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Contemporary Recordings CDs and cassettes in the Cape Breton Irish or Scottish styles. Links take you first to graphics and descriptions then to transcriptions and sound clips.

The Barra MacNeil's Christmas Album - Lovers of Celtic Music won't find a better Christmas album. True family spirit and Chrsitmas sentiment. Great musicianship. Catches the many moods of Christmas without falling into commercialism. This is an exceptional recording which will appeal to just about everyone.

Tommy Basker: The Tin Sandwich. Tommy hadn't recorded since his 1964 LP session with Johnny Wilmot. On this 1994 CD of harmonica music there is a variety of tunes from various Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish sources backed by piano, guitar and tenor guitar. Very different from 'clean' modern Irish-style players like Eddie Clark, Brendan Power and Mark Graham (who use chromatic and blues techniques) Tommy gets much of his ornamentation from the back of his throat. Great lively music here from the inimitable Tommy Basker.)

Kinnon Beaton: Saturday Night Lively A good mix of old and new tunes performed by one of Cape Breton's most popular dance players.

John Campbell: Timeless First recording in many years by the composer of Sandy MacIntyre's Trip to Boston. An old-style Cape Breton Scottish fiddler, John is the son of Dan J. Campbell (one of the first to record on 78 disc). He includes a dozen originals on this new recording. Accompaniment by Doug MacPhee.

Paddy Canny & P.J. Hayes: An Historic Recording of Irish Traditional Music from County Clare and East Galway: One of the most influential LP recordings of its day (1959). We are fortunate to see it one back in circulation as a CD. Classic settings of popular tunes joyfully played.

The Captain's Collection : A gorgeous selection of songs and tunes which celebrates the music of Captain Simon Fraser of Knockie. Highland pipes, fiddle, Gaelic singing and tasteful accompaniment by Scottish musicians Alyth McCormack, Jonny Hardie,Brian MacAlpine and Rory Campbell.

John Carty: Last Night's Fun. This recording is one of time honoured Irish favorites played again but given new life and new beauty. In Carty's playing one hears the echo of older generations of fiddlers, Paddy Killoran and Michael Coleman in particular, yet his fiddling is both original and exciting. He effortlessly adds new variations without sacrificing the basic integrity of the original melodies and with each listening you hear something new. Shanachie

CastleBayMusic.Com: Tracey Dares and Paul MacNeil Both seasnoed musicians, this is their first recording since they were married. Pipes and piano tastefully accompanied, arranged and recorded.

Joe Cormier: Informal Sessions Joe Cormier is a Cape Breton fiddler originally from Cheticamp who has lived in the Boston area for many years. A masterful player, his style is strongly influenced by Winston Fitzgerald, whom Joe first met as a ten year old over 60 years ago. This is a beautiful recording, exciting repertoire played by old and dear friends.

Jackie Daly : Many's a Wild Night ... Newest recording by one of Ireland's best accordionists. Mainly comprised of a traditional repertoire, this CD also includes a half dozen of his own compositions &endash; original reels and hornpipes that adapt well to the fiddle. Accompaniment is by Garry Ó'Briain and Paul De Grae. On a couple of tracks, fiddler Máire O'Keeffe joins the group.

Joe Doucette : Fiddling Around Down North Fiddler Joe Doucette of Ingonish cites his main influences as Mike MacDougall, Jerry Holland and Cameron Chisholm. This is his first recording

David Greenberg and Doug MacPhee: Tunes Until Dawn After three successful recordings with Puirt a Baroque and many in the Barouqe field this is David's first CD of straight ahead traditional style Cape Breton fiddling. David's main Cape Breton influences include Donald MacLellan, Little Mary MacDonald, Doug MacPhee and his wife Kate Dunaly. Both Kate and Donald; join him one separate tracks.

Willie Hunter: Leaving Lerwick Harbour. Willie Hunter, famed for his composition The Cape Breton Fiddler's Welcome to Shetland, was an outstanding musician and teacher. These recordings, made during the last few weeks of his life, fulfilled his wish to leave a musical legacy for his many pupils and friends. Greentrax

Jerry Holland: These recordings all complement Jerry's two books.

