Boyd MacNeil, the youngest of the “Barra” MacNeils, grew up in a musical environment in Sydney Mines. After spending a number of years recording and touring with Slainte Mhath, Boyd and his brother Ryan joined their siblings in The Barra MacNeils. Multi-instrumentalist Boyd plays mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo, percussion, and step dances.
In the early 1990s, Brakin’ Tradition released three albums–Music Man (1992), Powerfolk (1993), Presence in the Past (1995)–and were nominated for an East Coast Music Award. Their music is diverse, with hints of Bluegrass, Celtic, Acadian and Folk music and tight harmonies, simple rhythms, and interesting and fun lyrics. The band broke up in the late 1990s, but this spring, Cyril MacPhee, Ray Legere, Louanne Baker, Roger Stone, Harold Davidson, Doug Sampson, and Scott MacDonald reunited for some shows and so we invited them to get together again this fall to play at Celtic Colours.