Opening Night
at the Festival Club, St. Ann's, Cape Breton (8 October 2010)

It's hard to believe another year has gone by since I last wrote about the Celtic Colours International Festival, but I'm excited to be here again, nonetheless. It was so nice to walk into the opening night of the Festival Club at the Gaelic College in St. Ann's and see some familiar faces and catch up. It was a quiet, somewhat intimate night, as it typically is on opening night, but the music was fantastic, as always.

The highlight for me on this night was The Outside Track. New to the festival this year, they did a brilliant job of introducing their style to the listeners. This band includes musicians from Scotland, Ireland and Canada, and they blend beautifully. They got the crowd going with some lively tunes and lilting songs, and they looked like they were having a lot of fun doing it.

I particularly enjoyed a set of polkas they played, which is saying a lot, as that usually is my least favorite type of tune. I heard nothing but good comments about The Outside Track throughout their performance, and they were even playing without their fiddler, Mairi Rankin, on this particular night. I was told that their sound is even bigger and better with her, so I can't wait to hear more of them at this festival. I highly recommend checking them out.

I also really enjoyed the last set of the night, which included Nuala Kennedy, Troy MacGillivray, Mike Bryan and Cheryl Smith. It's always neat to see the different mixtures of musicians that play together at the Festival Club, and this group was really energetic, and fun, even though they were the last set of the evening (at about 2 a.m.!). They looked like they were having a great time.

I am so excited to be back at this festival and am feeling really energized from these two groups. It's going to be a fun week!

review by
Kaitlin Hahn

30 October 2010

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