Celtic Colours Vol. 9 - 2005
2 CD set

Compilation featuring Blazin' Fiddles, Le Vent du Nord, Kimberly Fraser, Fin Moore, Allie Bennett, Cathie Ryan, Jennifer Roland, Mahers Bars, Jeff MacDonald, Carl MacKenzie, Karen & Helene, The Cottars, Dave Gunning, Joe Derrane and The Boston Edge, Glenn Graham, The Brock McGuire Band, Mary Jane Lamond, Katheryn Tickell Band, Tracey Dares, Liz Doherty, Ryan J. MacNeil, David Francey, Dougie MacDonald, Andrew White, J.P. Cormier, Rona Lightfoot, Buddy MacMaster, Old Blind Dogs, Weldon Boudreau, Howie MacDonald

Celtic Colours prices


links to secure server / on-line store

Two CD set $25.00

  Or buy all 6 CDs at a special bundle price

First CD



Miss Johnstone (traditional)
Rannie MacLellan (Brenda Stubbart, SOCAN)
Fred's Reel (traditional)
Frank Gilruth (Peter Milne, arranged by: Blazin' Fiddles)

Marc Clement: Guitar
Allan Henderson: Fiddle
Catriona Macdonald: Fiddle
Iain Macfarlane: Fiddle
Bruce MacGregor: Fiddle
Aidan O'Rourke: Fiddle
Andy Thorburn: Piano


Courtesy of: Blazin' Fiddles
Produced by: Blazin' Fiddles
Recorded at: Castlesound Studio

Each member of Blazin' Fiddles draws the distinct flavor of music from their part of the highlands and island of Scotland. These musicians are some of the finest fiddlers ever to play a reel, backed by skilled accompaniment on piano and guitar. They have been performing as a group for seven years (hence, the name of their latest CD) and continue to recruit converts to fiddle music everywhere they play.

The MISS JOHNSTONE cut wraps three traditional tunes around a composition from Cape Breton's Brenda Stubbert.



C'est une Jeune Mariée (traditional)

Nicolas Boulerice: Hurdy Gurdy, vocals
Benoit Bourque: Accordion, voice
Olivier Demers: Fiddle, feet
Simon Beaudry: Guitar, voice

Courtesy of: Borealis Records
Recorded by: André Marchand at Studio du Chemin 4

Le Vent du Nord was one of the most exiting stage groups to grace the Celtic Colours festival in 2004, and the Festival is fortunate to have them back for another year. This four-piece bundle of traditional music energy can be accurately described as eight musical instruments, four voices in harmony, two generations of musicians and a master of dance. This allows the group to make a distinctive musical impact that has drawn praise far and wide. Although Le Vent du Nord has only been together for a few years, it has already made an impact. Their first CD garnered them the 2004 JUNO award for "Roots and Traditional Album of the Year/Group," as well as a host of other nominations. LES AMANTS DU SAINT-LAURENT is their just released (and much awaited) second CD.

Alice Boulerice, Nicolas' grandmother, owns and still sings a fabulous repertoire, with all kinds of songs. C'Est une Jeune Mariée is a double meaning song, of which many versions are known.



The Rocky Shore (Paul Cranford, SOCAN)

Kimberly Fraser: Fiddle
Gordie Sampson: Mandolin
Allie Bennett: Bass
Stewart MacNeil: Wooden flute


Courtesy of: Kimberly Fraser
Produced by: Eileen T. Brennan
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd and Fred Lavery at Lakewind Studios, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Sydney Mines native Kimberly Fraser has already made an impact on the world of Celtic music. Wonderfully adept as a fiddler, pianist, and stepdancer, she has toured Europe with Cherish The Ladies and British Columbia with Glenn Graham. In August 2005, she performed at Tønder Festival in Denmark with Patrick Gillis and Troy MacGillivray. During the 2000 Celtic Colours festival, Kimberly was presented with the annual "Tic Butler Memorial Award" for significant contribution to Cape Breton culture. Kimberly now enjoys teaching private fiddle, stepdancing, and piano lessons at home as well as at various workshops, including the prestigious Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St Ann's, Cape Breton, and the Ceilidh Trail School of Music in Inverness, Cape Breton.

The Rocky Shore is a beautiful piece composed by Cape Breton musician Paul Cranford as a tribute to his home on Victoria County's North Shore area. Cape Breton piano player Mac Morin recorded the wave sounds heard at the beginning of this track.




Soenaidh's Tune (F. Morrison, MCPS & PRS)
Cuir I Glun Air A'Bhodach Strathspey (traditional)
Cuir I Glun Air A'Bhodach Reel (traditional)
Pigtown Reel (traditional)
O'Rourke's Reel (traditional)

(Except where stated, all tunes are traditional/arranged F. Moore & S. Bradley/Published Grian Music.)

