Matt Earhart releases CD at The Savoy
A mix of music at MacDonald Auto Group Kitchen Party
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.
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.
May 27-28 - The Legends: Tribute to Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers. Highland Arts Theatre,
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
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.
Hailee LeFort and Mike Hall provide some tunes at Governor’s.
Matt Earhart’s self-titled solo CD.