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BRENDA STUBBERT "Music All Around" Cranford Productions CP20031

Cape Breton fiddler Brenda Stubbert learned to play in the 'traditional' way. Never formally trained but surrounded by live music in and around the family home at Point Aconi. She started dancing when she was about five years old then at seven she switched to playing the piano. Brenda's father Robert, also a fiddler, encouraged her to become an accompanist and so learn more melodies. One of the many visitors to the Stubbert household was the legendary fiddler Winston Fitzgerald who encouraged and supported Brenda in her efforts to learn. Around this time she began to show an interest in the fiddle. At ten years old she was taking the fiddle seriously, already having numerous tunes 'by ear' from her days at the piano, she readily took to the instrument. Brenda still plays 'by ear' and her repertoire continues to grow.

Brenda's repertoire is mainly from Cape Breton with self-composed tunes and many from the CD's producer Paul Cranford, and very good they are. Compositions from Jerry Holland, Ed Reavy, Charlie Mulvihill, James Morrison, the ubiquitous J. Scott Skinner and others are also represented. Brenda is accompanied by Stephanie Wills - piano, Stewart MacNeil - flute and accordion, Eddie Woodsworth - acoustic bass and Paul MaCDonald- guitar.

Music All Around succeeds in Brenda's aim as a tribute to the musicians, past and present, who continue to inspire her showing the continuity of the Cape Breton tradition. The music on this CD is the real thing played by a first class musician and is a worthy addition to the growing number of recordings from this area. Recommended.

Danny Saunders.

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This album was reviewed in Issue 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.