Andrea Beaton
at the Festival Club, St. Ann's, Cape Breton (2007)

I love Andrea Beaton.

Let me explain why. Although, if you've heard -- or, better yet, seen -- her play, my reasons are obvious.

It was late on a Monday night. Early Tuesday morning, really, and the Festival Club was winding down as 3 o'clock drew near. There was some amazing music on the stage and in the Green Room, as usual, but I was tired and ready to get some much-needed sleep.

Then I heard Andrea (along with a vague "and friends") was heading to the stage to close down the night. And how could I consider leaving then? I've been watching Andrea play on the Festival Club stage for years, and the experience is always a treat.

Hell, she seems to get better every time I see her.

Tonight she and Colin Grant were providing the double-barreled fiddle blast. Simon Marion was on guitar, Elmer Deagle was on banjo, Cheryl Smith was on drum kit and, wonder of wonders, Troy MacGillivray was manning the keyboard. It was yet another Cape Breton dream team, and my night was looking up.

Andrea didn't let me down. She played like a whirlwind, sharing broad grins and deep chuckles with her pickup band, her bare feet slapping the stage or kicking up in the air with abandon. And in the Festival Club's best tradition, the set ran wild and long, maybe 30 minutes of nonstop delight.

The girl can play, and she seems to exist in a state of rapture when she's blasting through a set of tunes. I'm glad she shares that bliss with the audience; I certainly left in high spirits, with more energy in my step than I'd felt in hours.

[ visit Andrea's website ]

review by
Tom Knapp

27 October 2007

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