Fin Moore: Border pipes
Simon Bradley: Fiddle

From the album: The Piper and the Maker
Courtesy of: Greentrax Recordings Limited
Produced by: Hamish Moore
Recorded by: Peter Haig live at the Pitlochry Town Hall

Like father, like son! This often-quoted adage is never truer than when directed towards Fin Moore. The son of noted piper, fiddler, composer, and pipe-maker Hamish Moore, Fin plays the Highland pipes, Border pipes, and Scottish Small Pipes and is now a partner with his father, continuing the business of pipe-making. He has also gained a great reputation as a teacher of pipes, having completed four summer seasons teaching at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, various parts of Scotland, and other schools around the world.

The SOENAIDH'S TUNE SET was taken from a CD recorded as a tribute to the work and music of Hamish Moore, as all the pipers on the recording play pipes that he has made. A similar CD will be recorded live at two concerts during Celtic Colours and will be released in 2006.




Gerry Comane's (traditional)
Jes Kroman's (Jerry Holland, Fiddlestick Music, SOCAN)
The Flooded Road to Glenties (Jimmy McHugh)
Freddies's (John Morris Rankin, Ole Sound Music, SOCAN)

Allie Bennett: Fiddle, guitar, bass
Mac Morin: Piano
Brian Talbot: Drums


From the album: IT'S ABOUT TIME
Courtesy of: Allie Bennett
Produced by: Allie Bennett
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd at Lakewind Studios, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Allie is one of the most recognized and hardest working musicians on Canada's east coast. He has performed studio work on over 100 recordings and toured extensively over the past 30 years with the likes of Rita MacNeil, The Rankin Family, the Barra MacNeils, John Allan Cameron, Mary Jane Lamond, Natalie MacMaster, and the late Stan Rogers. He has been the music director of many major productions and television broadcasts and is also in demand as a teacher of fiddle, guitar, and bass. After so many recording sessions with other musicians, Allie finally recorded his own CD. When told by Allie that this project was in the works, the general response among his fellow musicians was ". . . it's about time!"

This group of reels comes from various sources, including two of the most gifted modern-day Cape Breton composers, Jerry Holland and John Morris Rankin.



Be Like the Sea

Lyrics by: Cathie Ryan
Music by: Cathie Ryan & John Doyle, Wake the Neighbors Music, ASCAP

Cathie Ryan: Vocals
John Doyle: Guitars
John McCusker: Cittern, fiddle, whistles
Allan Kelly: Accordion
James Mackintosh: Percussion
Karine Palwart & Kris Drever: Backing vocals

From the album: THE FARTHEST WAVE

Courtesy of: Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
Produced by: John McCusker
Recorded and mixed by: Andy Seward at Pure Records Studios, Yorkshire

With one of the purest and most distinctive voices within the genre of Celtic music, Irish-American singer Cathie Ryan creates an introspective impression on the listener that stays with you long after the song is finished. Cathie, best known for her seven years as the lead vocalist for Cherish the Ladies, was born in Detroit and has established herself as one of Celtic music's most popular and enduring singer/songwriters. In 2003, she was included in the famous Irish music collection, A WOMEN'S HEART &endash; DECADE ON, which included other notable artists such as Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. She has performed on national and public television both in the United States and Europe. Her music takes her across the world (she will have finished a tour of Austria and Italy before coming to Cape Breton for her appearance at Celtic Colours), and her stage performances continue to build a following of fans.

Be Like the Sea is a gently-paced and soothing ballad offering words of encouragement of how to recover from hard times and difficult situations: just "be like the sea."



Lewis' Squak Jig (Jennifer Roland /SOCAN)
The Gaelic College of Cape Breton Jig (Jennifer Roland /SOCAN)
Thunderhead Jig (Grey Larsen (Sleepy Creek Music/BMI)
Garrett's Jig (Jennifer Roland /SOCAN)

Arranged by: Jennifer Roland, Ryan Mac Neil & Allie Bennett

Jennifer Roland: Fiddle
Ryan Mac Neil: Piano
Allie Bennett: Acoustic guitar, bass


From the album: FOR EACH NEW DAY
Courtesy of: Jennifer Roland
Produced by: Allie Bennett
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd at Lake Wind Sound Studios

It should be no real surprise that Cape Breton fiddler and dancer Jennifer Roland has risen to such wide recognition. Music surrounded Jennifer from the moment she was born. Her father played fiddle, and the family always enjoyed kitchen parties and ceilidhs. By the age of three, Jennifer was playing the piano by ear, at six she was taking dance lessons, and at age nine began studying the fiddle with Kyle MacNeil of the world-renowned Barra MacNeils. She has played all around Canada's Atlantic Provinces, across North America, and in Europe, wowing audiences with her enthusiastically performed jigs, reels, and strathspeys and the delicate touch of her slow airs. Jennifer is set to release her third CD which will kick off an extensive schedule of touring throughout the United States and Canada, as well as an anticipated tour in Australia in March 2006.