  • Fiddler's Choice: This is Jerry's latest CD. A mix of old and new music delightfully put together in medlys as only Jerry can. Accompaniment from some of Cape Breton's finest as well as a guest appearance from Irish Piper, Ciaran O'Hare.
  • Master Cape Breton Fiddler: Undoubtedly Jerry's most influential album this 1982 classic has been digitally remastered.
  • Fathers and Sons: This cassette-only release predominantly consists of modern Cape Breton compositions that ring true the older traditions.
  • Crystal Clear: Recorded solo, in an intimate home setting with natural acoustics... only the fiddle itself, in its purest form.

Laoise Kelly: Just Harp This is an amazing solo harp record by the harpist from the all woman group known as The Bumblebees. Her harp playing is as lively as a fiddler. She not only embellishes her music and makes you want to dance she also plays soulfully. A rare treat.

Bill Lamey: Full Circle Mostly a compilation of home recordings Paul MacDonald did a wonderful job of remastering the sound. Rounder Records and the Lamey family are to be commended. Lamey was influential both as a dance musician and as a recording artist during the 78 era. Rounder, 2000.

Dougie MacDonald: These recordings both compliment Dougie's FREE on-line tune collection.

Ashley MacIsaac: Fiddle Music 101 - MacIsaac & MacIsaac - Recorded in an afternoon with no rehearsal or overdubs,this exciting and spontaneous CD gives us glimpses of an inspired Ashley playing with one of the music's most sensitive accompanists.

Dave MacIsaac: From the Archives David is one of the finest exponents of old style Cape Breton fiddling today. He is also a top-shelf guitarist. Dave learned the fiddle from his father, the late Alex Dan MacIsaac, and today he has an individualistic oldstyle, very rare in this day and age. His choice of repertoire is older Scottish music &endash; both from written and aural sources. Accompanied by Mary Jessie MacDonald, this is a recording you'll listen to over and over.

Alex Francis MacKay: A Lifelong Home. Alex Francis MacKay's sound, rich in Gaelic accent, is an expression of another time. It is truly unique in the world of fiddle music. He began playing the fiddle at an early age and because the MacKay family home was a regular stopping point for musicians he met and learnt from many of Cape Breton's finest players. Of the visiting musicians, those who made the most lasting impressions on Alex Francis were fiddler-composers Dan R. MacDonald (Alex's first cousin), Dan Hughie MacEachern and Gordon MacQuarrie. Rounder, 1997.

Carl MacKenzie: Fiddle Medleys This is Carl's eighth recording, his first on compact disc. The tunes are mainly traditional Scottish and Cape Breton compositions and were selected to appeal to those who appreciate the whole range of fiddle music traditionally played in Cape Breton.

Joe MacLean: Old Time Scottish Fiddle Music from Cape Breton Island In the '50s and '60s Joe MacLean made a number of influential recordings. This CD was recorded in 1977, but has only recently been released. Joe had one of the best libraries of old Scottish books in Cape Breton and he was a great interpreter of 'new' repertoire

Buddy MacMaster: Judique on the Floor - Buddy's first album. Piano accompaniest by John Morris Rankin

Buddy MacMaster:The Judique Flyer - A new album from one of Cape Breton's favourtie fiddlers. Buddy has been delighting his auduences for over 60 years. In addition to his fine fiddling this recording showcases a differnt piano accompaniest on every track.

Natalie MacMaster: My Roots are Showing A straight ahead recording of traditional fiddling from one of the most popular performers today.

Natalie MacMaster:In My Hands this is her newest CD ... a mix of styles and guest performers ... something for everyone.

The McNamara Family: Leitrim's Hidden Treasure A delightful 1998 recording of a family of fine musicians from county Leitrim. Featuring Irish pipes, fiddle, concertina and flute with some guitar and piano back.

Hamish Moore: Stepping on the Bridge. (CD only) Scottish piper Hamish Moore recorded this album in Cape Breton. The beautiful timbres heard from a wide variety of pipes made by Hamish himself are blended with the fiddle of Jerry Holland and the piano stylings of Hilda Chaisson. Vocal, Viola, Cello and sax were added on a few tracks later in a Scottish Studio. Greentrax

Theresa Morrison: Laments and Merry Melodies from Cape Breton Island This is Theresa Morrison's first recording. Years of experience make her music as flavourful as any you may have heard. She has a unique old style rootied in the Gaelic traditions. Her repertoire covers includes tunes which are ancient as the hills, as well as others that she composed herself. Originally from Washabuck, a community along the shores of the Bras d'or Lakes, seven of her brothers and sisters played the violin, the most well known being her older brother the late Joe MacLean.

