

A Burke Family Christmas - The Burkes

Instrumental Recording of the Year

Infectious - Richard Wood

Jazz Recording of the Year

HavanaFax LIVE - Jeff Goodspeed and Jorge Chicoy

Pop Recording of the Year

Davnet - Damhnait Doyle

NewCap Rock Recording of the Year

Face in the Crowd - Crush

Roots / Traditional Group Recording of the Year

Can't Be The Same - Ennis Sisters

Roots / Traditional Solo Recording of the Year

Handmade - Jimmy Rankin

Urban Recording of the Year

I Took the Long Way Home - Dutch Robinson

2003 MIANS Award Winners
October 4, 2003

Male Artist – Sponsored by Delta Hotels
Charlie A'Court

Female Artist Sponsored by Delta Hotels
RyLee Madison

Group – Sponsored by Warner Music Canada
The Cottars

Album – Sponsored by MMS Atlantic
Charlie A'Court – Color Me Gone

Songwriter – Sponsored by The SOCAN Foundation
Charlie A'Court

Entertainer Sponsored by C100 FM
Charlie A'Court

Country/Bluegrass Artist/Group Sponsored by Studio 46 Guitars
RyLee Madison

Cover Band - Sponsored by Webgurl

The Accents
Tony Smith

Folk/Traditional – Sponsored by The Old Triangle Ale House
The Cottars

Francophone Artist/Group Sponsored by Distribution Plages
Blou

Inspirational Artist/Group – Sponsored by Ocean Sound Productions
Terry Kelly

Jazz/Blues Artist/Group- Sponsored by Ferguson Music Inc.
Charlie A'Court

Musician Sponsored by D’Addario Canada
Dave Gunning

Industry Awards Nominees

 Educator - Sponsored by The St. FX Enterprise Development Centre
Kendra MacGillivray

Event Coordinator- Sponsored by MusicStop/ABI Productions
Andree Gracie

 Event- Sponsored by Ardenne International Inc.
East Coast Music Awards and Conference

Manager - Sponsored by JIT Information Systems
Louis Thomas

 Producer - Sponsored by CKBW Radio
Gordie Sampson

 Visual Artist - Sponsored by Big Bang Marketing
Kelly Clark

 The MIANS Industry Awards took place Friday, October 3rd at Saint Antonio's Hall in Halifax

The MIANS Music Awards took place Sunday, October 5th at Saint Antonio's Hall in Halifax

Colour A'Court a four-time winner
Halifax Herald - October 6, 2003
By Andrea Nemetz - Entertainment Reporter

The Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia knew what it was doing when it handed out the Galaxie Rising Star Award to Charlie A'Court last year.

This year at the MIANS awards ceremony on Sunday night at St. Antonio's Hall in Halifax, the bluesman from MacCallum Settlement, Colchester County, picked up four awards: entertainer of the year, male artist of the year, jazz/blues artist of the year and album of the year for Color Me Gone.

"It just blew me away, it was a great night," said A'Court, 24, who thanked his parents for coming to the awards from just outside Truro even though they still had no power due to Hurricane Juan.

In the 12 months since last year's award, A'Court released his debut album and won blues artist of the year at the 2003 East Coast Music Awards in Halifax where he was thrilled to perform in the Myles Goodwin tribute.

"When my dad (Rod) and I used to play together, we did April Wine's Could Have Been A Lady," he said.

A'Court, who opened the awards ceremony to huge applause with his debut single You've Got A Friend In Me, was a friend to his fellow artists, insisting in each acceptance speech that congratulations go to all the nominees. And he singled out Frank MacKay in Sunday's crowd.

"It's because of you I'm receiving this award. If not for listening to the Lincolns when I was 15 outside the Legion in Truro, I wouldn't be here. It was a big inspiration," he said, noting his dad also encouraged him to listen to blues artists including Teresea Malenfant and Dutch Mason.

RyLee Madison, The Cottars and Terry Kelly each picked up two awards.

Madison, who also performed Sunday, picked up the country/bluegrass artist award and the female artist award.

"It means so much to me because it means I have the support of the industry which is just awesome," says the singer-songwriter who released the life of rylee in October 2002.

Madison was still elated from her appearance at Country Music week in Calgary last month at which she played in the Gospel Show, the Songwriters' Café and the Sylvia Tyson Tribute.

"Sylvia sat right in the front row - she was inducted into the hall of fame that night and was not 10 feet from me," says Madison who got back from Contact East in St. John's just before Juan touched down.

The Cottars picked up awards as group of the year and for folk/traditional artist/group.

"I want to thank my mom for driving me here tonight," said Jimmy MacKenzie, who was dubbed "Allan Doyle's mini-me" by awards show co-host Tom Bedell, whose Route 104 on Q-104 was named program of the year at the MIANS industry awards on Friday. Global's Nelson Hansen was the other host.

Terry Kelly, who was not present, was named songwriter of the year and inspirational artist.

Universal Soul, winner of urban artist performed for an appreciative crowd and Matt Mays, who was, named pop/rock artist of the year closed out the show with a rocking set. Slowcaoster nominated for alternative artist, also performed.

And if Pictou County singer/songwriter Dave Gunning ever tires of the music business. The winner of musician of the year brought down the house with his comment that the MIANS statuette would be perfect to hang his bananas from.

It seemed like old home week as 11 acts were presented with Nova Scotia Classic Rock Achievement Awards to Dutch Mason, Everyday People, Molly Oliver, Oakley, RAM, Peppertree, Sam Moon, Snakeye, SOMA, The Battery and The Lincolns who all performed at the Nova Scotia Classic Rock Revival at the Forum on Saturday night.

Other winners were: aboriginal artist, Forever; alternative artist, Buck 65; children's group, Razzmatazz for Kids; new artist, Mark Bragg; cover band, The Accents; and Francophone artist, Blou.

Sweet-voiced Rankin flies solo
Raylene has enriched her expressive power as a singer on Lambs in Spring
Halifax Herald - October 2, 2003
By Stephen Pedersen - Arts Reporter

Caidil gu la laddie, la laddie
Sleep the moon away.
Cape Breton Lullaby

It's one of Cape Breton's most recognizable songs, an Island trademark with its piercing melody and lilting rhythm. But rare is the singer who sings it like Raylene Rankin does on her first solo CD, Lambs in Spring.

Her voice is soft and sweet, almost hushed at times, making it a real lullaby, tender and warm, sung as a mother would sing it, not as an anthem.

At the heart of Lambs in Spring, to be released in Mabou's Strathspey Centre next Thursday (Oct. 9) at 7:30 p.m., are two sharply contrasted songs. The first is another lullaby, Alasdair Beag, a traditional tune to which Rankin has written her own soft lyrics.

The following song is David Francey's understated but wrenching Flowers of Saskatchewan, about the Prairie boys who died in the D-Day assault on a ravaged Normandy Beach.

"The way the album was shaped," Rankin said from her home in Halifax, "was a gut feeling - there is a recurring theme of innocence and the loss of innocence. It popped up again and again."

George Antoniak's Scent of Roses is about loss ("I let you go, You slipped right through my hands"). Francey's Highwire compares love to a circus turn on a tightrope, the hard ground waiting below ("You never can tell when you might Jack and Jill.") The traditional Life of a Country Boy ambles buoyantly along, the singer ecstatically happy "to ramble in the new-mown hay."

Not a concious decision, the subtext contrasting innocence with loss of innocence, emerged through repeated listenings after a lengthy process "in the back of my mind," Rankin said, which gave rise about a year ago to the creating of a list of more than 50 tunes.

"I started workshopping two afternoons a week with Tony Quinn. We looked at everything from Steve Earle to Irish tunes, looking for what worked best for me and suited my voice.

"We shortlisted over 50 songs, got it down to 40, recorded them and sent them off to Chad Irschick (Inception Sound in Toronto). After shortlisting the 40 down to 12 for the album, we recorded them and started to sequence - sequencing is always a difficult stage - I dread it.

"After trying several options, I came back with a sequence that Chad had initially sent."

Irschick produced the first three or four of seven Rankin Family albums which made the group a national treasure in the heyday of the Celtic Wave of the '90s - which they did much to generate.

Raylene left the band in 1998 when her son was born, and since then has played solo gigs and conventions with guitarist Clarence Deveau and others. She will get together with her sisters Cookie and Heather (who backup one of the songs on Lambs in Spring) for their annual Christmas show.

But lengthy tours for Raylene have given way to the imperatives of family and motherhood.

It is clear from listening to Lambs in Spring, that Rankin has enriched her expressive power as a singer. The album highlights the natural sweetness and purity of her voice. On the title song, she traces the lovely shape of the melody, written by her late brother John Morris, arching high and true over the piercing intervals, expressing the song's theme of a remembered springtime love with an exquisite sense of its unique mix of melancholy and resignation.

