This is a new studio disc by Natalie MacMaster, the traditionalist ambassador from Cape Breton, Canada, who is not afraid to push the limits of tradition until it coalesces into forms that are startling and new. This disc features her vibrant touring band including the exciting playing of Matt Mac Issac on pipes and electric pipes, along with a few equally adept guests, who mostly share the same mind set and technical prowess as musicians. It is produced by MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, her husband, who is leader of the stunning family band Leahy. It is as rich and varied a group of songs as are gathered on any disc that comes from that long Gaelic Cape Breton tradition. There is a beautiful and heartfelt tribute honoring her friend, Peter Jennings; a stunning and touching accolade to the memory of the departed journalist. The rest of the disc stands up to that bench mark of feeling, though generally going toward the speed of the jigs and reels for which she is most known. MacMaster wrote or co-wrote most of the pieces here and provided the exciting arrangements. The only jarring note that does not fit on the disc is a yet another version of Danny Boy, which, unfortunately, is both sung and arranged by Michael McDonald, and does nothing but bring the disc to a false and labored complete stop. Fortunately Ms MacMaster is equal to the task of raising the dead and brings both the band and music back to life with a traditional medley that picks up the mood once again, and she and the band carry on from there.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles