Two new recordings from England’s Breeze & Wilson
New summer step dance school to open in Mabou
I’m going to take the time now to catch up on some of the CDs that have been sitting on my desk for the past few months. I’ll start with a pair from some British friends who were in Cape Breton for a show this past summer.
I first heard Breeze & Wilson on CBC Radio’s “Weekend Mornings” show, hosted at that time by the late Stan Carew. I first met them when they played the Stan Rogers Festival with Stan in 2008 and quickly became a fan. Their introspective songs, coupled with their great instrumental work and their somewhat unusual harmonies, gave them a distinctive sound that caught a lot of attention. Breeze & Wilson have been touring the Maritimes for most of the past decade, including several stops in Sydney and last year’s stop in Iona.
Their most recent release is titled “Heartbreaker” and really highlights their “relaxed” style of music. Ten of the 11 cuts come from their own pens, with the exception (“Sailor’s Song”) written by Stan Carew.
I really like the title cut, and can easily reflect on the sentiments voiced in “Wing And A Prayer,” but I’m most taken by “I’ll Never Drown In You.” It’s the story of a man’s attraction to a beautiful woman, who knows her beauty but has little else to offer. After all, “if thoughts are made of water, I’ll never drown in you.” Somehow that says it all.
The second CD is called “Retrospective” and contains work from their first two recordings as well as a pair of previously unreleased songs recorded live with Stan Carew, Neil Dalton and Rick Jones. While some of the cuts are penned by Breeze & Wilson, the majority came from as varied a lot as Lennon & McCartney, Lyle Lovett and Delbert McClinton.
They get quite “bluesy” on songs such as “Cold Inside” and “Am I Wrong?” They do great credit to Lennon & McCartney’s “I Will” and their heartfelt version of Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of The Day” is one of the best I’ve ever heard. The CD even includes Harriet’s Song, the original piece that Stan Carew first played on CBC that started their connection with Canada’s East Coast.
Both Graham Breeze and Toby Wilson are superb musicians and both CDs reflect this. Sprinkle in some Kim Dunn on “Heartbreaker” and Carew, Dalton and Jones on “Retrospective” and you have a great mix. These recordings are likely hard to come by on this side of the water but check out Breeze & Wilson on YouTube or go to their website and order from there. And this year, when they wander through, take an evening and enjoy them live.
So, you’d like to learn to step dance? Here’s an opportunity for you to learn from some of the best at the Mabou School of Cape Breton Step Dance running from July 24 to July 28. The school is under the direction of noted dancer and fiddler Melody Cameron and will feature a good cross-section of Cape Breton dancers, musicians and guest speakers. If you have anybody who is serious about learning to dance or improving their skills, this looks like the perfect way to do it. If you want more information you can check out the web page at capebretonstepdance.com.
Coming up: Old Triangle, Sydney Live music from Wednesday to Saturday. Blue Mist Tavern, Little Bras d’Or Every Thursday evening Traditional fiddle music session. Highland Arts Theatre, Sydney
Feb. 8-11, 8 PM – “Criminals In Love”
Feb. 14 & 18, 7:30 p.m. - “100 Years of Song (Sinatra - A Celebration)” - Paul Gatchell and Friends. Membertou Trade & Convention Centre Wednesdays, 6 p.m. - Kiju’s Restaurant: Celtic Serenade Jam Sessions.
Thursdays, 6 p.m. - Kiju’s Restaurant: Live & Local.
Friday, Feb. 10, 9 p.m. - Matt Minglewood’s 70th Birthday Party & CD Release.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m. - Yuk Yuk’s On Tour.
Sunday, Feb. 19, noon - 2017 Wedding Show.
Savoy Theatre February 10, 11,14,17-18, March 3, 7 p.m. – “Are You Being Served CB?” (Dinner Theatre).
Saturday, March 4, 7 p.m. – “Salem 1692”
Tuesday, March 14, 7 p.m. – “Celtic Serenade (The Concert)” - Donnie Campbell and Friends. Frolic & Folk Pub, Iona Feb. 11 & 18, 5 p.m. - Ceilidh. St. Mark’s United Church,
Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. - The Cape Breton Fiddler’s Association. Breton Brewing Company, 364 Keltic Drive, Coxheath Saturday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m. Anita MacDonald, Ben Miller.
Saturday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m. Buddy MacDonald, Cyril MacPhee. Sydney Mines Firemen’s
Centre Saturday, Feb. 11, 9 PM Valentine’s Round and Square Dance:
Kyle & Shamus MacNeil, Howie MacDonald, Kimberly Fraser, Aaron Lewis Triple Crown Bistro, 100
Kings Road, Sydney Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7 p.m. - Special Valentine’s Show: Aaron Lewis and the Keltic Drive Band. Celtic Music Interpretive
Centre, Judique Thursday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. - Scotland’s Paul McKenna in Concert.
Breeze & Wilson’s Retrospective includes music from their first two releases.
Heartbreaker, the most recent CD from Breeze & Wilson.