On a second Antoniak song, Someone Like You, Rankin shapes a new course. Antoniak's song is a remarkable example of an old-fashioned jazz ballad standard that sounds like it was written in the '40s or '50s, but is so fresh and original it also sounds new.

Rankin sings it brilliantly, with a real flair for its pop style. The simplicity of the accompaniment enhances the impression, admittedly old, old-fashioned, that the sweetness of her voice in this swing tune is for dancing cheek-to-cheek with eyes closed as couples did before rock 'n' roll severed them into isolated acrobats.

Although Rankin had a rocky two-year ride with breast cancer five years ago, she says today, "I am in fantastic health - knock on wood and pray to St. Theresa!"

Since 2000, she has acted as honorary chairman of the annual fundraising Run for the Cure in Sydney ("For me it's a walk"), a five kilometre run/walk taking place Sunday.

"We expect to raise $400,000 this year," Rankin said. "The first year we raised $228,000. Last year we raised $380,000."

She'll return to Cape Breton for the CD release concert next Thursday, which she will be sharing with Mac Morin who also releases a new CD.

Rankin's husband, Colin Anderson, of Allegra Print & Imaging expects EMI, who will manufacture and distribute Lambs in Spring, will have CDs available for the launch.

"We designed and printed the album cover," Anderson said. "Carol Kennedy took the photos. We got it to EMI before they even got the master. They are promising we will have product. They made it today (Wednesday), will ship it Friday, I will get it Monday."

Handmade Turns - Rankin returns with second, more acoustic, solo release
Halifax Herald - August 28, 2003
By Stephen Cooke - Entertainment Reporter

For his second solo CD, Jimmy Rankin opted for a back-to-basics approach, favouring a bright acoustic sound over the darker, layered moods of his post-Rankin Family debut, Song Dog. The aptly named Handmade hits stores on Tuesday, with a live show by Rankin on Saturday at the Marquee Club heralding its arrival.

And what better way to prepare for the launch of a back-to-basics record than by getting back to nature? A week ago, Rankin was in the heart of British Columbia's northern forest, canoeing on the Dease River as part of Boreal Rendezvous, an effort to raise awareness about Canada's dense woodlands.

This was off the beaten path even for Rankin, a performer who's logged more miles than most East Coast artists.

"It's way out in the bush, total wilderness," he explains over Perrier in the dimly lit Diamond bar. "You don't see people for days, unless you meet another boat on the river. It's just the river, the forest, and the northern lights at night.

"I did have my guitar with me, although I didn't play the lick from Deliverance once," he laughs. "Everyone really appreciated it, because once we set up camp and had supper there wasn't much else to do besides chat and have a sing-song. Some nights it was like a three-hour show, and they're a captive audience, they can't go anywhere."

Organized by Justin Trudeau, the Boreal Rendezvous has included performers like singer Sarah Harmer, comedian Cathy Jones and, as part of Rankin's crew, writer and Dead Dog Café creator Tom King.

"We also had this guide named Leon Johnny, he was an elder of the Kaska tribe, and he was born on the river," says Rankin. "He started telling stories about shooting bear and tracking moose. Once he was chased by a bear that grabbed him by the belt, it was pretty amazing."

Rankin admits there was no such danger on his journey - although one set of rapids was rated at "two out of five" - and the experience proved to be a great way to unwind after months spent concentrating on making Handmade, preparing the ornate vaudeville-inspired cover art with Song Dog designer Ben Fong and filming the video for the first single, Morning Bound Train.

"The reality was, making it was pretty intense," says Rankin, who once again teamed up with producer Tim Thorney at his Stouffville studio, northeast of Toronto. "I had time constraints, and Thorney had a double schedule, he was working with Alanis, and he had to get to L.A. So we had a deadline.

"Now all that stuff is done, it's in the can and ready to go out there. Whatever happens happens, you can't really control it."

That intensity doesn't come through on Handmade though, as Rankin sounds relaxed and confident on songs like Colorado and Tower of Lethendy, surrounded by an intimate blanket of banjo, mandolin, bouzouki and acoustic guitar, with keyboards, electric guitar and even cymbals used sparingly, if at all.

Rankin says the warm sound is a reflection of his state of mind these days, more secure by himself in the spotlight.

"It's a bit more optimistic than Song Dog," he reasons. "It was made in a more peaceful space. Song Dog was a collection of songs written over a 10 year period, and there was some uncertainty; it was my first solo record, I was moving into uncharted territory, I didn't really know what to expect.

"Basically, (EMI Music Canada's) Barry Kent and I went out on the road to all the radio stations and handed it to guys and asked 'Listen to this, what do you think?' Now I've got a couple of years behind me, I've reestablished myself as a solo guy, I'm out there. There aren't as many unknown variables."

Besides waiting to see how Handmade is received by listeners, Rankin is also anxious to get up on stage in front of audiences again. Shows following Song Dog's release were a lot of fun for Rankin and his fans alike, and recharged his enthusiasm for singing to an energized crowd.

"Now people are coming out to my shows to hear my stuff. Sometimes someone will holler out for Mull River Shuffle, but I don't have a fiddle, y'know. People expect to hear me, which is nice. I had pretty big shoes to fill, coming out of the Rankins, with those great harmonies and great fiddle music."

But as he was with the Rankins, he's still singing about trains, going by Handmade's numerous nods to riding the steel rails.

"Yeah, trains and rain," Rankin laughs. "It reminds me of driving to New York one time with (film director) Robert Frank, and we stopped at this Tim Horton's in Saint John. And it was pouring down, and an engine was going by, and Robert looks at me and says, 'You should be writing a song about the train and the rain!'

"What can I say, I love train songs. They still work."

PURE CELTIC HEARTS Vol 2  - Fiddler Deveaux heats up Chisholm's Volume 2 CD
August 7, 2003

For 25 year old Robert Deveaux, the journey is just as memorable as the destination. Having lived and breathed Cape Breton’s music scene as both a performer and fan for 15 years, he has finally ventured into the studio.

"I guess some might say I'm a slow learner," he smiles modestly. On the contrary, Deveaux’s playing has been described as strictly traditional, resembling the sounds and cuts of the Island’s old players. And this recording is no different.

True to the tradition, Deveaux is accompanied by renowned pianist Maybelle Chisholm McQueen and her son Brian Doyle on guitar. The album is a sequel to Chisholm’s 2001 recording Pure Celtic Hearts.

"When we talked about doing a Pure Celtic Hearts Volume Two, I thought long and hard about the sound I wanted and Robert’s playing kept coming to mind," says Maybelle. "He’s a solid player, who’s very true to the tunes and that results in a very real and authentic sound."

Growing up in the vibrant Acadian community of St-Joseph du Moine along the Cabot Trail, Deveaux didn’t find it difficult to pick up the traditional fiddle music that has made the Island famous. "Well, my grandfather plays and there were a lot of great players in Cheticamp, like Arthur Muise and Donny LeBlanc who were a treat to listen to," says Deveaux. "When I got older, I started going to dances and listening to the greats like Buddy MacMaster and Theresa MacLellan. I just immersed myself in the music."

That immersion paid off. By the time he was 16, Deveaux was a regular player at dances and concerts throughout the Island. After graduating École NDA in Cheticamp, he attended l’Universite de Moncton for a year before transferring to St. F.X. to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in French. "The Celtic Society at X was a great place to meet fellow fiddle freaks and learn new tunes. X was also a lot closer to Cape Breton than Moncton," he said.

Upon graduating from St. F.X., Deveaux moved to Halifax, where he spent five years playing music, teaching, bartending and selling real estate. Three months ago, he moved to Sydney with his wife, Kelly, to pursue music full time.

Deveaux says his next project will be a recording of Acadian fiddle tunes. "I just got back from St-Pierre et Miqulon a few weeks ago," he says with his obvious French accent. "While there, I discovered mountains of tunes that are strictly Acadian dating back 300 years. I love playing Gaelic Scottish tunes, but I’d also like to explore the lesser known French Acadian music that is a big part of my heritage."

"Set your watches for MacIsaac's new CD Timeline"

Halifax Herald - June 5, 2003
By Stephen Cooke

CAPE BRETON fiddler Wendy MacIsaac starts her new CD with a blast from the past, all too appropriate for a disc called Timeline. A decades-old clip of her grandfather Donald Angus Campbell singing and playing the jaw harp lets us know that MacIsaac comes by both a love of music and a healthy sense of humour naturally.

"He was very silly, always picking on people and laughing," says MacIsaac, who launches Timeline in Halifax on Saturday night at Your Father's Moustache. "We found this old clip of him playing the jaw harp and singing this Gaelic song.

