Lots of mu­sic hap­pen­ing

Kitchen­Fest con­tin­ues for a few more days

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT - Dan Mac­Don­ald

There has been mu­sic ga­lore over these past few weeks and that trend will con­tinue. Af­ter all, it is sum­mer!

On June 20 I checked out the Frolic & Folk Pub, a new ven­ture lo­cated in the Iona Heights Inn (the for­mer High­land Heights in Iona). The new own­ers, Jill & Dan Franklin, have done ma­jor ren­o­va­tions to bring the fa­cil­ity back to cur­rent stan­dards. Be­side the pub and new look on all the rooms, the Inn hosts the lo­cal NSLC out­let and the new home for Jill’s Choco­lates.

That af­ter­noon fid­dler Wendy MacIsaac was pro­vid­ing the mu­sic, backed up Pa­trick Gil­lis on guitar, with a guest ap­pear­ances by fid­dler Kyle Gil­lis (Pa­trick’s brother) and a num­ber of dancers as well. Need­less to say, the mu­sic was great as Wendy poured out tune af­ter tune to an ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence that con­tained fa­mil­iar faces and folks from as far away as Hal­i­fax.

As well as the 4-7 p.m. Satur­day ses­sions, the pub will be fea­tur­ing mu­sic sev­eral nights a week on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It’s a con­ve­nient spot to head to for some tunes, not far from the in­dus­trial area, with a good food menu and a panoramic view that makes the trip worth­while.

On June 21 I was at the High­land Arts Theatre for a well-at­tended show that fea­tured Stan Carew (the host of CBC Ra­dio’s Week­end Morn­ings) and Syd­ney’s own John Camp­belljohn. Stan and John play to­gether a lot and worked well off each other’s mu­si­cal and vo­cal skills. They have also writ­ten to­gether, usu­ally with Stan pro­vid­ing the words and John adding the mu­sic.

They were joined by Eng­land’s Breeze and Wil­son, a duo who be­come pop­u­lar in the Mar­itimes be­cause of air­play on Week­end Morn­ings. This is their ninth year on tour over here, not a bad feat con­sid­er­ing Toby Wil­son still works full time as a fire­man.

Graham Breeze pro­vides the lead vo­cal and does much of the writ­ing while Toby is a pow­er­ful gui­tarist with a gift for vo­cal har­monies. To­gether they cre­ate a won­der­fully mu­si­cal sound, at times sim­plis­tic but of­ten with deeper, more in­sight­ful mean­ings. All four com­bined to present a de­light­ful and en­ter­tain­ing show.

The fol­low­ing af­ter­noon I ven­tured to the Celtic Mu­sic Cen­tre in Judique for the launch of the 2015 Celtic Colours Fes­ti­val lineup. Be­sides some video pre­sen­ta­tions and a few short speeches, the two-hour event was pri­mar­ily mu­si­cal and fea­tured lo­cal per­form­ers who will be part of this year’s Fes­ti­val in­clud­ing Lucy MacNeil (one of this year’s Artists In Res­i­dence).

This year’s lineup is in­ter­est­ing and var­ied, from old friends like piper Fred Mor­ri­son to the first rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Isle of Man. Sev­eral artists stood out: Loreena McKen­nitt (who head­lines the open­ing) and Ricky Skaggs ( fea­tured in the clos­ing). Both have deep roots in the Celtic Cul­ture but with widely dif­fer­ent stage pre­sen­ta­tions. By the way, ticket sales for Oc­to­ber’s Fes­ti­val go on sale on Mon­day.

This past Satur­day I hit Gover­nor’s for the tail end of the af­ter­noon ses­sion that in­cluded Chrissy Crow­ley, Adam Young, Mike Barron and Doug MacPhee. I stayed in my seat (and en­joyed a lovely meal) and caught my first Kitchen­Fest show of the year that fea­tured fid­dler Marc Boudreau and pi­anist Joel Chiasson along with fid­dler Gabrielle MacLel­lan and gui­tarist Tom Daniels. They fin­ished with all four mu­si­cians go­ing at it full blast. What a great way to start off !

On Sun­day evening I caught Còig (and Seth Peters) at the Baddeck Le­gion. It was a won­der­ful night of mu­sic be­fore a large, loud and lively au­di­ence. The show also in­cluded sev­eral Gaelic num­bers from Melissa Ni­chol­son, squares sets and a slew of solo dancers.

On Mon­day found me at Syd­ney’s Old Tri­an­gle where Shelly Camp­bell, Troy MacGil­livray, Allan De­war, Cyril MacPhee and Colin Mac­Don­ald pro­vided the en­ter­tain­ment. Lots of great tunes, danc­ing and songs, in Gaelic and English.

The mu­sic con­tin­ues all around the is­land un­til Satur­day when they wrap up with an Out­door Con­cert at The Gaelic Col­lege start­ing at 3 p.m., fol­lowed by a Pub Night and CD Re­lease at 9 p.m.


Com­ing up:

Makin’ Waves Con­cert Se­ries, Went­worth Park Band­shell, Syd­ney

To­day - Slow­coaster with Tony McQuaid & The Yeti.

Thurs­day, July 9 - Ron Hynes with Car­men Townsend.

Canso, NS

July 3 to 5 - Stan Rogers Fes­ti­val

Bell Na­tional His­toric Site, Baddeck

July 3-Au­gust 2 - The Bells of Baddeck: The story of Alexan­der Graham and Ma­bel Bell

Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay

July 7-8, 13, 20-21, 27-28 - The Re­union: 1970 - 1979 (Din­ner Theatre)

Louis­bourg Play­house

July 10-11 - Lyrics & Laugh­ter

High­land Arts Theatre, Syd­ney

Ev­ery Thurs­day in July - Heart of Steel Ev­ery Fri­day in July - Ma­ture Young Adults Ev­ery Satur­day in July - No Great Mis­chief Ev­ery Sun­day in July - The True Mean­ing of Cape Bre­ton


Shelly Camp­bell, Troy MacGil­livray and Allan De­war at the Old Tri­an­gle.

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