Every now and then you come across a fiddle CD that has everything you want to listen to. You enjoy every second of each track, taking it all in one note at a time. With all of that being said, it also makes it hard to write a review (try and figure that one out). Dawn and Margie Beaton of Mabou, Cape Breton Island made that CD with their debut album, ECMA 2010 Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year, Taste of Gaelic.
Dawn and Margie have put together a great selection of tunes, which definitely have a taste of Gaelic in each one. Each selection on the album shows their respect for the music and its tradition.
A Taste of Gaelic is filled with lively jigs and reels and everything in between. It will have you wishing for it not to end. All tracks are a joy to listen to. It is hard to single out a few to talk about, so your best bet is to go out and pick up a copy of the album for yourself.
One track I would like to mention is “Sir James Baird” for which Dawn and Margie put together a wonderful arrangement. Dawn begins the tune on the fiddle which is beautifully complemented by Margie’s piano accompaniment. Half way through, they are joined on the pipes by Kenneth MacKenzie to give it an emotional feel.
They also have special guests on the album—Mary Janet MacDonald, Father Angus Morris and Finlay Cameron. Mary Janet is a well known step-dancer and teacher from Inverness who shows off her steps on a track dedicated to her. Father Angus Morris, of Mabou, joins Dawn and Margie for a great blast of tunes near the end of the album.
To end the CD, the girls begin with the singing of Finlay Cameron which also features their grandmother and her sister. The girls join in with their fiddles half way through the singing. The representation of Gaelic in the tunes really comes alive with this number.
Dawn and Margie did a remarkable job producing A Taste of Gaelic. The sisters display a style that is crisp and well beyond their years. It’s a real pleasure to listen to, time and time again.