"It was hilarious, he just starts laughing in the middle of it. Then there's a clip of my mom stepdancing while my grandmother jigs a tune and then the last clip is myself, jigging a tune when I was three years old."

Three years old? Most of us were just getting past the paste-eating phase while MacIsaac was laying the groundwork for her musical career.

"Well, I was just 'diddling,' I wasn't really playing," she laughs in a vain attempt at modesty.

MacIsaac actually has been fairly modest about her talents over the years, earning recognition while performing alongside Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond or as a member of the Celtic combo Beolach. Her third solo CD, Timelines allows her to stand front and centre, with the help of a stellar Cape Breton cast, including Lamond; pianists Jackie Dunn-MacIsaac, Tracey Dares and Mac Morin; fiddlers Stephanie Wills and Howie MacDonald; guitarists Dave MacIsaac, Patrick Gillis and Gordie Sampson; piper Ryan MacNeil and rhythm pals Ed Woodsworth on bass and drummer Matt Foulds.  (Gillis, Dares and Dave MacIsaac join her on Saturday.)

Ultimately, Timelines took a year to complete, as MacIsaac juggled recording sessions with a busy schedule touring with Beolach and occasionally accompanying Lamond.  Plus there were the tasks of both raising funds and picking tunes for the project.

"I like the older styles of tunes" she says. "It's hard to describe the difference between newer and older sounding tunes to someone who doesn't know the music, but the older ladies from home would say that 'There's lots of Gaelic in the music' or 'Oh, you've got lots of Gaelic in your playing, you've got the old style.'  "It might just be that you love a fiddler's playing, and they just make a tune sound that much better. There aren't many tunes that I dislike, but some of them I like way more than others."

MacIsaac says her style isn't easy to pin down, since she learned technique from Antigonish fiddle guru Stan Chapman (whose students included MacIsaac's cousin Ashley, Natalie MacMaster, Kendra MacGillivray and fellow Beolach member Mairi Rankin) and studied the playing of a wide range of fiddlers, from Mabou's Willie Kennedy to Cheticamp's Arthur Muise.

"There are still things they do that nobody else can. Your fingers are just not going to do what they're doing.  Like Arthur, he's just unbelievable.  Even if he makes a mistake, you try to learn it, he's just that good.

"I can't really point to one particular style for myself. Like Ashley, Buddy MacMaster was his big inspiration--he can play exactly like Buddy if he wants to--and Natalie's too, of course. I think mine is more of an Inverness County style rather than stemming from one town or one player."

Always an energetic and inspired player on stage, MacIsaac says with Timelines her studio chops were also up to speed to the point where she could produce the record herself and put her own stamp on all aspects of it.

"I felt more comfortable in being able to say what I felt. Especially working with Mike Shepherd, he did the Beolach CD and he's really easy to work with. If there was something that I wasn't digging the sound of, I could tell him, no problem.

"I'm sure I could do that with anybody, but when I was making my first CD, I wouldn't have said anything. 'No, that sounds fine...'"

Topping off Timelines' snappy playing are some sharp graphics by Lori Morgan, combining old family photos with a classy cover shot of MacIsaac in a vintage chair, her fiddle by her side.

"At least I'm not standing by the ocean and calling it Over the Trail or something like that. It's hard not to make it hokey, because I still want my fiddle to be there."

If you took the fiddle away, it could be an image from a contemporary jazz or pop CD.

"Yeah, it could be Christina Aguilera Goes Celtic," she laughs.

From vibe to vice and back - MacIsaac's autobiography filled with witty anecdotes of fiddler's colourful trip to stardom

Halifax Herald - June 5, 2003

By Elissa Barnard / Arts Reporter

Ashley MacIsaac is not the idiot he appears to be in the media.  In fact, MacIsaac blames the media for the downfall of his career and for depicting him as a "crazy sexual deviant fiddle player."

MacIsaac is a witty, intelligent, self-deprecating young man in his autobiography Fiddling With Disaster, which is long on generalizations and short on those details of event and character that make good narrative.

He tends to be repetitive; by the end readers may feel trapped by a dope-smoking ranter at a party before they've had their first drink or toke.

However, the story of MacIsaac's early years in Creignish and total dedication to the fiddle is both endearing and informative. And his downfall into drugs and bankruptcy is an illuminating look at the lonely life of the touring musician.

Fiddling with Disaster: Clearing the Past (Warwick Publishing $18.95) begins with MacIsaac's liberating trip to New York City at the age of 17 to perform in composer Philip Glass's Woyzeck. The product of an undiluted Scottish culture, MacIsaac sees black people for the first time in New York City. A gay young man who has kept the closet door bolted, barred and nailed shut, he thrills to the sexual freedom of the urban metropolis. Camryn Manheim (The Practice) shows him around. Back in Creignish for his final months of high school he feels only a sense of "tragedy."

As a teenager, MacIsaac was great at earning and saving money. He started to learn the fiddle after his dad won the Atlantic Lotto and bought his son the instrument he requested. (In fact, MacIsaac's aggressive, full-body playing style originates with his dad's advice to "play with passion." "'Get mad at it,' he'd say. 'Play as hard as you feel.'")

Performing constantly from the age of 13, the first thing MacIsaac bought was an '85 Parisienne, a big car like the one driven by his hero Buddy MacMaster.

He saved $5,000 to record his first CD which he sold from the trunk of that Parisienne, just like Buddy MacMaster.  Then he hooked up with Halifax manager Sheri Jones, whom he never criticizes in Fiddling with Disaster. Their union ended abruptly when fists flew between MacIsaac and Jones's husband Wayne O'Connor, the fiddler's road manager, in a drunken, drugged out trailer at the Friendship Festival in Fort Erie.

After his 1994 East Coast Music Awards break-out performance in Newfoundland - played while he had a raging case of scabies caught in NYC - MacIsaac released hi how are you today? in the summer of 1995. He was on a career trajectory as the golden boy until it all ended when Maclean's magazine took him off the honour roll in November 1996.

"When you get right down to it," writes MacIsaac, "all I ever did was offer two things to the world: one was my music, which isn't the kind to offend anybody; the other was a personality, which is, admittedly, more colourful than most.

That's all it was in the beginning: lively, friendly, happy music from an energetic young guy in a kilt with crazy hair who loved to step dance all over the stage when he played - just a positive, positive, positive vibe."

Vibe went to perceived vice when Maclean's magazine discredited him for candidly telling a reporter about his sexuality and his sexual preferences.

MacIsaac blames Maclean's for derailing his career, and he blames homophobia:". . . once you get outside the biggest cities, and there's only about four or five of them, Canada is basically full of ignorant, hung-up, redneck homophobes and racists." (He has a point here.)

"The crazy thing about it is, lots of ignorant homophobic rednecks (oh yeah, and Catholics) love Celtic music."

MacIsaac also blames a greedy, controlling, inconsiderate music industry. Loggerhead Records comes in for some good lambasting after they called his 1999 album, Helter's Celtic. The association with crazed murder Charles Manson deeply offended MacIsaac. MacIsaac also thinks Loggerhead's partners, Paul Church and Andrew McCain or "French-fry Man," were hypocritical to disown him after his disastrous Y2K New Year's Eve performance in Halifax.

In typical MacIsaac wit, and this book is peppered with quick-witted turns of phrase, MacIsaac goes on to say: "Am I bitter about my Loggerhead experience? I can say today I hold no grudge. I know that because today I can sit and eat a nice McCain's Deep and Delicious chocolate cake . . . . I mean, why should I take my frustrations out on McCain's fine frozen foods and baked goods, just because that family spawned the evil youth that owned the record company that screwed me around for a year and a half?"

MacIsaac does blame drugs too, comparing himself to Brian Wilson, but he is reluctant to really stare that demon in the face. His rationalizations for the offensive New Year's Eve rant at a Halifax rave are circuitous and evasive. He was high at the time.

The hard drugs are the real tragedy here. Once MacIsaac became addicted to cocaine and crack - an addiction he has kicked - the drug controlled his life and career. He was so desperate one night in Toronto he offered to sell his fiddle for $25 worth of crack. "Now that's rock bottom: when your greatest asset isn't even worth the price of your next hit."

Given the excellence of MacIsaac's new CD for Decca Records, his groundbreaking fusion of Celtic and contemporary music, and his musical knowledge, it's too bad he doesn't offer more analysis of music like his interesting views on the different playing styles of Cape Breton's famous fiddling families, technically precise and pleasant for the MacMasters, rougher and angrier for the Beatons.

For the difficulties in his life, MacIsaac never blames his family or community; in fact, he is very attached to them and to Cape Breton.