This lively group of jigs also showcases Jennifer's abilities as a composer as it features three of her own tunes.




I Got A Bonnet Trimmed With Blue (traditional)
Maggie in the Woods (traditional)

Frank Maher: Accordion
Christina Smith: Fiddle
Jean Hewson: Guitar
Rick West: Bodhran

From the album: MAHERVELOUS!

Courtesy of: Borealis Records
Produced by: Bill Garrett & Jean Hewson
Recorded by: Lee Tizzard at The Sound Solution, St. John's, Newfoundland

For the past 20+ years, Frank Maher has maintained that he is in his "extremely late 40s." This statement alone gives a strong hint that the twinkle in his eyes comes from humor rather than contact lenses. Along with his sense of humor, Frank is a very talented accordion player in the Newfoundland tradition. Always known as a great soloist, his career really took off in the early 1980s when he became part of the Quidi Vidi Minstrels. From there, he moved on to become part of the legendary band Figgy Duff, travelling across North American and Europe with them at the height of their career. Frank has been recorded on over 35 albums and has received widespread recognition for his work, including the 2002 "Tradition Bearer Award" from the Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich, Ontario, and the 2003 St. John's Folk Arts Council "Lifetime Achievement Award."

Frank learned these tunes years ago from recordings of The McNulty Family.



Tàladh na Beinne Guirme ("The Blue Mountain's Lullaby")

Lyrics by: Goiridh Dòmhnallach (Jeff MacDonald)
Music by: Jeff MacDonald & Brian Ó hEadhra

Jeff MacDonald: Vocals
Howie MacDonald: Fiddle
Gordie Sampson: Guitar
Ryan J. MacNeil: Bagpipes


Courtesy of: Jeff MacDonald
Produced by: Eileen T. Brennan
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd and Fred Lavery at Lakewind Studios, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Jeff MacDonald hails from Kingsville, Inverness County, Cape Breton. A Gaelic singer, composer, storyteller, and educator, he has learned from some of Cape Breton's best Gaelic tradition-bearers. His extended family, the MacDonalds of Queensville (Sìol Dhùghaill), is widely known for their musicality (three of the family, all first cousins, are included on this compilation). Jeff has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and across Canada and is one of this year's Celtic Colours "Artists in Residence."

Tàladh na Beinne Guirme ("The Blue Mountain's Lullaby") was composed by Jeff (as mentioned, from Cape Breton) and Brian Ó hEadhra (from Ireland) as a result of their meeting during the 2004 Celtic Colours festival. The CD, from which this track was recorded, is a unique project: a collection of forty-plus musicians who recorded twenty-three cuts in a variety of languages and styles, all with a lullaby theme.




Trip to Nenagh Reel (Sean Ryan)
Castle Bay Scrap Reel (Tracey Dares MacNeil)
Lucy Campbell Reel (traditional)

Carl MacKenzie: Fiddle
Pat Chafe: Piano
Lyndon MacKenzie: Guitar
Nigel Waye: Bass

From the album: IT'S A CORKER!

Courtesy of: Carl MacKenzie
Produced by: Mike Wadden and Carl MacKenzie
Recorded by: Mike Wadden at Spectrum Recordings, Sydney Forks, Nova Scotia

Carl MacKenzie is a regular performer at dances, concerts, and workshops across Cape Breton and has also performed throughout Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. A traditional fiddler from a large musical family from Washabuck, Victoria County, Cape Breton, Carl has influenced many younger musicians from Cape Breton and elsewhere through his playing and teaching, including his nieces and nephews in the Barra MacNeils and Slainte Mhath. He has composed more than fifty tunes, and his vast repertoire is expressive of the musical magic and soul that sets him apart from so many other musicians.


11. karen + helene

Skøn Sired (Thomas Thaarup & J. A. P. Schulz, 1790)

Helene Blum: Vocals
Karen Mose: Vocals
Harald Haugaard: Fiddle
Morten Alfred Høirup: Guitar

From the album: SOLEN
Courtesy of: Danish Folk Music Production
Produced by: Harald Haugaard
Recorded by: Torben Sminge

Karen Mose and Helene Blum were both born on the island of Funen in Denmark and met in 2000 at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music Odense, where they were the first students to specialize in vocals in the "Folk Music" course. They began collaborating early on, focusing on traditional Danish and Nordic songs. After a couple of years as a duo, they decided to extend the collaboration to some of the best musicians they knew and release a record of Danish songs. In April 2004, they released their first album, SOLEN ("The Sun"), which was nominated in five categories at this year's Danish Music Awards. This visit to Cape Breton is their first trip to Celtic Colours as a duo, although Helene performed with Haugaard & Høirup at last year's Festival.