Music from The Simon Fraser Collection is a compilation of medleys played by Cape Breton musicians including Alex Francis MacKay, Doanld MacLellan, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie, Dave MacIsaac and many more. Recorded in 1982, remastered to CD, 2000.

Ena OBrien: A native of Killimor, Co. Galway, Ena O'Brien immigrated to Toronto over 30 years ago. Since that time she has been in constant demand as a musician for the thriving Irish scene - playing at various concerts, feis and dance competitions.

Maire O'Keeffe: An Coisir. This is Irish fiddler Maire (pronounced Maura) O'Keeffe's first solo release. Produced and recorded in Cape Breton, this CD showcases Maire's sweet and lively fiddling. It includes a driving duet with Jerry Holland, a gorgeous arrangement of Charlie Lennon's Dance of the Honey Bees, as well as Otis Tomas' popular Waltz, The New Land and a delightful duet with Tommy Basker on harmonica. Maire is also joined by her sister Siobhan on flute for a set of slides. Gael Linn

Puirt a Baroque: Featuring the wonderful fiddling of David Greenberg (one of the only violinists in the world who convincingly "goes both ways" Puirt a Baroque (poorst-a-ba-roke) is an ensemble that brings a new and delightful perspective to both Baroque and Scottish-Cape Breton musics. Many of you will recognize David Greenberg ... either as the lead violinist for Tafelmusik or as the co-author of The Dungreen Collection (a collaboration with his wife, Kate Dunlay). Marquis Classics.

  1. Bach Meets Cape Breton: Puirt a Baroque's first CD , this is a classic. To many traditionalists fusion is a dirty word ... but this actually works. Who word think a medley could flow from Bach into a reel as naturally as strathspey to reel? Hats off to this fine group of dedicated musicians.
  2. Kinloch's Fantasy is their 2nd CD. An all instrumental selections, this CD got great reviews from classical enthusiasts
  3. Return of the Wanderer This their newest CD adds vocalist Stephanie Conn (Gaelic, English and lilting) to many of the tracks

David Greenberg and Doug MacPhee: Tunes Until Dawn After three successful recordings with Puirt a Baroque and many in the Barouqe field this is David's first CD of straight ahead traditional style Cape Breton fiddling. David's main Cape Breton influences include Donald MacLellan, Little Mary MacDonald, Doug MacPhee and his wife Kate Dunaly. Both Kate and Donald; join him one separate tracks.

Brian McNamara: The Piper's Chair After a recording debut on the much acclaimed McNamara Family's, Leitrim's Hidden Treasure, Brian McNamara is back with a lovely solo effort. His renditions are thoughtful and precise, displaying a thorough mastery of the music and the instrument.

Mairi Rankin: First Hand : Mairi Rankin from Mabou is one of the new generation of fine young fiddlers coming out of Inverness County. Her playing is confident and lively. First Hand is a well rounded CD containing both new and traditional material, starting out with a Mike MacDougall march and finishing with a John Morris Rankin reel.

Kevin Rowsome: The Rowsome Tradition With this fine recording, Kevin Rowsome assumes his rightful place in the long line of Rowsome pipers and pipemakers.

Barry Shears: A Cape Breton Piper Originally trained and subsequently successful in the world of competition piping, these days Barry would prefer to play for dancers. On this new recording, Barry plays with a lift suitable for square sets.

Brenda Stubbert: . Brenda was fortunate to be brought up in a musical household where players like Winston Fitzgerald and Johnny Wilmot were regular visitors. She is a lovely dance player and soulful composer. These recordings all compliment Brenda Stubbert's Collection of Fiddle Tunes.

  • House Sessions Brenda's second recording, House Sessions has just been remastered for CD. A gem, this relaxed music was recorded in the home of Joey Beaton.
  • In Jig Time. This Brenda's third recording. This is a studio recording with guests Jerry Holland, Gordy Sampson, Bruce MacPhee and Jackie Dunn.
  • Some Tasty Tunes is Brenda's newest CD (1999). It is a lively performance with the feel of a dance or house party, more so than a studio recording. Playing as well as ever, there is a good mix of old and new tunes here, including many compositions which have been penned by herself and others, since the time of her book. Accompaniment is by Maybelle Chisholm MacQueen on piano and Maybelle's son, Brian Doyle on guitar.

Classic Cape Breton Recordings:

Winston Fitzgerald: Classic Cuts. Winston's music needs no introduction. (see: Winston's book)His recording career began with his 78s in the late '40s and his trio continued to record some of the most influential fiddle music to come out of Cape Breton. For this production Breton Books and Music digitally remastered 22 of Winston's classic cuts from the Celtic LPs. Many of the tunes are transcribed in the new book. Breton Books ...

Johnny Wilmot: Another Side of Cape Breton. A great compilation of Johnny's early recordings (1951-64). Irish music with a Cape Breton swing. In addition to fiddle and piano selections (with Margaret MacPhee or Mildred Leadbeater) there are tracks with tin whistle (Chris Langan) and others with harmonica (Tommy Basker). Breton Books

MacLellan Trio: Classic Cape Breton Perfomances. The third in a series of digitally remastered 78 and lp recordings, this compilation features the powerful fiddling of Big Donald and Theresa MacLellan, accompanied as always by their sister Marie on piano. A mixture of duet and trio cuts, Donald's incomparable strathspey playing alongside of Thesesa's masterful pipe tunes display the old Cape Breton Scottish repertoire at its best. Breton Books ... Sorry, CD temporarily out-of-print

Mike MacDougall:Tape for Father Hector. Mike never made a studio album. This one hour tape was remastered from the original reel-to-reel tape which was made for his friend Father Hector MacDonald. CASSETTE ONLY Breton Books

Winston Fitzgerald: House Parties & 78s.Side A contains previously unreissued 78's. Side B, the home tapes, displays some repertoire not found on his commercial recordings. Also featured is 15 minutes of solo fiddling by Winston during a visit to Boston in 1958. 90 min. CASSETTE ONLY Breton Books
Sorry, temporarily out-of-print

Classic Irish recordings - 78 reissues Individually priced

Milestone at the Garden: Irish Fiddle Masters from the 78 RPM Era. A must for anyone interested in Irish music. The historical notes by Dick Spotwood and Phillipe Varlet are thorough and fascinating. The 25 tracks comprise a wide cross-section of both regional and individual styles. Fiddlers Paddy Canny, Dennis Murphy, Neil O'Boyle and Sean Ryan play unaccompanied. Other tracks with accompaniment include music by Michael Coleman, Paddy Cronin, Paddy Killoran, Sean Maguire, James Morrison, Danny O'Donnell, Frank O'Higgins, Ed Reavy and others. Twenty-one tracks haven't been previously reissued. (Rounder CD only)

Michael Coleman (fiddle):1891-1945. Michael Coleman's recordings of Sligo style Irish fiddling (1921-44) are without doubt the most influential ever made. Includes a small 100-page book which offers fascinating history, a discography, and numerous old photos (no musical notation or transcriptions). The clarity of these recordings makes one want to listen to them over and over. (Gael Linn 2 CD and book set)

Solo Fiddlers play music from the Heather Hill Collection:

A Tribute to Dan R. MacDonald 21 Cape Breton Fiddlers Play Tunes from The Heather Hill Collection. Recording in 1989 as a companion to the Heather Hill book, the tape is available separately or as part of a book -cassette set. Contains 74 previously unrecorded Dan R. tunes performed solo by the following fiddlers:
Kinnon Beaton, Elmer Briand, Dwayne Cote, Gordon Cote, Paul Cranford, Raymond Ellis, Wilfred Gillis, David Greenberg, Jerry Holland, Lloyd MacDonald, Shawn MacDonald, Dan Joe MacInnis, Alec Francis MacKay, Carl MacKenzie, Hector MacKenzie, John Neil MacLean, Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, Kyle MacNeil, Lucy MacNeil, Courtney MacPherson (highland pipes) and Wilfred Prosper.

90 min. CASSETTE

The Lighthouse: CD or cassette ... review

Paul Cranford and Friends: A recording of original Cape Breton fiddle tunes also available as part of The Lighthouse Collection. Containing jigs, reels, marches, strathspeys, airs, pipe tunes and a waltz, this recording refelects a solid foundation in older traditions.The majority of these tunes were composed by lighthousekeeper Paul Cranford with others by his Cape Breton friends.

Music From the Simon Fraser Collection CD only
As Played in the Homes of Cape Breton Musicians

Recorded in 1982 this compilation has been edited down to one 74 minute CD. Includes performances by Dave MacIsaac, Donald MacLellan, Alex Francis MacKay, Paul Cranford, Jerry Holland and many others
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last upddate 9/5/02