"But even if I want to return, I wonder sometimes if Cape Breton will have me back," he writes. "I've had some bad experience there. . . . Things like people I've known my whole life pretending not to see me when I wave at them from the car, or teenagers screaming 'faggot' at me as I'm walking down the beach with my partner. Nobody wants to live with a baseball bat under their bed, even if they do get to listen to the ocean waves crash on the shore as they drift off to sleep."

MacIsaac back from brink

Halifax Daily News - April 15, 2003 - By Ron Roley MacDonald

Ashley MacIsaac at the Marquee Club.

Back from the brink, Celtic fiddler wildman Ashley MacIsaac brought his tour to support his new self-titled album on Universal Records to Halifax’s Marquee Club on Saturday night.

With a superb four-piece rock band in tow — he jokingly referred to them as The Geppettophiles, reserving the lead role of Pinocchio for himself — MacIsaac wisely stuck to music, abandoning the performance-art antics that helped derail his career at a rave just a few doors down on Gottingen Street.

MacIsaac’s new CD features his sturdy, if baleful, baritone on about half the tracks. In live performance, his focus is still that fire-breathing fiddle that can seemingly jump tall buildings in a single bound.

The Celtic dance selections were still the evening’s highlight, with Ashley’s command of his instrument never in question.

A highlight came late in the set when the band left the stage, leaving MacIsaac alone to perform solo.

He announced “the clumsy lover” set, which began with a gorgeous slow air and then built into a wild flight of fancy that managed to merge The Flight of the Bumblebee with Farewell to Nova Scotia. The crowd went nuts.

While hardcore, middle-aged Cape Bretoners broke into spontaneous stepdances, grunge veterans and newly minted pop followers either watched in stunned silence or howled their approval.

While MacIsaac’s showmanship and sheer virtuosity are incredible, his vocal strength isn’t quite up to making it through an entire night’s performance.

By the end of the night, MacIsaac’s voice was ragged. The last selection, a rip-snorting Devil In The Kitchen, luckily didn’t require any singing.

And neither did the encore, which saw Ashley and his musicians delivering a Cape Breton dance set in a style that can only be described as somewhere between heavy metal and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

A few of the newer tunes, such as Lay Me Down and Captain America, could have used a dash more of that very Celtic fervour to liven up their generic Alt-rock trappings.

Despite his hoarse voice and the occasional uneven new song, it’s great to see — and hear — one of Atlantic Canada’s most visionary musicians alive, well and more than just kicking.

MacIsaac stuns crowd...with music

Halifax Herald - Monday April 14, 2003 - By Stephen Cooke - Entertainment Reporter - Concert Review

The latest phase in the tumultuous career of Cape Breton's Ashley MacIsaac sees the Creignish fiddler land on stage with his faculties intact, backed by a sharp band and playing his heart out.

It sounds so crazy it just might work.

MacIsaac pulled it off on Saturday night at Halifax's Marquee Club, playing in support of his new, self-titled Decca Records release. It was his first public performance here since the release of a pair of traditional CDs two years ago, and his first full band show in the city since the notorious 2000 New Year's Eve rave appearance that derailed a record deal and caused his fans no end of worry for his well-being.

But MacIsaac was welcomed back with open arms on Saturday, and he thanked the crowd for their devotion with an 80-minute set that rocked and reeled with just enough rough edges to keep everyone on their toes.

Sporting a new close-cropped 'do and a Dalhousie hooded sweatshirt - "My new alma mater," he quipped - MacIsaac started solo with Bog An Login, playing the traditional tune with a crisp attack, laying down nimble triplets that kept their shape as the piece picked up in speed and intensity.

Bassist John Kanakis, keyboardist Ron Lopata, guitarist James (Shamus) Reid and drummer Davide DiRenzo came in on John Morrison, "from my Charles Manson album, Helter's Celtic," before MacIsaac took his first vocal turn on an uptempo version of Nick Drake's Cello Song.

Far from aping the melancholy British folkie's dreamy perspective, MacIsaac took a droning approach to his vocal, letting it rise and fall in the mix.

He got a little more emotional for the radio single Lay Me Down, using a world-weary moan to express the song's resignation to love.

As a singer, MacIsaac won't be giving Van Morrison any sleepless nights, and although he turns in some fine singing performances on his latest CD, he's still working on building his vocal strength so he can compete with a full electric band.

MacIsaac seems at ease on the mike, however, so it's probably just a matter of time before his live voice more closely matches what he's done in the studio.

There were still plenty of moments when MacIsaac was content to let his fiddle do the talking, like a deadly duel with Reid's wah-wah guitar on Grapes or a blistering instrumental hoedown, punctuated by ear-piercing war whoops and a cloud of rosin dust flying off his bow.

The crowd had to collectively pick its jaws up off the floor after MacIsaac's second solo spot of the night, starting with a slow air that built into a stunning display of virtuosity with his bow flitting like a hummingbird over the strings in quadruple, quintuple, sextuple time.

But unlike some showboating musicians, he never lost sight of the musicality of what he was doing, even throwing in Big John MacLean and a dash of Farewell to Nova Scotia to appreciative cheers.

Rejoined by his band - "We're Pinocchio and the Gepetto philes," MacIsaac deadpanned - the quintet ripped into a Celtic punk The Devil's in the Kitchen, as Reid pulled at his strings like he was starting a chainsaw, before finishing with Chorus Jig/The King's Reel.

Saturday's show proved MacIsaac is back up to speed as a frontman, while his fiddle playing is not only flawless, it felt effortless as he tossed off impressive figures with Paganini-esque verve.

In the past he's threatened to give up the traditional Cape Breton fiddle style, but let's be grateful he's found a happy medium that allows for all his creative urges to be satisfied.

Although MacIsaac's fiddle-playing sister Lisa didn't get on stage to join him in the song they share on the new CD, the honky-tonk plea Save Me From Tomorrow, her pop-folk duo Mad Violet opened the show with a set of honest, earnest compositions.

With singer/guitarist Brenley MacEachern, the Toronto-based pair breezed through a six-song set that dealt with topics ranging from drug abuse (China Smile) to overwhelming tragedy (Light It Up) with abundant charm and instinctive harmonies.

And while the extreme belly dancing promised on Mad Violet's Web site never materialized, MacIsaac did do some instrumental juggling, often playing fiddle with a Fender Telecaster slung over her back for lightning-quick changes in mid-song. Their music isn't a rampaging fiddle fest, but MacIsaac's sweet playing was a welcome embellishment.

Look for Mad Violet on tour as a full-band unit later in the summer.

Fiddling with his future
After a tumultuous period in his personal and professional life, Ashley MacIsaac
Halifax Daily News - February 2, 2003
By Sandy MacDonald

Ashley MacIsaac is rifling through the newspaper in a Sydney hotel room, chatting on the phone while waiting for his frequent musical partner, Howie MacDonald, for a ride out to a gig. MacIsaac seems upbeat; optimistic about the release of his new self-titled album and the welcomed jumpstart to his cooled-off career.

MacIsaac won’t call the new record a comeback, though.

“I don’t think I went anywhere,” says MacIsaac, 27. For all the words spilled over the volatile fiddler, this is only his third commercial album with a national release.

“I had a hit record, lovely. The second time (1999’s Helter’s Celtic) wasn’t a hit. The third time — we’ll see. It’s not a comeback — it’s just me trying again.”

While he keeps an apartment in Toronto — “when my house burned down, I bought a nicer, bigger apartment” — he’s spent a lot of time in New York City over the past 18 months, recording the new album, which is expected in stores Feb. 18.

“This is the first record that will have more songs than tunes on it.”

On his previous albums, MacIsaac has dabbled with vocals, but built the tracks around his incendiary Cape Breton fiddling. This time round, he invites some guests to sing, including his sister Lisa, Dallas Smith from the rock band Default and Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond.

“The other six songs on the record I sang.”

MacIsaac says he conceived this album to get some radio airplay, and his new record company Decca/Universal has already picked one of his songs to be released as a single.

“I don’t know if that means they picked the best of the worst,” says MacIsaac, who wrote the lyrics to the music. “But I think people are digging the songs.”

There’s only one extended solo fiddle set; the rest is pop music, says MacIsaac, who has been guarded about letting the music get around before release date.

“When I did Hi, How Are You Today, I caught who I was in a pop situation, and I think it worked for various reasons. Helter’s Celtic was destined to be a follow-up, and I went in with the same focus, but wanted to make it better.”

That album, however, proved more confused and less consistent that the multi-platinum selling Hi. Released during MacIsaac’s brief but tumultuous period with Loggerhead Records, Helter’s Celtic never approached the commercial success of Hi.

The new album marks a major point in the roller coaster career of the gifted fiddler.

