Matt Earhart re­leases CD at The Savoy

A mix of mu­sic at MacDon­ald Auto Group Kitchen Party

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/Entertainment - Dan MacDon­ald Dan MacDon­ald has been in­volved with the Cape Bre­ton and East Coast mu­sic scene for over 40 years. He can be reached at creignish_hills@hot­mail.com.

When a young per­former ar­rives on the scene, it of­ten leads to spec­u­la­tion and an unan­swer­able ques­tion: What will they be like when they ma­ture? On May 5 I at­tended Matt Earhart’s CD re­lease party at the Savoy and was very im­pressed with what I heard. He has ma­tured into a very good en­ter­tainer, and this was show­cased not only in his live per­for­mance but in his self­ti­tled CD as well.

The evening was about Matt and his mu­si­cal friends. Dur­ing the first half of his per­for­mance he was joined on stage by Mario Colosimo (who pro­vided pi­ano, gui­tar and back­ing vo­cals on the CD and Ken MacLeod (a good gui­tarist, singer and writer in his own right). While Matt turned both loose for some so­los, this was Matt’s show­case and he didn’t dis­ap­point as he high­lighted his fid­dle play­ing and vo­cal skills.

Later Matt showed an­other side of his abil­i­ties as he was joined by fel­low mem­bers of the Savoy Din­ner Theatre com­pany. They swapped in­stru­ments and vo­cals as they took turns do­ing songs of their past shows. All in all, it was a great evening be­fore a full house on the Savoy Lobby stage and, be­cause it was a CD re­lease, most of those present went away with a copy of the new record­ing.

The CD it­self is great, with pow­er­ful fid­dle mu­sic sup­ple­mented by well-ar­ranged songs. Keep­ing with mostly fa­mil­iar ma­te­rial (“Mor­ri­son’s Jig,” “Miss Lyle,” “Sleepy Mag­gie,” “The Iron Man”), Matt’s play­ing is ex­cel­lent and im­pres­sive.

While I knew him as a fid­dler (with mu­si­cal roots that stretch back into In­ver­ness County), it was his abil­ity as a singer that re­ally sur­prised me. He tack­les well-known ma­te­rial such as “Fish­er­man’s Blues,” “The Star Of The County Down” and “The Part­ing Glass.”

He does a won­der­ful job of all of them, but it’s his ver­sion of “Car­rick­fer­gus” that re­ally takes the cake. Ac­cord­ing to Don­nie Camp­bell (the host of Celtic Ser­e­nade for over 40 years and a road mu­si­cian for even longer), this may very well be the de­fin­i­tive ver­sion of that song. I tend to agree with him.

Matt Earhart has a gem on his hands here and, as I stated be­fore, I am very im­pressed with it. If I was to find any fault with it, I would have to say that I was dis­ap­pointed by the liner notes which fail to present the depth that this CD de­serves. But this is just me be­ing picky.

This CD de­serves to be part of ev­ery­one’s col­lec­tion. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.

I took in more than just the CD re­lease that week­end, in­clud­ing sev­eral trips to the Mem­ber­tou Sports Com­plex for the MacDon­ald Auto Group Kitchen Party. On May 4 I caught a nice set by the Men of the Deeps, fol­lowed by the lively stylings of Keltic Drive. Two days later I heard great rock from Bad Kitty. It’s a good venue for some­thing like this: Cars were sold and the mu­sic was en­joyed.

That Satur­day I also hit Gover­nor’s where Hailee LeFort pro­vided the fid­dle tunes with Mike Hall on pi­ano. They were later joined by Kyle MacNeil and oth­ers as the af­ter­noon wore on. On Sun­day May 28 Gover­nor’s hosts the Cape Bre­ton Fid­dlers As­so­ci­a­tion who are rais­ing funds for this summer’s trip to On­tario.

Coming up:

Old Tri­an­gle, Syd­ney Live mu­sic from Wed­nes­day to Satur­day.

Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. - Maryanna.

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. 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.

Satur­day, June 24, 8 p.m. Jimmy Flynn.

Savoy Theatre

May 27-28 - The Leg­ends: Trib­ute to Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, The Everly Broth­ers. High­land Arts Theatre,

Syd­ney

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.

Thursday, June 1, 7:30 p.m. - Dave Gun­ning & Buddy MacDon­ald.

St. Joseph’s Church,

North Syd­ney Sun­day, May 21, 7 p.m. - Ben­e­fit Va­ri­ety Con­cert: Singers, dancers, fid­dlers and more.

Black Spoon Es­presso Bar, 7 Con­vent Street, North Syd­ney

Satur­day, May 27, Noon - Feis Cape Bre­ton Mu­sic Men­tor­ship Jam Ses­sion, led by Kim­ber­ley Fraser. Ev­ery­one wel­come - all lev­els, youth en­cour­aged.

Hall of the Clans,

Gaelic Col­lege Satur­day, May 27, 6:30 p.m. - A Roast in Trib­ute to Paul Cran­ford (Spon­sored by the Gaelic Col­lege & High­land Vil­lage). Meet & Greet, Tes­ti­mo­nial & Dance fea­tur­ing: Brenda Stub­bert, Howie MacDon­ald, Kyle, Sheumus & Lucy MacNeil, Hec­tor MacKen­zie, Bob MacEach­ern, Joella Foulds, Max MacDon­ald and more.

Cedars Club, Syd­ney Satur­day, May 27, 8:30 p.m. Square Dance: Mike Bar­ron & Friends.

Cape Bre­ton Fid­dlers

As­so­ci­a­tion

West Mabou, Satur­day, May 27, 9 p.m. - Square Dance: Var­i­ous mu­si­cians.

Gover­nor’s (Syd­ney), Sun­day, May 28, 3 p.m. - Ceilidh: Var­i­ous mu­si­cians.

Bre­ton Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre,

New Water­ford Sun­day, June 4, 7:30 p.m. “One Good Rea­son” CD Re­lease: Tom Lead­beater, B.E.C. Jazz Band.

Carmel Mikol CD Re­lease Tour

Fri­day, June 9 - Dr. Lukes, Syd­ney.

Satur­day, June 10 - Chanterelle Inn, North River.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Hailee LeFort and Mike Hall pro­vide some tunes at Gover­nor’s.

Matt Earhart’s self-ti­tled solo CD.

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