Ashley MacIsaac
at the Festival Club, St. Ann's, Cape Breton (2008)

The most fun part of Celtic Colours, for me, is the Festival Club, and this year, it did not let me down. From the first night, to the last, the lineups were stellar.

For the opening night, the lineup was so great, it was hard to pick just one performance to write about (so stay tuned for more, because I really couldn't decide!), but for these "rambles" I chose Ashley MacIsaac for the first "Festival Club Spotlight" of 2008. If I had to sum up his performance in one word, it would be "phenomenal!"

He had amazing accompanists as well. Joining him was J.P. Cormier on guitar and Hilda Chiasson on piano, both of whom incredibly talented.

What I really enjoyed is that I got to hear this talented leftie "drive 'er" in the traditional Cape Breton style. Most people think of him solely for his Celtic punk-rock albums, which are great, but Ashley can rock out just as much on the traditional tunes. The audience seemed to agree. Some people were so into it, they got up in front of the stage and did a square set to some of the lively jigs.

Now, if you're familiar with Ashley MacIsaac, you know that he is also quick-witted and likes to crack a few jokes here and there. He did not let the audience down here, either. However, it would not be appropriate for me to repeat the joke I heard on this site -- ha ha! Let's just say, the audience got it and had a really good laugh, and leave it at that.

All in all, I was really impressed with Ashley's performance. His style really gets people moving and it was great to see and hear him play in this setting.

review by
Kaitlin Hahn

21 March 2009

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