“With this album, I’m looking at my own history, first off. I’ve done every damn possible thing with Cape Breton fiddle music I could think of — a few things didn’t work, so I might as well forget them and try something new.

“Most of this record is about me trying to make music that fits my personality. now — my Celtic music history and the insights of a new record company that wants to release a radio-friendly pop record with Celtic music in it.”

MacIsaac seems to have calmed the blazing edges of his personality that enraged critics and fuelled a bad-boy image he often relished. Stories of profanity-laden performances, and clashes with media, management and record companies caused many in the industry to step away.

“The first day I went in the studio, I must have thanked whoever I was thanking a million times. Here I am getting a chance to make another record that someone else was picking up the bill for — after so many people told me I’d burned so many bridges. To be in a position where a mega American company were putting out a half a million dollars made me pretty excited.”

It’s been an upswing for MacIsaac, who says he was prepared two years ago to hang up his fiddle for good.

“I called people and announced I was doing my last gig. I’d come to the conclusion that I couldn’t make enough money for myself. I was dealing with Loggerhead at the time, and I didn’t want to get a regular job, and I couldn’t sell my music.

“Financially, I figured I could make more money going to college — why am I wasting my time.”

Finally the Loggerhead jam was unscrambled, as MacIsaac faced down personal bankruptcy, an uncertain musical future and severe crimp in his cash flow.

“So, one day, I pulled a deck of cards out when I was on the phone,” says MacIsaac. “I pulled the King of Clubs out of the centre of the deck. That’s my calling, I figured.” And he became “a king of the clubs,” performing more often than he had in years.

“You have to play clubs 60 or 70 times a year to make a good salary, but I’ve pulled in maybe $50,000 to $100,000 since I’ve been bankrupt — that’s fine.

MacIsaac has been invited to perform in the opening sequence of the coming East Coast Music Awards television show with Lamond, performing To America We Go, which was slated to be his first single.

“That’s why I decided to do the ECMA. But we changed our minds, and now we’ll put a different single out there. I don’t know what it is, but they wanted me singing.”

While the musician is regrouping for another record release, he’s got another project sizzling on the backburner — his autobiography.

“Ten of the 12 chapters are finished,” says MacIsaac, who has been working with a writer to pen the book. With his storied personal and professional life, the book is destined to be a must-read. When will it surface?

“That depends on two things — my decision when to release it and whether the (record company and my management) wants it released at the time the record is coming out. It’s pretty blunt, because it came off the first draft of my tapes.”

“I don’t know if I’ll try to sanitize it or leave it. That will depend on what’s going on with the record. If the record’s doing well, I might want to push it back.”

To give a hint at the content, MacIsaac simply says: “Chapter 7 is called Sex, and Chapter 8 is called Drugs.”

He’s still undecided about what to title the last chapter.

“It will either be New Year’s Eve,” chuckles MacIsaac, “or Poor and Famous.”

Debison brings sweet
melody to Japan
ECMA-nominated singer wowed by attention
Halifax Herald - January 28, 2003

By Greg Guy / Entertainment Editor

Aselin Debison will land in Japan today to begin a 10-day promotional tour in an attempt to conquer the Orient.

"I think it's really really neat, coming from little ol' Cape Breton all the way to Japan. I think that's really, really cool," says the 12-year-old singer from her home in Glace Bay.

In December, nine people from Sony International in Japan arrived in Cape Breton to do a photo shoot with Debison and hear tunes from Sweet Is the Melody, the first recording from her five-record Sony deal.

"We did most of the photos in Sydney and I sang for them at the Savoy Theatre. Then they went on a tour of the Miners' Museum," says Debison, known as Azi to her friends and fans.

It's been only four years since the then-nine-year-old Debison grabbed national attention when she moved many to tears singing The Island, Cape Breton's unofficial anthem, at a miners' rally in Sydney. Producers of ECMA 2000 in Sydney, had the pre-teen open the nationally televised awards show, again with The Island, and record-company executives began throwing deals her way.

When Warner Music Classical office folded in London so did a pending deal with Debison, but Sony Classics came in with an offer that Debison and her manager Brookes Diamond, snapped up.

"I think it's really great to get to sign a contract with Sony at such a young age," says Debison with all the innocence of youth. "The experience so far has been really awesome."

Today, Debison arrives in Tokyo with her mom, Joan, and manager Diamond. Her dad Donnie, a landscaper and volunteer firefighter, and her seven-year-old brother Blake will stay home.

The first single to go to the Japanese airwaves is a tune called Moonlight Shadow. It's already number 11 on radio stations in Hiroshima and Kobe.

Diamond adds it also entered the international FM charts at number 85, the first Sony Classical recording to make it on the FM charts.

In Japan, the Grade 7 St. Michael's Junior High School student has numerous interviews set up and will perform at HMV's flagship store in Tokyo.

Then it's back home in time for the East Coast Music Awards, where she will perform Moonlight Shadow on the national CBC show. She is up for roots-traditional solo artist of the year and in the female artist category against veterans Anne Murray and Rita MacNeil, fiddler Natalie MacMaster and cellist Denise Djokic.

To be in that company, Debison's reaction is "Wow."

"Being in the categories that I am it's amazing. Being in the female artist of the year, I'm only 12 and I'm up against the East Coast's greatest performers," she says. "And being in the roots-traditional category, Celtic is what I've been singing ever since I can remember. It's awesome."

Cottars dance card filling up for February
Halifax Herald - January 23, 2003

First-time ECMA nominees, The Cottars, have learned that on Feb. 27-28 they will be playing for industry insiders at Toronto's legendary El Mocambo during Canadian Music Week.

The young Cape Breton quartet will also perform at The Crystal Awards, hosted by TV comic Sean Cullen.

Also in the offing for February and March are concerts in Winnipeg, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Colorado, where the band will play at a $1,000-a-plate banquet for the Governor of that state.

The Cottars are up for group and new artists of the year at the ECMAs. It was announced Wednesday they will perform on the gala awards show.

Great Big Sea’s Bassist To Pursue Future Off The Road

For Immediate Release Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

(St. John’s, NL) -- After ten years of non-stop recording and touring, Great Big Sea’s bassist Darrell Power has decided to conclude his affiliation with Great Big Sea.

"I have chosen to pursue interests, musical and otherwise, off the road and closer to home for the foreseeable future", says Power. "It was an amicable decision and the right one for me at this time."

The remaining founders of the group, Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett, and Sean McCann will continue to perform and record. A replacement bass player will be hired for live appearances.

"Darrell has been a great driving force in the band and will be missed," says Doyle. "But being in Great Big Sea is an all consuming job and we respect his decision to devote more time to his family, " adds McCann.

Great Big Sea just completed a highly successful tour of Canada this Fall, visiting over 40 cities and performing for over 100,000 people in promotion of its fifth studio album Sea Of No Cares . The album debuted at #1 its first week of release at Canadian retail, garnering further critical acclaim and bringing Great Big Sea’s total album sales to over one million units sold.

The group was recently nominated for seven 2003 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA), including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year and Group of the Year.

This past year, the band has also headlined over 100 concerts and festivals in major cities in the US and Europe.

Home-grown fiddles not a bust
Merritt Herald
Merritt, BC
November 27, 2002
By Dawn Wickstrom

Ivonne Hernandez says B.C. home-grown, old-time fiddle music finds an appreciative audience wherever she takes it.

The Victoria-based violinist, was in Merritt for the second time in six months on Friday. She opened for Alan Jackson at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, and she is well familiar with Merritt, having attended at least two old-time fiddlers’ conventions here, winning the adult fiddling contest at the tender age of 13.

Now, just turned 20, she plays a truly eclectic range of fiddle music, including old-time and contemporary tunes.

Playing for a primarily older audience, some of them fiddlers from Kamloops and the Merritt area, Hernandez opened with the Italian Beatriz reel, giving it her unique, almost Spanish character. Hernandez is Chilean-Canadian, and she was accompanied by her mother, Roberta Rowbottom, on keyboard, and guitarist Jaime White of Smithers.

She played the Hummingbird Jig, a B.C. composition, and then played “B.C.-D.C.” a medley of British Columbia and District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) tunes, the latter picked up during her tour of the eastern U.S. recently.

She then switched to Celtic and Maritime music, including Cutting Fern reel, and another tune entitled The Hurricane.

All have a distinct sound. She also played toe-tapping American folk tunes, by an fiddler named Mike O’Connor, called Tugboat, and a Texas swing piece, I Don’t Love Nobody.

“The Americans have a very different style of fiddling than we have in Canada,” she says. As an example, she played the Westphalia Waltz. “It was right in this very building that I played in the youth class, and then went into the championship class (adult) in the oldtime fiddling contest. I think it is very cool that I am playing here again,” she told the audience.

