Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Barra MacNeils: Album

The Barra MacNeils


Cape Breton music is a swirling mix of Scottish, Irish, and Canadian influences, salted by the sea and warmed by the connections of community. All of that is fully present in this collection, a well thought out two disc set drawn from across the group’s history on record that yet comes across as set you might find, if you were lucky, on an extended evening up on that island on the far northeast coast on Atlantic Canada.

There a re instrumental sets in plenty, and songs as well, contemporary, traditional, and original all finding their places. Their arrangements of traditional tune sbring the music full force into the twenty first century while staying true to the roots of it. There are inspired covers of songs by contemporary tunesmiths including Dougie MacLean, Tommy Sands, and Allister MacGillivray, and truly original pieces such as Dance with Daily and The Island. It’s a trip through the story of this family band, and a short lesson in the range of Cape Breton music, as well. Outstanding among the twenty eight cuts are My heart’s In the Highlands, The Queen of All Argyle, The Maids of Arrichar, and Chasing the Sun. But every cut is worth more than one listen.

The Barra MacNeils are part of the celebration of the connections between Cape Breton and Scotland at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival

you may also want to see

Cape Breton Radio Live take 02
Crooked Still: Still Crooked

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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