Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
BUDDY MACMASTER "The Judique Flyer" Green Trax cdtrax203

This is an exceptionally fine recording from the Ace of Cape Breton's fiddle players, Buddy MacMaster. A "solo" recording, which features fourteen accompanists, one for each track. In fact, this sets out from the start to be a series of duets built round the classic Cape Breton sound of fiddle and piano.

The general impression of Cape Breton is that it is chock full of fiddle players and step-dancers but it is also a thriving place for piano players. Included here are, Buddy MacMaster's youngest sister, Betty Lou Beaton, who played on Natalie MacMaster's first recording, "Four On The Floor"; Hilda Chiasson, better known in and around Ireland but recorded with Scottish piper Hamish Moore on his superb CD, "Stepping On The Bridge"; Tracey Dares has toured extensively with Buddy's niece, Natalie MacMaster, making many appearances together throughout Britain and Ireland. Tracey has also made a video tutor covering the techniques of Cape Breton piano style; Doug MacPhee, played on a tour of Scotland with Buddy MacMaster in the late seventies and his album, "The Reel of Tulloch" was my first introduction to the music of Cape Breton; while on the final track Buddy is joined by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth MacInnis.

The tunes come partly from a blend of Scots and Irish traditions but mainly from Cape Breton composers, particularly, Dan R. MacDonald, Donald Angus Beaton, Brenda Stubbert, Dan Hughie MacEachern and Jerry Holland.

As for the music? Buddy MacMaster has been described by his peers and fellow players as, "a master fiddler". On "The Judique Flyer", this mastery is well to the fore but he also gives an equal share of the stage to his able accompanists. With the Cape Breton style of playing the fiddle and piano are akin to thunder and lighting. The fiddle sets sparks and sharpens the focus of attention, while the piano adds drama and excitement with the stir and rumble of the deeper notes and the adrenalin surge of the driving rhythm.

This music is the enriched fuel for step-dancers, but even us ordinary folk can find the beat and shuffle along to a strathspey or reel.

Peter Fairbairn

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 40 of The Living Tradition magazine.