Skøn Sired (a song dating from approximately 1790) has become a signature piece for the duo.




The Mabou Jig (Donald Angus Beaton)
Hare Slough Jig (Willy Sawrenko)
The Advil Jig (Randy Foster)

Jimmy MacKenzie: Guitar
Ciaran MacGillivray: Keyboards
Fiona MacGillivray: Tin Whistle
Roseanne MacKenzie: Fiddle

From the album: ON FIRE!
Courtesy of: Sea-Cape Music Ltd.|

Produced by: John McDermott (Executive Producer), Allister MacGillivray & Brigham Phillips (Producers)
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd at Lakewind Sound, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

In the space of only five years, The Cottars have become recognized as one of the major Cape Breton musical success stories, performing and gathering fans across North America, Europe, Asia, and beyond. The four young Celts (brother/sister pairs Ciaran and Fiona MacGillivray and Jimmy and Roseanne MacKenzie) have been playing traditional music since early childhood. Ranging in age from 15 to 17, each is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and stepdancer. The Cottars' second album, ON FIRE!, released in 2004, earned the band a 2005 East Coast Music Award in the "Roots/Traditional Group Recording" category, a fitting follow-up to their 2003 ECMA win for "Best New Group" and their two MIANS awards in "Folk/Roots" and "Best Group" categories. The Cottars have performed for Wayne Gretzky, Senator Edward Kennedy, and at symphony halls and festivals from Newport to Tokyo.

This group of tunes puts Jimmy MacKenzie in the lead role as The Cottars do a medley of Canadian jigs from Mabou (Cape Breton), Ottawa (Quebec), and Saskatoon (Saskatchewan).



Broom O' The Cowdenknowes (traditional, arranged by Dave Gunning)

Dave Gunning: Vocal, guitars
Jamie Gatti: Bass
Daniel Maillet: Dobro
Ray Legere: Fiddle, mandolin
Cindy Church: Harmony vocals
Cathy Porter: Percussion

From the album: TWO-BIT WORLD
Courtesy of: Dave Gunning
Produced by: Jamie Robinson
Recorded by: Dave Gunning and Jamie Robinson at Riverfront Studios in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

Dave Gunning is a singer/songwriter on the verge of international recognition. He received the 2003 Music Industry of Nova Scotia ("MIANS") award for "Musician of the Year." After picking up the 2005 East Coast Music award "Folk Recording of the Year" for his fourth album, TWO-BIT WORLD, Gunning solidified his place in the East Coast music community and quickly became one of Canada's best up-and-coming singer/songwriters.

A tireless troubadour and a favorite on the festival circuit, he has toured extensively, hitting such notable events as the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, The Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Nova Scotia, and the Tønder Folk Festival in Denmark. A charismatic performer, he is known for infusing his performances with his own brand of humorous tales and touching commentary on the everyday human experience, bringing a new vibrancy and life to his songs.

Broom O' The Cowdenknowes is a traditional Scottish ballad made popular through the years by Cape Breton Celtic singer and guitarist John Allan Cameron.




The Curragh Races (traditional)
The Skylark (Jame Morrison)
The Reconciliation Reels (traditional)

Joe Derrane: Accordion
Séamus Connolly: Fiddle
John McGann: Guitar

From the album: THE BOSTON EDGE
Courtesy of: Mapleshade Records

Produced by: Paul MacDonald
Recorded by: Pierre Sprey at Mapleshade Studio, Baltimore, Maryland

Some people call it the greatest comeback in the history of Irish traditional music: after a 35+ year hiatus, Joe Derrane was once again playing the button accordion in public. His return started in 1994 at the Irish Fold Festival at Wolftrax in Vienna, Virginia. Since then, Joe has ridden the wave of Irish traditional music's resurgence and has once again become one of the most sought after players. Joe's most recent musical project is called THE BOSTON EDGE where his talent is combined with ten-time All-Ireland solo fiddle champion Séamus Connolly and former National Mandolin Champion John McGann.

This high energy set of reels opens THE BOSTON EDGE. All are traditional and will be familiar to followers of Celtic music. Combined, they give a great "lift" to the overall medley of tunes.




