(Rocky Coast, 1993)
There are plenty of performers from Nova Scotia who sound more polished than McGinty. But what they have in lieu of polish is heart and an obvious love for the cherished songs of their homeland.
McGinty is John Ferguson, Don Moore and Dave Hickey, a trio who've spent many years sharing their traditions with the world and keeping them alive for future generations. Gathered for this collection are 12 songs celebrating the rich heritage of the Canadian Maritimes, including Michael Stanbury's "The Bluenose Song," "The Last Shanty" by Tom Lewis, "Sonny's Dream" by Ron Hynes, "Barrett's Privateers" by Stan Rogers, Kenzie MacNeil's "The Island" and Allister MacGillavray's "Song for the Mira."
There are better versions of some of these songs elsewhere in my music collection. But I still enjoy Atlantic Favorites for the spirit behind it; more than a studio recording, it reminds me of a handful of friends singing the songs they love in good company. It's not a glossy production so much as a casual gathering, a kitchen party preserved on tape. And that easy familiarity and genuine fondness for music is what Maritimes musical traditions are all about.
[ by Tom Knapp ]