Cormier tack­les J.S. Bach

‘Sum­mer­time Re­vue’ at Savoy The­atre is another win­ner

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/ Entertainment - Dan MacDonald Feed­back

First, I ad­mit I’m no ex­pert on classical mu­sic. My main ex­per­tise comes from watch­ing Bugs Bunny car­toons over the years. Sec­ond, I ad­mit I’m a huge fan of the mu­si­cal skills of Cheti­camp’s Maxim Cormier.

Cormier can do jus­tice to any­thing he plays so I think it’s safe to sug­gest that his treat­ment of the works of J.S. Bach would be su­perb.

He does things a bit dif­fer­ently. You don’t nor­mally hear Bach on the gui­tar and you cer­tainly don’t hear it flat-picked on steel strings on a We­ber arch top, but this is what he gives us.

The sound is clear, with noth­ing to dis­tract you from the player’s abil­ity. As I lis­tened to this I was struck by the in­ten­sity of the play­ing and the skill level re­quired to pull this off.

It’s just one guy with one in­stru­ment. There’s no or­ches­tra­tion, no ex­tra mu­si­cians, just that one gui­tar han­dled by a very tal­ented young man.

The only guest on the record­ing is Aurélie Cormier, whose beau­ti­ful voice adds so much to “Ave Maria.”

Short, sweet and to the point, this record­ing is an EP with only six cuts. This project was done at Lakewind Stu­dios. Classical mu­sic may not be your cup of tea but Cormier’s ap­proach to Bach makes for an in­ter­est­ing record­ing that crosses the for­mal bound­aries and makes it en­joy­able for ev­ery­one. Check it out and see what I mean.

** * *

There was so much mu­sic hap­pen­ing over the past few weeks that it was hard to keep track of it and im­pos­si­ble to get to ev­ery­thing. But I tried my best.

On July 29, I hit the Do­ry­man for an af­ter­noon of tunes with Colin Grant and Joel Chiasson.

As ex­pected, there was a full house, a mix­ture of lo­cals, home-from-aways and tourists. I sat with a cou­ple from Ver­mont who were touring Cape Breton be­fore trav­el­ling to New­found­land. Be­fore they left home they were told that they had to stop at the Do­ry­man. A lit­tle pro­mo­tion goes a long way.

Later I made a trip to West Mabou and en­joyed the mu­sic of Howie MacDonald, Hilda Chiasson, Mary Beth Carty and Joe MacMaster, who played for the solo step­dancers.

The mu­sic was bril­liant but the danc­ing was some­thing else. The sets had dancers that ranged from their 80s down to three years old. And ev­ery­body was in­cluded, whether they were a veteran dancer or a be­gin­ner. The solo dancers — all 19 of them — went from nine to 76 years old. Talk about an ex­er­cise pro­gram.

Last Wed­nes­day I caught the “Sum­mer­time Re­vue” at the Savoy The­atre in Glace Bay. Well worth the trip — the mu­sic was won­der­ful, with a nice com­bi­na­tion of old and new songs, and the com­edy was sharp and funny, just what you would ex­pect from the Re­vue.

High­lights in­cluded The Coal­tones and their punchy song ver­sions that stuck it to politi­cians in gen­eral. They even took a poke at Don­ald Trump with an in­ter­est­ing twist to Rockin’ Robin. Jenn Shep­pard and Peter MacIn­nis as two old ladies were hi­lar­i­ous. The Re­vue is on tour this week but re­turns to the Savoy on Aug. 16-17.

Last week­end the tall ships were around and CBC hosted shows on the water­front. Matt Min­gle­wood was on stage on Fri­day. He has been mak­ing mu­sic for more than 50 years but he still knows how to rock as he served up a nice com­bi­na­tion of new and old fa­mil­iar mu­sic. On Satur­day Port Cities per­formed, show­cas­ing tight har­monies and great writ­ing skills.

Satur­day af­ter­noon I stopped at Gover­nor’s in Syd­ney for a dou­ble help­ing of fid­dle mu­sic.

Dwayne Côté and Jason MacDonald were en­ter­tain­ing out­side while Gil­lian Head and Mary Beth Carty were play­ing in­side. I heard some great mu­sic and got a chance to ex­change sto­ries with some friends, in­clud­ing a mem­ber of the first band I ever booked 49 years ago.

I fin­ished off the night at the Dob­son Yacht Club in West­mount at a lovely wed­ding re­cep­tion where I en­joyed the mu­sic of Chap­ter One. This trio

im­pressed me with great vo­cals and a great song se­lec­tion that had folks on the floor from the first song. The power of live mu­sic. Dan MacDonald has been in­volved with the Cape Breton and East Coast mu­sic scene for over 40 years.

He can be reached at


Dwayne Côté and Jason MacDonald per­formed re­cently on Gover­nor’s street-level deck in down­town Syd­ney.


Maxim Cormier’s new­est CD “Play J.S. Bach.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.