Stacey Lynn Read,
Playing with a Full Deck
(self-produced, 1999)

Fiddle music ... Canada .... when you hear these two words what first comes to mind? If you're a fan of the Celtic fiddle music, then you're likely to think of Cape Breton Island, which is where a majority of the fiddlers that Canada is known for come from. Well, here's a fiddler from nearby New Brunswick who's likely to become more known in Canada and surrounding areas in the next few years. She's already known across the Atlantic provinces as a gifted young musician who loves what she does!

Stacey Lynn Read, from Sackville, New Brunswick, has been playing the fiddle since she was 4 years old, studying under Ivan and Vivian Hicks, two well-known fiddlers from Moncton. At the age of 16 she already has three albums of her own. Her first tape was recorded when she was 9 years old, the second two years later and the most recent in late 1999.

Playing with a Full Deck, her latest CD, features 60 minutes of fiddling through 18 tracks. Stacey takes you through all types of tunes, from reels and jigs, to hornpipes and waltzes. It includes such well-known tunes as "Blackberry Blossom," "Sleepy Maggie," "Beaumont Rag" and "Orange Blossom Special," to name a few.

Stacey is accompanied by Jeff Matheson on piano, Ship Holmes & Ray Legere on Guitar, Vivian Hicks on Piano and Ivan Hicks on 2nd Fiddle. This album sports a large number of top-notch fiddle tunes with catchy arrangements.

"Maytime Swing" takes you back a few generations with the catchy rhythm that has revived itself as of late. She's able to play each of the different styles with such ease!

Listening to the intricacy and speed on many of the tunes, it's hard to believe this is a teenager playing! She ranks up there with some of Canada's best and has been recognized as one by having played with Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald and Brenda Stubbert, and by jamming with John Allan Cameron.

Not only is Stacey an accomplished fiddler, but we get to hear her piano accompaniment skills on five of the tracks and her fabulous step-dancing on a track, too! As well, she composes tunes and one of her co-writes is on the CD called "The Naked Dog."

Among her many awards, Stacey won the under-12 Maritime title three years in a row and also the 1997 under-12 Canadian Championship. At age 8, she was invited to the Grand Masters Junior Showcase and at the tender age of 13 she represented New Brunswick at the Canadian Grand Masters, an invitation-only event for top fiddlers from each province; she's been invited to represent New Brunswick for the past three years. In 1999, she made the finals placing fifth in Canada!

Stacey loves to travel and promote the old-time fiddle music. She teaches at various camps across Canada and has done workshops in Maine. She also finds time to perform with a Celtic group called Banshee who have just released their first CD.

Stacey notes on the CD liner notes..."Music is something that should be shared with others and I think that by making this recording, I have contributed a small part in keeping fiddle music alive." Right you are, Stacey!

[ by Kimberley Marie ]
Rambles: 28 July 2001

Visit her website.