For many, Buddy MacMaster epitomizes the mix of Scottish, Irish and Canadian styles (played with a definite Scottish burr) that makes a Cape Breton dance fiddler. To fans of the genre, all that needs be said is that MacMaster has recorded his third solo album. Now in his seventies, MacMaster seemingly has not lost any drive and fire, as the music often seems to explode of his bow.
Most of the pieces he has chosen are written by the well known Scottish and Nova Scotian fiddle tune composers of like Scots Skinner, Dan R. MacDonald and Jerry Holland. There are fifty tunes in fourteen medleys of airs, laments, strathspeys, marches, clogs, jigs and reels. Each set features a different, celebrated accompanist, so this album can serve as a history and anthology of Cape Breton piano styles. (A couple of cuts also have guitar, including one by Dave MacIsaacs, infant terrible of Npva Scotian fiddling.) And all the players are perfect, highlighting and driving the the fiddle.
There are fine notes evoking the setting from which MacMaster's music springs. For aficianados, note that MacMaster's rhythmic foot stomping is clearly in the sound mix. - Stacy Phillips
medley, trad and Berry Lou Bearon
(c)2000 Stephen MacDonald Productions, used by permision
CD Available at cdroots.com
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