Décota McNamara’s unique sound–which blends traditional bluegrass, celtic and Acadian roots with contemporary pop and country rock flavors–is capturing the hearts of a swiftly growing fan base. Moving effortlessly between acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, Décota’s command of string instruments is as impressive as his rich vocals and clever songwriting. Overflowing with energy and charisma, Décota is a top-notch entertainer whether playing in kitchens, pubs or concert halls.
Claudine is best known for her tenor banjo and mandolin playing with Touchstone, Triona NiDhomhnaill’s highly acclaimed Irish-Appalachian fusion band based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the 1980′s. While living in Galway, Ireland, she learned the exciting Irish flat-picked tenor banjo style from Charlie Piggott of De Danann and has led workshops at folk festivals in the US, Canada, and England. She currently performs with the Vermont-based band Gypsy Reel, who have recorded six cds, and been recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts award for touring artists. Claudine maintains a musical connection with the traditional music of the Maritime provinces of Canada, especially Nova Scotia, home of her father.
Weaving common threads of bluegrass, folk, old-time and country blues, Crowdis Bridge offers an atypical canvas of traditional sounding music that is both timeless and relevant. This Cape Breton trio of multi-instrumentalists has been entertaining folks in small towns and strange places across the Maritimes since 2008. Their latest album “The Seasons & The Rhymes” explores universal themes of heartache, happiness and everything in between. Interlaced with tasteful instrument breaks and thoughtful harmonies, they create a colourful palette of sound. Whether you are looking for foot-stomping, light-hearted songs or soul-searching melodies with lyrics that run deep, Crowdis Bridge strikes a sustaining chord that will resonate with any fan of fine music.
Growing up just outside of St. Peter’s in a musical family, Cyril MacPhee was immersed in Cape Breton ceilidhs and heavily influenced by his father’s Scottish and Irish fiddling, Country and Bluegrass music, and Folk singers like Stan Rogers. His musical influences are extremely varied, from the Beatles to Harry Hibbs, and this shows through in his songwriting and musical style. MacPhee has a versatility in his music that is a truly unique blend of folk, country and Celtic music. He has released five albums, three with the popular power-folk group Brakin’ Tradition and two as a solo artist.
For as long as they can remember, Ciarán and Fiona MacGillivray have been performing for the many musical visitors who pass through their home on Cape Breton Island. (Ciarán and Fiona are the children of famed Canadian author/composer, Allister MacGillivray). Besides singing, they play piano, guitar, harp, tin whistle, and bodhrán. They also stepdance, and are studying the Gaelic language of their ancestors. They have appeared together in the Cape Breton Summertime Revue and continue to perform with The Cottars.
Goiridh Dòmhnallach is a Gaelic singer, composer, storyteller and educator who was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from some of Cape Breton’s best tradition-bearers, including Seumas MacAoidh, Seonaidh Aonghuis Bhig, Pàdruig Aonghuis Sìne, Fransas Dhùghaill Shandaidh and Rodaidh Ailig Ruairidh. He is one of a musical Cape Breton family, the “Dougalds” MacDonalds originating in Queensville, Inverness County. He was influenced by traditional musicians on both sides of his family. Goiridh prefers to sing in the traditional style he learned from the singers of his native Bràigh na h-Aibhneadh. Goiridh has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada. He and his young son, Padruig, often sing together.
Heartwood Slacks is a five-man band that—ironically—happens to meet the criteria for a great American heritage revival band. The personnel—who bring banjo, guitars, blues harp, mandolin and bass fiddle—have shared stages and bills for years, a variety of local “band-me-downs” who were weaned on blues, metal and country music. Heartwood Slacks principle songwriter John Gill bangs out incomparably sincere, catchy, melodic bar-room shout along songs. In their year-and-a-bit history, the Slacks have been around the Maritimes tightening tunes, loosening screws, playing barrooms, living rooms and at one point, an abandoned, cobblestone hockey rink.
Ian MacDougall is a singer and songwriter from North Sydney with a knack for telling bizarre and heartfelt stories in his songs. As frontman of Cape Breton’s award-winning, seven-member Tom Fun Orchestra, Ian has toured in Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and across Canada. At home in Cape Breton, Ian occasionally takes a more laid-back approach to performing music, sometimes choosing to play his songs solo, or as a straight-ahead, bass-drums-guitar rock trio. Whatever the setting he chooses, it’s Ian’s songs that take centre stage.