Natalie MacMaster is indeed from Cape Breton (I remember her when she was
a little girl.) No one should miss this player.
Re: Masters of the Folk Violin tour. I was the pianist (accompanist) on
the first tour (which actually toured 3 times; twice on the east coast and
once on the west coast.) The tour consisted of Kenny Baker (with Josh
Graves), Michael Doucet (with brother David), Allison Krause, Joe Cormier
(representing Cape Breton), Seamus Connolly and Claude Williams. (Howard
Armstrong replaced Claude for one tour while Claude was on Broadway.) They
are all excellent musicians and I consider myself very lucky to have had
the opportunity to tour with them. Claude Williams is an excellent jazz
player and even though most of us are hooked on Celtic music, one should
not miss an opportunity to hear this legend. You will recognize most of
what Claude plays if you are at all eclectic. I'm just disappointed that
I won't be playing with the Masters again, but everyone should have a turn!
I'm new to this email stuff and enjoy reading all the articles. I have my
own opinion on sessions. I don't enjoy playing in a session where the
idea is to play at breakneck speed. It's just not the way the music was
meant to be played. Someone mentioned in an earlier message (I believe)
about James Kelly being a "musician's musician". A lot of what James is
about is tempo. He is rock-solid and doesn't play fast, but his music es
exciting. (I will be accompanying him Friday (7/1) and Saturday (7/2) at
Conor Byrne's pub in Seattle. On Sunday we will be heading for Fiddle
Tunes at Pt. Townsend. Anyway--back to sessions. I was also pleased to
read that it's okay to let the "stars shine every quarter of an hour" (I
hope that I'm quoting that correctly. Sometimes the stars are criticized
for trying to shine at all. It's frustrating at best. I was in a room
once playing (with a group) and Rodney Miller was there. The "group"
didn't give an inch and every time Rodney started a tune - they jumped in
--for hours, they never allowed him to shine.
I would be interested in reading some opinions on this subject.
Barbara MacDonald Magone