She was 13, the first year, 14 the second year she entered the competition, and when she returned the third time it was as a judge. She is currently the North American fiddling champion, while her younger sister Kalissa is B.C. champion fiddler.

She started on a tiny Suzuki violin at age three, and loves all forms of violin music. Currently, Celtic music is still popular and violin music is enjoying a wide resurgence, with numerous folk and world music traditions to draw from.

Canadian music is very much in the forefront, as it has a distinct characteristic sound that international audiences recognize. “Generally, there are more notes in Canadian music than in American music. It can be more complex, and it’s got a lot of distinct regional sounds.”

Hernandez’s tour is promoting her CD, Playing With Fire.

Fiddler Samantha Robichaud counting days to Carnegie
Times & Transcript
Moncton, NB - December 14, 2002

JULIE CLINTON
Times & Transcript Staff

She’s performed across North America and even took part in a small group representing the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra in playing for Queen Elizabeth II and she hasn’t even graduated from high school yet.

"I’ve been really fortunate to get to do what I’ve done so far," says Samantha Robichaud.

The amazing opportunities will continue into the new year when Samantha performs at the Canada Winter Games, in the Roots Room at the ECMAs, has a guest appearance with Symphony Nova Scotia at the National Arts Center in Ottawa and travels to New York to play in Carnegie Hall with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra.

"I’m extremely excited, I can’t wait," she says of the trip to the celebrated concert hall. "I really, really wanted to play at Carnegie Hall and I get to do that so that’s amazing."

The 15-year-old, Riverview High School student has been wowing audiences since the age of four when she was first taught how to play by Jocelyne Bourque.

Since then, she’s spent much of her free time playing locally with the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers, at special concerts, senior’s homes and even across North America in a variety of venues. Some of those stages include the East Coast Music Awards Show, the Calgary Stampede, Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Samantha not only plays the traditional jigs and reels, she’s also a member of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and exerts much of her efforts in the musical arena toward playing classical violin.

While the fiddler does spend time hanging out with friends, shopping and other things a typical teenager would do, she does dedicate much of her life to her music, either performing, teaching the fiddle or practising.

The countless hours of practice over the years have paid off in a big way, earning her more than 150 awards, including Junior Canadian Champion, Junior Maritime Champion and Provincial Champion.

She’s also taken her talent into the studio with Twist’n the Bow, Just Being Me and Hitting the Notes, all recorded within the past five years and a firm foundation for a bright music career. But at such a young age, Samantha’s leaving herself plenty of room to grow.

"I’d like to do something with music but I’ll just take it one day at a time and see where it takes me."

The Word from ... Kyle MacNeil
Halifax Daily News - December 13, 2002
By Sandy MacDonald

When the Barra MacNeils pull into Halifax for Tuesday’s Christmas concert, they’ll have a few extra folks in their entourage. The Cape Breton family quartette of Kyle, Sheumus, Lucy and Stewart MacNeil are bringing along the newest member of the MacNeil clan — baby Amelia, Lucy’s two-month old daughter.

“And our mom is coming along too, I guess she’s the nanny,” says Kyle, fiddler and guitarist with the traditional Celtic band. “The baby’s been coming along to the rehearsals — as long as she’s fed and we’re playing music, she’s happy.”

The Barra MacNeils kick off their annual Christmas tour Sunday evening at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, performing the beautiful Celtic music of the season. While much of the material in the concerts come from the group’s Christmas CD, MacNeil says they’ve added some new traditional instrumentals and carols to this year’s show.

They’ve been close to home through much of the fall, gathering and rehearsing tunes for a new album. MacNeil says he expects the band will head to a recording studio in Cape Breton in the new year to start recording songs toward the new album. Some of those new tunes have slipped into the Christmas concert set already.

Favourite Christmas carol: Oh Come Divine Messiah. “We used to sing it in the boys choir in Sydney Mines. It just brings me back to the younger days growing up, and the fond days of Christmas.” (The Barra MacNeils perform the song during their current tour.)

Reading on the Road: “I don’t read that much, but I do a lot of thumbing through collections of tunes. I have quite an extensive collection of (written) music, and that’ll be my reading on the road.” He gathers books of traditional music and more contemporary compositions, searching for new tunes for the band. MacNeil doesn’t even need his fiddle to sample the tunes — he can play the music in his head.

On writing original tunes: “I try to write, but I find they always sound like something else. I’m quite paranoid about that... but I guess there are only so many notes.”

Stressbuster: “Jamie Gatti (bass player for the Barra MacNeils) is an excellent dart player. Over the last few years, he’s got us hooked on playing darts. Usually, our evenings end by finding a dart board in some pub or a hall. Everyone’s catching on real fast — I can beat Jamie the odd time.”

The Barra MacNeils Christmas tour comes stops into the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax on Tuesday. Tickets are $29; showtime is 8 p.m.

Barras' glad tidings
Sydney Mines family band keeps holiday traditions alive
Halifax Herald - December 12, 2002
By Stephen Cooke / Entertainment Reporter

It doesn't take Sydney Mines' musical family the Barra MacNeils long to get into the spirit of things for its annual Christmas concert tour.

As singer and fiddler Lucy MacNeil explains, once you get the snowball rolling, the memories just come flooding back.

"I have to get our Christmas CD out and put it on and get my mind back into thinking about our Christmases growing up," she says from her home in North Sydney. "Visualizing our grandmothers and the snow, and all my cousins outside and the music inside . . . you have to put yourself there.

"Every year when I listen to the album for the very first time I get very emotional. Just for the first time, and then I'm refreshing my memory for the music and the words. But we're in rehearsals now to put a few different things into the show this year."

One big difference this year is a new member of the family; MacNeil and husband Stephen MacDougall are the proud parents of Amelia Jean, born in Sydney in October.

Thankfully for the family, this tour is a short one, so Amelia - named after her father's grandmother - can come along and get her first dose of the showbiz lifestyle. MacNeil says she's adjusting to the idea of taking her daughter on the road.

"You really have to be organized. Not just for rehearsals, everything you're going to do you have to plan ahead. I am breast feeding so I have to get bottles ready. So I'm up at five in the morning, milking the cows every day.

"That's what it feels like, with the machine. But it's amazing how quickly you can adapt. I am loving it very much, my husband and I are just thrilled with her, and she's a really, really good baby. We're really lucky."

At this point, MacNeil pauses and laughs for a moment. "It's amazing, I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be doing an interview and talking about breastfeeding."

For those unable to see Lucy and her siblings Kyle, Sheumas and Stewart, with bassist Jamie Gatti, on this month's tour, you can at least enjoy the Barra MacNeils' Christmas special when it airs on Vision TV on Dec. 19 and 27, and on Bravo on Dec. 24. The telecast will also include a performance by The Cottars' Fiona and Ciaran MacGillivray that was deleted from the CMT broadcasts.

Another musical friend of the Barra MacNeils, who's featured the band in her own Christmas specials, is Rita MacNeil, who will be their special guest at the tour's finale at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay.

"She's doing her own Christmas tour, but we'll meet up on the 23rd," says MacNeil with a note of expectation. "We have a few numbers that we've worked out and it should be a great evening.

"We've been on several of Rita's specials, and Stewart and I did background vocals on her last Christmas CD. We both did Christmas concerts at the Savoy last year, and we thought this would make it a little different for both of us and for the people going to the show.

"And we always love working with Rita, she's quite a lady."

Eleven-Year Old Singer Aselin Debison Blends Folk, Celtic, County, & Pop Sounds on her Solo Debut Recording Sweet is the Melody CD to be released October 8, 2002 on Sony Classical

Album Features Young Singer In Title Track By Iris DeMent, Mike
Oldfield's `Moonlight Shadow,' Folk Songs From Her Native Cape Breton
Region, Medley of `What A Wonderful World' & `Over The Rainbow,' Much
More


New York NY June __, 2002 – A sensation in her native Canada since
she galvanized a coal miners' protest rally with her singing three
years ago, 11-year-old Aselin Debison makes her debut on the Sony Classical label with the release of Sweet is the Melody, her first
solo album.  Produced by Grammy winners Peter Asher and George
Massenburg, the album features the young singer in a wide range of
songs that blends folk, Celtic, country and pop sounds.  Sweet is the Melody will be released on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 in the US (September 24, 2002 in Canada).

Included on Sweet is the Melody is the Cape Breton anthem "The
Island," with which the then nine-year-old Aselin inspired the crowed at a miners' protest really three years ago and won headlines across Canada.  Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien hailed her as "the next Celine Dion" when she sang at the 2000 Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.

In addition to the title track by Iris DeMent, the songs on Sweet is
the Melody include Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow" – one of three
tracks featuring Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster – Sinéad
Lohan's "Out of the Woods" and a medley of "Over the Rainbow"
and "What a Wonderful World," popularized by the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  Sean McCann of the folk group Great Big Sea wrote "Some Days" for Aselin.

