Mark Weber: Fiddler Wendy MacIsaac Brings the Cape Breton Sound to the World | December 10th, 2014

Wendy MacIsaac off the floor

Wendy MacIsaac has long been recognized as one of the finest fiddlers to ever come out of the Cape Breton, Nova Scotia music scene. For those of you who don’t know, Cape Breton is the cradle of Canada’s Irish/Celtic music scene– the kind of place I want to visit one day just to be surrounded by so many wonderful musicians.

With the release of her latest solo recording, Off The Floor, Wendy MacIsaac has accomplished what many traditional fiddlers strive for and few achieve… a recording that truly captures the energy and passion of a Cape Breton dance.

“There is something special about the leather sole on the dusty wood floor that is a very big part of the sound of the Cape Breton style of music. Hearing great dancers is something I hope will never be lost.”

An accomplished dancer herself, Wendy has captured that sound in a way that makes you feel like you are in the room, hearing the music, watching the dancers, and celebrating the sense of community that it all inspires. Her accompaniment is outstanding, with fellow Cape Bretoners Tracey Dares MacNeil on piano and Patrick Gillis on guitar. Engineer Mike Shepherd did a stellar job of capturing the music and atmosphere that makes this such an outstanding recording. Started at Lakewind Sound Studios, the recording was then taken on the road to the West Mabou Hall where Wendy has spent many hours playing.

A born collaborator, this is Wendy’s 7th recording. In addition to four solo albums, she has also recorded two full-length albums with Beolach. Her most recent collaboration, Seinn, with Mary Jane Lamond received stellar reviews from around the world, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album, an East Coast Music Award for Group Recording, and a Music Nova Scotia Award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year.

If you appreciate the sound of the fiddle and are looking for Celtic music to dance to, I wholeheartedly recommend Wendy MacIsaac and all of her fellow Cape Bretoners.

Mark Weber Music Blog