Buddy MacMaster and Joey Beaton featured on new CD
Nova Scotia Hall of Fame Induction wonderfully entertaining
Buddy MacMaster is considered by many to be THE master when it comes to Cape Breton fiddling, the one acknowledged by his peers and revered by the following generations of players. He was someone who had wonderful lift to his music and was long a favourite player for dancers, myself included.
Buddy released several recordings but he was at his best in a live setting. “Rooted In Tradition: A Musical Journey with Buddy MacMaster” takes us to some of those sessions where he performed before a live audience.
The production (engineered by Kim Lantz and recorded at CODA Studies in Sydney) was compiled by Joey Beaton, the pianist throughout the CD. Great research went into this as the cuts range from a radio broadcast at CJFX Radio in 1968 to a concert at The Octagon Arts Center in Dingwall in 2004.
The stops in between include concerts in Glendale, Halifax, Glace Bay, Antigonish, Glencoe and (perhaps the most unusual) The Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada in 1999. There’s even a solo piano cut from Joey included, a lovely version of “Johnnie Cope” recorded in New York. There are also good liner notes, detailing where and when each was recorded as well as a listing of tunes and composers. Joey must have listened to hours and hours of music before paring it down to a dozen groups, undoubtedly a difficult task.
Buddy and Joey were a powerful combination, always on the top of their game, and this is brought out in these carefully selected cuts. “Rooted In Tradition” is so important because it gives you a wonderful crosssection of Buddy’s music over a
period of 36 years. This makes it a must for any fiddle fan to include in their collection.
The Casino Nova Scotia Hall of Fame Induction at Centre 200 on April 19 was a fabulous event, featuring a great lineup of music and an impressive list of inductees, not the least of which was our own Natalie MacMaster and Joella Foulds. It was billed as a Nova Scotia Hall of Fame event but, after only a few years in existence, it has already become an East Coast event.
Besides the locals, the other inductees were New Brunswick’s Ken Tobias, Prince Edward Island’s Gene MacLellan and Harry Hibbs from Newfoundland and Labrador. MacLellan (now deceased) and Tobias made their
biggest mark as writers with songs that sold millions worldwide. Hibbs, (also deceased), had over 20 recordings as well as his own national TV show and owned a highly successful club in Toronto.
The event was hosted by Bette MacDonald and Maynard Morrison and the inductees were suitably honoured with music. The performers included the MacArthur Dancers, fiddlers Dawn Beaton and Rachel Davis, accordion player Ryan Baker, vocalists Bruce Guthro, Meaghan Blanchard, Jessica Rhaye, Kim Dunn, Port Cities and Catherine MacLellan, with everything backed by an all-star house band.
It was a powerful and a wellrun show, both entertaining and emotional at times. It was originally scheduled to be held in the main part of Centre 200 but ended up in the concourse when very few tickets were sold. Poor planning on someone’s part?
I would blame the sporadic and incomplete advertising as few people seemed to be aware of the event or who was involved. The almost immediate Sold Out notice on the website didn’t help either. While it was a nicely intimate evening, this was a show that should have been seen and enjoyed by far more.
April 22 I hit Iona’s Frolic & Folk Pub for a great meal and music from Rachel Davis and Buddy MacDonald. The tunes and songs were top-notch but I also got info on the Pub’s Summer Concert Series running Wednesday evenings starting June 28. The lineup includes Port Cities, Evans & Doherty, David Francey, Old Man Luedecke, Steve Poltz, J.P. Cormier and more.
After leaving there I headed to Sydney’s Cedars Club where I enjoyed the playing of Howie MacDonald, Ian MacDougall, Shelly Campbell, Allan Dewer, Donna Marie DeWolfe and Joel Chiasson. What a great day of music!
Congratulations to all the 2017 East Coast Music Award winners, only a few of whom were Cape Bretoners. The Celtic Colours International Festival took the Event Award, while Mabou’s Stephen (Snickers) Smith won for Live Sound Engineer and Colin Grant teamed with Scott Macmillan to take Traditional Instrumental Recording for their GOOD2GO CD. Next year, Halifax!
Old Triangle, Sydney Live music from Wednesday to Saturday. Blue Mist, Bras d’Or Every Thursday evening - Traditional fiddle music session. Frolic & Folk Pub, Iona Saturdays, 5 p.m. - Ceilidh. Embers, Sydney Sunday, 7 p.m. - Keith Mullins. Breton Brewing, Coxheath Wednesday, May 3, 7 p.m. - The Ramblin’ Valley Band. Membertou Trade & Convention Centre Tuesdays, 6 p.m. - Kiju’s Restaurant: Jazz with Carl Getto.
Wednesdays, 6 p.m. - Kiju’s Restaurant: Celtic Serenade Jam Sessions.
Thursdays, 6 p.m. - Kiju’s Restaurant: Live & Local. (May 17, Allie Bennett).
Friday, May 5, 8 p.m. - Mike MacDonald.
Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. Canada 150 Performance Series: Corb Lund, Jordan Musycsyn. Savoy Theatre
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m. - Matt Earhart CD Release Party.
Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m. - City & Colour Solo.
May 13-14 - The Three Pianos Return.
May 27-18 - The Legends: Tribute to Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers.
Holy Rosary Church, Westmount
Saturday, May 13, 7;30 p.m. Nova Voice: Nova Scotia’s Provincial Men’s Choir.
Highland Arts Theatre, Sydney
Sunday, May 14, 3 p.m. - Shine (Songs of Broadway and Hollywood): Paul Gatchell & Friends.
May 17-24, 8 p.m. - Next To Normal.
Sunday, May 28, 7 p.m. - Salute To Canada: The Cape Breton Chorale, Northside Honour Choir and more.
St. Joseph’s Church,
Sunday, May 21, 7 p.m. - Benefit Variety Concert: Singers, dancers, fiddlers and more.
Buddy MacDonald and Rachel Davis perform at the Frolic & Folk Pub.
Rooted in Tradition, a new CD release with great history.