Aselin's historic performance of "The Island" three years ago – a
simple, straightforward rendition that left a crowd of protesters in
tears and joining hands in solidarity – reflects much of the culture
that defines her.  Singing and making music still mean a great deal
to the daily lives of the people of Cape Breton, who share a rich
musical heritage rooted in Celtic, Scottish and Irish traditions, the
same sounds that are echoed in country & western music in the U.S. 
Two other songs on Sweet is the Melody spring from the Cape Breton
tradition – "Rise Again," made famous by Canada's beloved Rankin
Family, and the rousing party song "Getting Dark Again."  Bruce
Guthro contributed three songs written specifically for Aselin – "The
Dance You Choose," "The Gift" and "Love So Rare" -- Aselin even
collaborated on the lyrics of this song which honors her father Donny.

Aselin Debison – her first name was inspired by Aslan the lion in
C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia – continues to spend a typical and
happy childhood in her hometown of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, in the
province's Cape Breton region.  Though she has grown from her early
years as singing in the Leaping Leprechauns at her preschool, she has known for some time that she wanted to sing for an audience – a
passion that vies with her love of basketball and a competing
ambition to play for the WNBA.

Aselin Debison's debut album Sweet is the Melody will be featured at
www.aselindebison.com on Sony Classical's Web site at
www.sonyclassical.com.  The site will include album art, track
listings, sound clips, multimedia features and more.  Sony
Classical's Web site is an online resource for exploring the label's
entire catalogue of recordings, features an online radio show, album
supersites, multimedia, artist biographies, tour schedules and
discographies for all Sony Classical artists, as well as special
promotions, and much more.

The Cottars sign to Bunnygee/Warner
August 29, 2002

Toronto, Ontario: Bunnygee Music Inc., a traditional music label owned by Canada's famed traditional tenor John McDermott, has signed a distribution agreement with Warner Music Canada. The first release under the agreement is Made In Cape Breton, the debut album by the young Celtic sensations, The Cottars which is scheduled for release on September 24, 2002.

The announcement was made at a packed house at Hugh's Room in Toronto on August 27th, where The Cottars received three standing ovations before a crowd that included many major talent buyers, a large delegation from Warner, and media that included Billboard and The National Post.

"I am very happy to have this association with Warner Music Canada beginning with this wonderful release by The Cottars," says McDermott. "What's most exciting about this project is that the four are so young, and so well-grounded because of their parents. Anyone can see the unlimited potential here, not only as a group but as individual performers in their own right. Garry Newman obviously has had the foresight to recognize that quality."

In making the announcement Warner Music Canada President Garry Newman said "John and I have had many conversations over the years regarding the wealth of talent in the Maritimes and I was hoping that one day we could work together to develop that talent. I am extremely pleased to finally have this opportunity and the release of The Cottars' album is a wonderful launch to this new partnership."

The Cottars will tour Canadian Folk Festivals in July of 03. JMI is also very pleased to welcome Pat Garret of Real Good Music in Arizona on board as the US booking agent for The Cottars.

The word from Alan Doyle
Halifax Daily News - May 31, 2002

By Sandy MacDonald

Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea landed one of the most coveted gigs in the Canadian music industry this week — he sang the national anthem before a playoff hockey game in Toronto.

"I got the call Monday afternoon from Ed (Robertson) of Barenaked Ladies," says Doyle. "He said we’re one man short, and we have a spot." So Doyle thought about it for a milli-second, threw his St. John’s Maple Leafs sweater in a bag and jetted off to Toronto to sing with the Ladies.

After the anthem, Doyle settled into his complimentary seat, row 16 above the home team blue line. Printed price of that ticket — $340! "Who can afford that. Man, there’s no way I’d spend that … but I’m grateful."

On Sunday night at 8 p.m., Doyle is back on CBC, when Great Big Sea star in their own national television special, taped at a live concert at the Ottawa Civic Centre. The hour-long show captures high-powered energy and folksy charisma of the Newfoundland foursome.

- The key to GBS’s popularity "I hope it’s honesty, because that’s all I‘ve got. I ask people to clap and sing, and they generally do. Somehow we’ve created an environment where the four of us are honest onstage. To meet us in the street is the same as onstage ­ we’re just leading a celebration."

- Favourite new tunes "The new Willie Nelson record (The Great Divide) is fantastic. Great collaborations. It’s proof that different-sounding music can and should exist on the same record — a pop song, a folk, song, a country song, a crooning ballad ... that’s some we’ve tried to do with Great Big Sea. The other record I’m spinning all the time is Pink — really good and full of great songs."

- Strangest gig Opening for Barney the dinosaur at the Salmon Festival in Grand Falls, Nfld. eight years ago. "That was definitely weird. Unpleasant. I’ll tell ya, Barney fans don’t want to hear anything but Barney. We won over a few toddlers, but for the most part they wanted us to get off and bring on the monster."

Slainte Mhath's good to go
Young quintet brings freshness to Celtic music on new release
Halifax Herald - May 23, 2002

By Stephen Cooke / Entertainment Reporter

ANTICIPATION HAS BEEN high for a certain Cape Breton Celtic combo's second CD, in the six years since it first debuted with Prophecy.

The band has been working diligently in secret, coming up with songs and sounds that will amaze listeners, continuing an epic musical legacy and seeming leagues ahead of its last recorded adventures. Get ready for Slainte Mhath Episode II Attack of the Clans.

Actually, the new record is called simply Va, as in the proper Gaelic pronunciation of "mhath" and it's also the French verb for "go". It can even be an abbreviation for a certain southern state, after all Virginia is for lovers. Of cranked-up Celtic music, that is.

Whatever you think it stands for, you can get a taste when Slainte Mhath (pronounced Slawn-cha-va) launches Va tonight at The Marquee Club. Originally planned as a release through Warner Music affiliate Linus Entertainment, which didn't work out in the end, Va should hit stores on June 4 as an independent release with major label distribution, once the final details are ironed out.

Prophecy may have seemed progressive when it came out, incorporating African djembe and growling sewer pipe into skilfully played jigs and reels, but Va is another beast altogether. Produced by Joao Carvalho at Soundpark and Lakewind Studios in Cape Breton, the new record makes use of samples, loops, fuzzed-out bouzouki and even some retro disco beats to prove that fiddles and pipes can shake a groove thang.

"It just kept developing on its own," says fiddler and stepdancer Lisa Gallant of the Slainte Mhath sound honed over years of touring and experimenting. "I guess our goal was just to keep playing, and try to have fun with it."

"You just do what you enjoy," adds fiddler/guitarist Boyd MacNeil, "even if it's just something as simple as putting up a drum loop on the computer and playing along with it. Nothing is really plotted out."

"We don't have a specific direction," continues Gallant. "We just go with what feels good."

In order to help Slainte Mhath find the balance between what feels good and what sounds good, the band brought in Carvalho, whose past credits include working with Toronto songwriter Gregory Hoskins and Halifax's Melanie Doane (who taught him how to record a fiddle). However, making a pure Celtic record would be a new experience for Carvalho, but this was a band eager to try new things.

"We were really lucky with Joao," says Gallant. "He took what we wanted to do, and added his thoughts without forgetting it was our project."

"He was really good at getting everybody's creative mind thinking," adds Boyd's keyboardist brother Ryan MacNeil. "In preproduction, we just set up in a basement, played the tunes, and he suggested trying different things.

"He's really good at boosting your confidence and getting you thinking outside of the box."

There are purely traditional tracks on Va, like the Strathspey/Reel Set that fires up the middle of the disc, but most tunes have sounds that will prick up your ears, like the techno beats that creep into 004 or the vocorder hook on My New Pants.

One track that's likely to get talked about is Annie, which makes creative use of vocal samples from 40-year-old concert tapes.

"There was this concert in P.E.I. in the '60s, and my uncle Charlie MacKenzie was singing at it," explains Boyd. "All these great fiddlers are on it, Joe MacLean and Winston 'Scotty' Fitzgerald, but in-between segments there's this '60s radio voice, in that trained, obvious way of talking."

"This DJ was the host, and the intros were so funny, we kept laughing," continues Ryan. "We played it for Joao, and he says we've got to use this. The announcer's saying things like 'She dances so light you'd think she was made of Dream Whip' while introducing dancers."

It's that creative approach to Celtic that earned Slainte Mhath a nomination for the Horizon award at the BBC2 Folk Awards in February, along with invites to make a New York debut in Central Park this July 30 with Remy Shand and Bullfrog, and the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. on Canada Day.