Miss MacKenzie of Gairloch Strathspey (traditional)
For the Gretzky of Cape Breton Social Dancing Strathspey (Glenn Graham)
Colonel MacGregor (traditional)
Wally Ellison's Reel (Danny Graham)
Miss Charlotte Alston Stewart's Reel (traditional)

Glenn Graham: Fiddles
Joel Chiasson: Piano
Patrick Gillis: Guitar

From the album: DRIVE
Courtesy of: Glenn Graham
Produced by: Glenn Graham
Recorded by: Glenn Graham at Bowbeat Studios, Judique, Cape Breton

Fiddler Glenn Graham comes from a musical lineage of fiddlers, Gaelic singers, dancers, poets, and pianists, traced back to pre-emigration Scotland. His families, the Grahams of Judique and the renowned Beatons of Mabou, could put on a concert of their own (and have, on more then one occasion). Glenn is a proponent of the "Mabou Coal Mines" style of fiddle playing: hard-driving, highly ornamented and accented, and designed for dancing. Over the past ten years, he has performed and taught fiddle across North America as well as overseas. His Master of Arts degree thesis focused on the evolution of Cape Breton fiddle music and has garnered publishing interest.

GETTING' PIPEY is a medley from Glenn's latest traditional recording and melds three traditional pipe tunes with a pair of locally composed fiddle tunes done in a pipe style (one written by Glenn and one composed by his father). This track is a great example of tunes that would be heard at house parties, sessions, and square-dances across Cape Breton.


Second CD



The Mountain Road (Michael Gorman)
The Ash Plant (traditional)
Humours of Westport (traditional)

Paul Brock: Button-key accordion, melodeon
Manus McGuire: Fiddle
Enda Scahill: Banjo, guitar
Fergal Scahill: Fiddle, guitar
Dennis Morrison and Denis Carey: Piano, keyboards

From the album: BROCK MCGUIRE BAND

Courtesy of: Ferndale Promotions Ltd.
Produced by: Ferndale Promotions Ltd.
Recorded by: Matt Purcell at Harmony Row Studios, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

Residing in County Clare, Paul Brock and Manus McGuire have been at the forefront of Irish music for many years. They performed together in Moving Cloud (a band they formed in 1989). Manus was also a founding member of Buttons & Bows, and both bands (ranked among Ireland's finest) have helped to introduce international audiences to the virtuosity of their playing. Add all that experience together and you know why the Brock McGuire Band was voted "Instrumental Group of the Year" for 2004 by LiveIreland.com and Irish American News.

This group of reels (some of which go back to the late 1800s) highlights the playing of various members of the band, as the instruments seem to take turns working their way through the medley.




Bal na h-Aibhne Deas ("Ball at Southwest Margaree")
(Malcolm Gillis, arranged by Mary Jane Lamond & Beolach)
Sailor Don's Jig (Dougie MacDonald /SOCAN)
Uisdean Friseal Strathspey (traditional)
The Farmer's Daughter Reel (traditional)

Mary Jane Lamond: Vocals
Mac Morin: Piano
Wendy MacIsaac: Fiddle
Mairi Rankin: Fiddles
Patrick Gillis: Guitar
Ryan J. MacNeil: Bagpipes

Beolach: Backing vocals

From the album: STÒRAS
Courtesy of: Turtlemusik
Produced by: Phillip Strong
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd at the Wreck Cove Hall

Mary Jane Lamond is a sharer of songs, stories, and spirit. This practice has garnered Mary Jane numerous Juno and East Coast Music Award nominations, a MuchMusic Global Groove Award, critical acclaim, and a worldwide audience. She has appeared on stages across North America and beyond, with many of the top performers in the Celtic world and recorded with artists such as The Chieftains and Ashley MacIsaac.

Mary Jane has made a point of collecting songs from many of Cape Breton's Gaelic tradition-bearers and passing them along to a waiting public. In addition to conveying these songs in a traditional manner, Mary Jane often adds her own interpretation and arrangements, opening the songs to a wider audience of less traditionally-experienced listeners. For Mary Jane, it truly is about the sharing of the Gaelic culture.

Margaree bard Malcolm Gillis was noted for his wit, particularly when it came to events around him. Bal na h-Aibhne Deas tells about a party in Southwest Margaree that wasn't going very well until someone brought the fiddler.



April Frolic (Ron Purvis, arranged by Tickell, Tickell, Clapp, & Sutton)

Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian pipes, fiddle
Peter Tickell: Fiddle, viola
Joss Clapp: Guitar, acoustic bass guitar
Julian Sutton: Melodeon

From the album: AIR DANCING

Courtesy of: Park Records

Produced by: Kathryn Tickell
Recorded by: Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios, Pencaitland

Kathryn Tickell started on the Northumbrian smallpipes at the age of nine, and by the age of thirteen, had won all the traditional open smallpipes competitions. She also made quite a name for herself as a fiddle player. Her roots are in the North Tyne Valley of Northumberland, England, where many of her relatives have long been involved in traditional music. Over the past 20 years, she has produced a dozen recordings and appeared on countless TV productions. Kathryn has contributed to Sting albums and joined him live at Carnegie Hall in March 1997 for the Rainforest Foundation benefit concert. She is also a part-time lecturer for the new Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University. Her music has allowed her er He to perform all over the world, delighting audiences and gathering fans wherever she goes.

