Maxim Cormier,
Maxim Cormier
(independent, 2012)

After a several-year absence at Celtic Colours, I returned in 2012 to find a few new faces among the familiar musicians there. One was Maxim Cormier, a young and exceptionally talented guitarist from the Acadian village of Cheticamp, in northwestern Cape Breton.

Maxim's first, self-titled recording was fresh off the presses, funded in part by a 2012 "Big Sampie" grant from the festival's very active Drive'ers Association and Lakewind Sound. The album includes a number of his original compositions as well as traditional and covered tunes.

I have no way of knowing how hard Cormier worked to learn this music, but it sounds effortless here. The music is presented by Cormier with considerable aplomb in flatpick and fingerstyle arrangements. In addition to some solo tracks, he's joined here and there by Colin Grant on fiddle, Jason Roach on piano, Scott MacMillan on guitar and bass, Gordie Sampson on mandolin and rhodes, Rankin MacInnis on pipes, Ben Marmen on cello and his father, Gervais Cormier, on guitar and mandolin.

The music here includes the traditional sounds of Cape Breton and Scottish tunes, as well as folk and nu-jazz compositions.

Maxim Cormier is the next in a line of gifted guitarists to crop up in the music-rich soil of Cape Breton. I expect to hear a great deal more from him in years to come.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Tom Knapp

2 March 2013

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