"We didn't get (the BBC2 award), but it didn't matter," says Gallant. "We met so many people in the industry, and we opened the show, and had a really great time."

"They gave a lifetime achievement award to the Chieftains at the show, and they brought everybody in," recalls Ryan. "In the end you had the Chieftains on the stage with all the original members, and ourselves, and members of Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Natalie MacMaster, it was insane.

"If something had happened to that building, there wouldn't be any more Celtic music."

Luckily, nothing happened, Celtic music is the better for it, and Slainte Mhath will show us what the next phase sounds like when Va hits stores on June 4.

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Engaged!
May 6, 2002

Halifax, NS
For Immediate Release

Cape Breton fiddler, internationally acclaimed recording and touring artist, Natalie MacMaster is engaged to be married!! The lucky man is none other than fellow Canadian fiddler and leader of the internationally acclaimed family group, "Leahy", Donnell Leahy, 33.

The couple was engaged over the weekend while visiting with Natalie's family in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. They have known each other for over ten years and had been seeing each other for some time.

Both families are thrilled and excited. No wedding date has yet been confirmed.

Congratulations to them both!

The Cottars: Made in Cape Breton
Cape Breton Post - May 7, 2002

By Chris Connors

What's in a name? Quite a bit according to Ciarán and Fiona MacGillivray, two members of hot new traditional act The Cottars. Since forming in the summer of 2000, the young quartet, which also consists of Baddeck siblings Jimmy and Roseanne MacKenzie, has been fast-tracked for stardom.

Their recently-released debut album, Made in Cape Breton, is being praised by critics while the all-sibling group continues to win over audiences across North America.

But despite the group's growing popularity, many fans are confused by the name, assuming The Cottars are the latest reincarnation of family acts like The Rankins and the Barra MacNeils.

"People often wonder how we're related," says Fiona, 12, the group's lead vocalist. She also plays the tin whistle and bodhran. "They think we're all part of the Cottar family, but they ask if we're brothers and sisters, or cousins."

"It's kind of funny," adds brother Ciarán, 13, who plays piano for the band and contributes on the tin whistle, bodhran and vocals.

Jimmy, 14, plays guitar and bodhran, while Roseanne, 11, is the band's fiddler and adds harmony vocals.

"A lot of the bands people associate with our music are family names, like the Barra MacNeils. But The Cottars has nothing to do with our name, it's our ancestors."

Coming up with a name that reflected the group's Scottish roots was one of the first challenges the four musicians faced after meeting at a Highland Village Day concert in Iona a couple of years ago.

An early favorite was mac-talla, the Gaelic word for echo. However, a Scottish newspaper already had dibs on the name, so the search continued. Fiona stumbled across cottar while researching a Grade 6 history project.

The term refers to Scottish settlers who were ousted from their homes during Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries. Nova Scotians called the new arrivals cots, likely because of the small cottages they lived in or the small beds they slept in, although the etymology of the word is unclear.

Any confusion about the band's name - or extraordinary talent - should soon fade. The group is the subject of an upcoming CBC television special, Meet the Cottars, which is set to air May 22.

They launched Made in Cape Breton last week in Cape Breton with a public concert Friday at Highland Heights Inn in Iona, where fate brought the Mira and Baddeck brothers and sisters together.

"It was almost destiny," Ciarán says of how he and Fiona were wowed by the MacKenzies two years ago in Iona. "We thought it would be kind of symbolic to have our launch party there."

The Cottars also face a hectic summer schedule, with stops at the Stone Hill Irish Music Fest in Massachusetts (June 8), the Stan Rogers Festival in Canso (July 6-7), the Barraman's Feast in Iona (July 28) and the Lunenburg Folk Festival (Aug. 8-10).

Somewhere in between, they hope to visit superfan Sen. Ted Kennedy, who has been smitten with the band since catching them during a March Break show in his home state, Massachusetts. He has since lured them back to Boston to play a political convention and has invited the youngsters to go sailing with him this summer. Last week he sent them a note asking them to perform at a family birthday party.

"Ted likes to think he helped discover the kids for America," jokes Allister MacGillivray, Fiona and Ciarán's father and a renowned songwriter and traditional music historian.

Much of their material was drawn from Allister's endless catalog of music; wax cylinders, 78s, 45s, LPs and reel-to-reels occupy every corner of the family's Mira home.

Such exposure to the music was a big influence, says Ciarán, who has been playing piano since he was five years old. Fiona can't remember a time when she wasn't singing along to an ever-present tune. Regular houseguests like Jack O'Donnell, Buddy MacMaster, the Barra clan, Fergus O'Brien and Dougie MacDonald encouraged the children and were always willing to offer a few helpful tips.

Allister says perhaps he was trying to recreate his own childhood of kitchen concerts and good times.

"It was such a happy time in my life as I look back on it," he says. "I wanted my children to enjoy the same thing. I suppose just hearing this music so much it was a natural thing that they wanted to learn to play it. I don't know that I willed the children to go into show business, but now that they are doing that, I expect I can be some help."

Fiona and Ciarán say they love what they're doing.

"There's no doubt in my mind - there's been no doubt for a long time - that I want to be a traditional musician," Ciarán says when asked what he'd like to do when he gets older.

"Yeah," adds Fiona, "There's no business like show business."

Natalie engaged
Cape Breton Post - May 7, 2002

By Laurel Munroe

It's a match made in Celtic music heaven.

Cape Breton's Queen of the Fiddle, Natalie MacMaster, is engaged to be married to fellow fiddler Donnell Leahy, frontman of the internationally-acclaimed family band Leahy.

The news came in a press release from MacMaster's management company, ABC Entertainment, late Monday afternoon.

MacMaster, 29, and Leahy, 33, were engaged on the weekend while visiting MacMaster's family in Troy, Inverness Co.

"They have known each other for over 10 years and have been seeing each other for some time," said the release. "Both families are very thrilled and very excited."

No wedding date has been set.

Leahy, a group of nine brothers and sisters from Lakefield, Ont., burst onto the Canadian music scene in 1997 with the release of their self-titled CD, which achieved platinum status in Canada, reached No. 4 on the Billboard world music charts and earned the group two Juno Awards.

Their mother, Julia, was born and raised in Cape Breton and they still have family here.

MacMaster wasn't available for comment Monday but she spoke to the Cape Breton Post last week about the upcoming release of her first live album, Natalie MacMaster Live.

"I always said I'd never release a live album," she said from Toronto, before heading to Troy and the home of her parents, Minnie and Alex.

"People have certainly requested it over the years but I never thought I could do it and have it sound good."

MacMaster changed her tune last July, when she watched the footage from her performance at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ont. The show was the basis for an hour-long CBC-TV special, My Roots Are Showing, which aired in December.

"When I saw that footage, I thought 'Wow, I'm really liking the sound of this,'" she said. "The band played really, really well and it just sounded great."

The innovative and instrumentally-diverse material from the show became disc one of Natalie MacMaster Live, which hits record stores next Tuesday. Disc two is purely traditional, featuring several tunes recorded at a 1997 square dance in Glencoe Mills, Inverness Co.

"I have two worlds to satisfy," MacMaster noted, referencing her mainstream and traditional fans.

"I thought people from home would really appreciate (the Glencoe dance)."

MacMaster hopes the double CD captures the essence of her live performances.

"The spirit and energy is obvious," she said. "And that's one hard thing to get in the studio. It happens naturally on stage because you only get one crack at it."

Coincidentally, the day Natalie MacMaster Live is released to the public, she will begin working on her next studio album in Nashville, Tenn.

The project will be produced by Darol Anger, a fiddler MacMaster met about eight years ago while teaching at Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp in the U.S.

And despite what you may have heard, it is not going to be a bluegrass album.

"That was in the papers; I'm not sure where it came from," MacMaster said. "It'll be me, playing my stuff, traditional stuff."

The unique twist will come via the arrangements, the instruments and the musicians, including session players from the Nashville area and at least a couple of players from Cape Breton.

MacMaster is a longtime supporter of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, one of the country's leading international development agencies.

Recently, she took on another cause, when she became celebrity spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for children's hospitals.

She gets many requests from organizations looking for her help, but admitted, "you just can't do everything you'd like to do."

"The Miracle Network is such a great organization. They do so much good work and they've saved so many children's lives by buying medical equipment for hospitals."

Not long ago, MacMaster spent a weekend at Disney World in Florida with a dozen children who have benefited from the network's help.

"It was just so wonderful for me to meet kids who have been helped," she said. "You feel so lucky as an entertainer . . . to be able to help people is a real blessing."

MacMaster has scaled down her touring schedule over the last few years, from 250 dates four years ago to 150 this year.

"I can feel the difference," she said. "It's more comfortable. But I could still cut a few more out."

And with a wedding in her future, perhaps she will.


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