The opening cut from AIR DANCING shows the interesting diversity displayed by the band.



The Hymn of St. Columba (traditional)

Tracey Dares: Piano


Courtesy of: Tracey Dares
Produced by: Eileen T. Brennan
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd and Fred Lavery at Lakewind Studios, Point Aconi, Cape Breton


Over the past decade Tracey Dares-MacNeil has become one of the most sought-after pianists around. As an accomplished accompanist for fiddles, pipes or vocalist as well as being a wonderful soloist (not to mention, a great stepdancer), Tracey has toured with Natalie MacMaster, done stage productions with Howie's Celtic Brew and backed up countless musicians in recording sessions. She has spent a lot of time making a lot of musicians sound better.

The Hymn of St. Columba is a beautiful traditional tune that that gets full treatment from Tracey and her delicate touch.




Fred's Favourite (Peter Mohan, IMRO)
Frank Gilruth Reel (Peter Milne)
Touching Cloth (James Kelly, Phaeton Records )

Liz Doherty: Fiddle
Manus Lunny: Bouzouki, bodhran
Gerry O'Connor: Banjo
Eilidh Shaw: Fiddle


Courtesy of: Busy Lizzy Records
Produced by: Gerry O'Connor
Recorded by: Billy Robinson at The Pines Hostel, Culdaff, Inishowen, Co. Donegal

Donegal fiddler Liz Doherty has been described as ". . . a bundle of amazing musical energy!" Anyone who knows her (and she is well-known in Cape Breton, having lived and studied here for a number of years) would consider this quote a most apt description. A noted researcher and writer on Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton fiddle styles, Liz is also considered a wonderful teacher, whether in the classroom or at a festival workshop. In 2001, she decided to resign from her full-time academic position as lecturer in traditional music in the Music Department of University College, Cork, Ireland, to pursue her playing career. She has performed at Celtic Colours before, both as a soloist and as part of the all-female Irish group The Bumblebees.

This group of reels has a tune from the Scottish Tradition sandwiched between a pair of Irish compositions.




The Big Wish (Ryan J. MacNeil, SOCAN)
Ramnee Ceilidh (Gordon Duncan, Grian Music)
Little Donald In the Pigpen (traditional)

Ryan J. MacNeil: Bagpipes, whistles
Sheamus MacNeil: Fiddle
Wendy MacIsaac: Piano
Patrick Gillis: Guitar


From the album: PIPER

Courtesy of: Ryan J. MacNeil
Produced by: Ryan J. MacNeil
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd live at Lakewind Studios, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Ryan J. MacNeil is known as a powerful, yet graceful, player. He is accomplished on highland bagpipe, border pipes, and whistles and brings a unique personal flavor to the music he plays. Originally from Big Pond and now residing in Port Hood, Cape Breton, his electrifying upbeat playing is strongly rooted in Cape Breton's dance-oriented tradition and greatly adds to the music of one of Cape Breton's hottest Celtic bands, Beòlach. He has toured extensively with Beòlach and is much in demand as a solo artist as well. In the past several years, Ryan has become increasingly renowned as a talented composer. His tunes have been performed and recorded by many musicians, both locally and abroad. Ryan also manufactures his own line of whistles which are quickly becoming the choice instrument of musicians worldwide.

This cut (from Ryan's first solo recording) showcases one of his own compositions followed by two other well-known and lively pipe tunes.



Ashtabula (David Francey, Laker Music, SOCAN)

David Francey: Lead Vocals
Kieran Kane: Bouzouki, percussion, backing vocals
Kevin Welch: Guitar
Fats Kaplin: Accordion

From the album: THE WAKING HOUR

Courtesy of: Jericho Beach Music
Produced by: David Francey
Recorded by: Phillip Scoggins at Morine Studio, Nashville Tennesse

David Francey is a storyteller who writes about what he knows best: the people he meets and what he sees around him. He is gifted with the ability to paint pictures with lyrics and music that stick in your mind and become part of your being. He has won two Juno Awards for his CDs and was nominated for another this year for his most recent CD. Additionally, artists as diverse as James Keelaghan and Raylene Rankin have recorded his songs. On stage, he has the ability to reach and hold an audience, due mainly to his sincerity and dry sense of humor. This visit to Celtic Colours is David Francey's second trip to the Festival. Originally from Scotland, he now makes his home in Quebec.

Ashtabula is a small Ohio coal port on the south shore of Lake Erie. The song tells of David's impressions of a town that is "…faded red to grey."




