May 22, 2008
You hear the hoots and hollers and
the clapping hands on Cape Breton Live Radio
DAN MACDONALD, The Cape Breton Post
Breton Live Radio is a project that was conceived by Natalie
MacMaster and Donnell Leahy as a way to expose and display
more of the traditional Cape Breton Celtic music to the
world. Basically, it’s an Internet radio show that
broadcasts a series of musical events from Cape Breton
Island on a regular basis.
been recorded live off the floor at dances and concerts,
taverns and house parties, across the island. You hear the
hoots and hollers, the clapping hands and the stomping feet,
the shuffle of the dancers, even the chatter between the
musicians. You have a real feeling of being there.
quick glimpse at the website gives you a hint of the 50 or
so shows that they have aired in the past few years, with
music from local, regional, national and international
artists. All this is available on the Internet at
www.capebretonlive.com. And it’s free! (But they do
accept donations.) Cape Breton Live has also sponsored
several tours to different parts of Canada, always featuring
top-line musicians playing to packed houses.
Breton Live has just released its second CD, a wonderful
compilation of some of the best material that they have
broadcast over the past few years. It contains a veritable
“who’s who” of fiddlers, along with a pair of cuts of piper
music, a piano cut and one Gaelic song. All told, there is
over 70 minutes of some of the best live music that you will
hear anywhere by musicians such as Kinnon Beaton, Brenda
Stubbert, Buddy MacMaster, Wendy MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald,
Carl MacKenzie, Ian MacDougall and many more.
There is a
blistering eight-minute cut of Natalie and Donnell recorded
in front of a packed house at the Doryman in Cheticamp.
There’s a beautiful version of Hector The Hero, done by
Jerry Holland at a Celtic Colours International Festival
concert in Port Hawkesbury. There’s even a wild New Year’s
Day session from a Judique house party to end the recording.
This includes accordion, piano, percussion and six fiddlers.
quite the CD, well produced with a careful eye to quality,
but with an acute awareness of the realities of live
In all 14
cuts you can hear the audience react to every new tune or
key change, you hear the fiddlers calling out new tunes and
you get the feeling that you are actually there. And maybe
Breton Live Radio: Take 2 has already had one release party
in Inverness. On Sunday afternoon, they host their second
party at the Celtic Music Interpretative Centre in Judique
from 3 to 7 p.m. with many of the musicians from the CD in
attendance. This will be the place to be on Sunday.