Cathy Ann MacPhee is regarded as one of the greatest of all living Scots Gaelic singers. At a time when the survival of the language itself is in danger, she remains a bright light of Gaelic music and culture. Cathy Ann has released four CDs on the Greentrax label and teaches Gaelic songs internationally; she has toured with two Scottish theatre troupes and given concerts in the UK, Europe, the US and Canada, where she now resides.
Albert Lionais spends much of his days drinking tea and listening to old LPs. He grew up in a musical family in Little Bras d’Or on Cape Breton Island and spent a good deal of his childhood making music with his family, playing in marching bands and the school orchestra. Over the past few years Albert, who plays trumpet, drums and guitar, has taken to writing folk songs and telling stories of what could very well be real life situations. He takes great comfort in the power of music and its ability to motivate and enrich people’s lives.
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.
Ben Furey grew up in Coxheath, Cape Breton Island. A graduate of St. Francis Xavier’s music program, he writes and performs songs on his own and with bluegrass rowdies Crowdis Bridge. Quickly becoming an accomplished guitarist, mandolin, and banjo picker, Ben is establishing himself as a quality utility player in multiple genres, most recently being called to play alongside Darren McMullen, Chrissy Crowley, Sprag Session, and J.P. Cormier. After playing festivals in the United Kingdom and France this summer, Ben is excited by the possibilities and looks forward to creating similar opportunities in the future.
Founded by a group of friends in 1969 and named after the “Battlefield” area of Glasgow, The Battlefield Band have now been touring and performing throughout the world for over forty years, playing to audiences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Canada, as well as more than 60 cities annually in the United States. Over the years new members have brought with them new ideas, music, instruments, attitudes and influences, leading to continued creativity, freshness and enthusiasm. The new line-up sees young multi-instrumentalist Ewen Henderson, join Mike Katz, Alasdair White, and Sean O’Donnell.