Amelie's Jig (Dougie MacDonald /SOCAN)
Allister Fraser's Reel (Dougie MacDonald /SOCAN)
Kathleen VIII Reel (Dougie MacDonald /SOCAN)

Dougie MacDonald: Fiddles
Gordie Sampson: Guitar

Previously unreleased cut

Courtesy of: Dougie MacDonald
Produced by: Gordie Sampson
Recorded by: Mike Shepherd at Lakewind Sound, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Dougie MacDonald was born into a family with generations of fiddlers. He picked up the bow at an early age and was a recognized musician by age eleven. He continues to pursue his musical studies and performances, looking to greats such as Dan Hughie MacEachern, Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald, and Jerry Holland for musical guidance and inspiration. Dougie has composed more than 150 tunes, recorded three albums, and performed throughout Canada, the United States, Scotland, and Ireland. He is also in great demand as a teacher. Dougie is one of three first cousins of the musical MacDonalds of Queensville to appear on this CD, along with Howie and Jeff.

This cut is a lively but unusual combination for a Cape Breton fiddler, linking a jig with a pair of reels.



Traces of Silver (Andrew White)

Andrew White: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Keith Ballentine: Keyboards

From the album: GUITARRA CELTICA

Courtesy of: Linn Records

Produced by: Roger Marbeck
Recorded at: Greenstone Studios, Kare Kare Beach, New Zealand

Originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in northeast England, Andrew White moved to New Zealand when he was a teenager, but now lives in Cape Breton. Wherever he calls home, he is quickly recognized as a top guitarist and singer/songwriter. His unique sound is difficult to describe: technically brilliant with amazing dexterity and inventiveness. Andrew White has toured internationally as a soloist and supported superstars such as Irish folk rock group Clannad, The Corrs, Michelle Shocked, The Indigo Girls, Taj Mahal, and many more. He also toured with Scots folk/MOR outfit Capercaillie and Brendan Power, the harmonica player of the Riverdance Orchestra.

Traces of Silver is a gentle but haunting ballad. Andrew's soulful vocals highlight the pictures painted so skillfully in words.



New Brick Road (Norman Blake, BMI)

J.P. Cormier plays all instruments


Courtesy of: J.P. Cormier
Produced by: J.P. Cormier
Recorded by: J.P. Cormier at Cormier Sound Studios, Cap Lemoine, Nova Scotia

J.P. Cormier is a musical force to be reckoned with. This award-winning singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and sideman has recorded eight albums, earning him a Juno nomination and multiple ECMA nominations and wins including, the 2005 East Coast Music Awards for "Instrumental Album of the Year" and "Bluegrass Album of the Year" for X8… A MANDOLIN COLLECTION. Adept with any style, he has played solo fiddle gigs at Cape Breton dances, performed with symphony orchestras, and spent ten years touring, recording, and appearing on television in the U.S. and Europe with music's biggest names including Marty Stuart, Waylon Jennings, and Earl Scruggs. A gifted songwriter and composer, J.P. was among the winners in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition (a prestigious competition that received 11,000 submissions from more than 70 countries), placing third in the instrumental category for his original guitar piece Rollo Boys Reel.

X8: A MANDOLIN COLLECTION is primarily a collection of J. P.'s favorite bluegrass pieces. About New Brick Road, he says that, "Its simplicity is its beauty."



Mo Nighean Chruinn Donn air Bharraibh nan Tonn

("My Neat Brown Haired Girl") (traditional)

Rona Lightfoot: Vocals
Allan Henderson: Piano, fiddle
Maighread Stewart: Backing vocals
Annag MacInnes: Backing vocals

From the album: EADARAINN

Courtesy of: Macmeanmna
Produced by: Iain MacDonald
Recorded by: Alan Harfield at Unity Studio in Auldearn

Rona Lightfoot was such a crowd favorite at last year's Celtic Colours festival that she was invited back this year. Hailing from South Uist, she has been described as a ceilidh personified and a terrific raconteur with a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Musically, her major influences were her mother (a remarkable singer and tradition bearer) and her father (a renowned piper). With this background, it is no surprise that she is also a great piper and a hugely talented singer with a wonderful treasury of traditional Gaelic songs.

Mo Nighean Chruinn Donn air Bharraibh nan Tonn is a "night-visiting" or "courting" song.



Pauline Bissonnette Strahspey (John Campbell)
A Taste of Gaelic Reel
John MacDougall Reel

Buddy MacMaster: Fiddle
Dave MacIsaac: Guitar


From the album: The Judique Flyer
Courtesy of: Stephen MacDonald Productions
Produced by: Gordie Sampson
Recorded by: Paul Mills at Lakewind Sound, Point Aconi, Cape Breton

Buddy MacMaster is the undisputed "master" of Cape Breton fiddling. His reputation as a player has grown and grown since the 1940s when he started to establish himself as a fiddler while working for the Canadian National Railway ("CNR"). Over the years, Buddy's following has increased as he performed across North American and Europe. Even though he is now past 80, he keeps a schedule that most people half his age would find daunting as he performs at festivals and teaches at workshops in Scotland or California one week and plays for community dances in Cape Breton the next.

Over the years, Buddy has received national and international acclaim and honors, including the "Order of Canada." He recorded his first album in 1989 after he retired from the CNR and has gone on to record four more albums. "The Judique Flyer" recording is a collection of "Buddy music" (as the locals would say), with tunes that he has often played at concerts and dances over the years. This album is unique in that a different person accompanies him on each cut.

This track highlights the distinctive drive and pacing in Buddy's playing.




A traditional tune from Brittany, followed by a traditional Carballesa from Galicia

(arranged by Old Blind Dogs, Green Linnet Music, ASCAP)

Jim Malcolm: Guitar
Jonny Hardie: Fiddle
Rory Campbell: Gaita (Galician pipes)
Fraser Stone: Percussion
Buzzby McMillan: Bass

From the album: THE GAB O MEY

Courtesy of: Green Linnet Records
Produced by: Old Blind Dogs
Recorded by: Niall Mathewson at The Mill Studio, Crathes, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

While the name might conjure up an image of worn-out geezers, Old Blind Dogs is a quintet of vital young lads with a wonderful, infectious, Celtic musicality. Over the twenty years or so of their existence, they have evolved and grown into one of Scotland's favorite folk bands. There is a unique sound in this selection of traditional Scottish music (lots of jigs and reels), coupled with a rock-funk fusion feel that often pulses through many of their pieces. The band continues to tour extensively and was rewarded for their efforts with the "Band of the Year" award at the 2004 Scots Trad Music Awards in Queen's Hall in Edinburgh. Old Blind Dogs comes to Celtic Colours following a month-long tour of the U.S.

THE BRETON AND GALICIAN SET is a wonderful example of the band's versatility and their ability to take music from other Celtic areas and make it their own.



Le P'tit Willie (Weldon Boudreau, SOCAN)

Weldon Boudreau: Vocals, guitar
|Gary Gallant: Accordion
Jean-Marc Boudreau: Backing vocals
Georges Hebert: Guitar
Jean-Paul (J.P.) Cormier: Banjo, fiddle
Tom Roach: Percussion

From the album: L'ACADIEN DE L'ACADIE

Courtesy of: Weldon Boudreau
Produced by: Weldon Boudreau and George Hebert
Recorded by: George Hebert at Studio Arts Halifax, Nova Scotia

He could easily be one of Cape Breton's best-kept Acadian secrets. Isle Madame singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Weldon Boudreau has been a professional musician for years but in a more general capacity as one of the boys in the band. With the recent release of L'ACADIEN DE L'ACADIE, he steps into the limelight with twelve of his own compositions, backed by some of the best musicians around.

Le P'tit Willie is a bouncy number that tells the story of a local Petit de Grat "legend."




Sally Gardens (traditional)
The Black Berry Blossom (traditional)
Lord Seaforth (traditional)
Floggin' Reel (traditional)
Penicook Hornpipe (traditional)
You & I (traditional)
Sutherland's Reel (Howie MacDonald, SOCAN)
Donegal (traditional)
Steer The Gill (traditional)
Mist on the Loch (traditional)
Bonnie Kate (traditional)

Howie MacDonald: Fiddle
Mac Morin: Piano
Dave MacIsaac: Guitar


Courtesy of: Howie MacDonald
Produced by: Howie MacDonald
Recorded by: Mike Wadden live at West Mabou Hall, West Mabou, Cape Breton

Fiddler and piano player Howie MacDonald has been a performer as long as he can remember. With musical roots that go deep into rural Inverness County, Cape Breton, this path was almost inevitable. Whether at a family gathering or an international concert hall, Howie's job was always to entertain. Even while spending many years touring and recording with the Rankin Family, Howie still managed to release nine albums of his own. Over the past couple of years, Howie has expanded his talents and gained popularity as a comedian, appearing in the Cape Breton Summertime Revue, Nancy White's Joke Box, Howie's Celtic Brew, Island Mania, and other such productions.

HOWIE, DAVE & MAC LIVE! WEST MABOU HALL is just what the title suggests, a live recording at a square-dance in West Mabou, Inverness County, Cape Breton. You get a true sense of the effect the music has on the audience and the dancers as Howie, Mac Morin, and Dave MacIsaac work through LAST SET OF THE NIGHT to close off the evening.

Also Available

Vol. 10 2 CD set
Live at Celtic Colours - $25.00
compiled from recordings made on festival stages from 1997-2005


 Other Recordings | Music Notation and abc samples

Cranford Pub Search Engine