The Cape Breton Connection, Opening concert at Celtic Connections 2009

Ashley McIsaac
Ashley McIsaac
With visibly pregnant Scottish harpist Corrina Hewat (who used her condition as a reason for using paper notes on stage) and Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond as masters of ceremonies, the Celtic Connections 2009 festival gave its first steps at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall auditorium.

Of the 20 artists gathered for this event, JP Cormier stood out (his stage entry was well celebrated). Although Corrina introduced him as a singer-songwriter (she met him 10 years earlier at Canadian festival Celtic Colours, in Cape Breton), his [wiki:guitar] played the leading role, with a nod to the Beatles by playing a fragment of “Day Tripper”.

Ashley McIsaac  and his [wiki:violin] arrived next. From the audience someone made as comment about his punk hair style and he recognized that he had just arrived from the hair salon. His energetic playing style, rock oriented according to some, received many ovations.  Phamie Gow accompanied McIsaac with her harp. He introduced her as a descendant of Neil Gow, whose compositions were present in his performance. Margaret Bennet participated with her vocals in Gaelic.

 Jerry Douglas received a warm welcome after a 20 minute intermission. He played a mini concert, combined with various collaborations (Margaret on vocals, Kimberley Fraser on piano…). They recognized that Kimberley’s last name was adopted by the family in the past because it sounded more Scottish than the one they used to have and they thought they would get more work in the music field with it. Jerry finished with a beautiful ballad dedicated to his son.

Newcomer couple McGyver / McKintyre added their contribution with their second concert as a duo (their first concert took place in New Year’s Eve).

To round things off, the Barra McNeils filled the stage with their jigs and reels, animating the sober audience at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, who started waving Canadian and Scottish flags for the enjoyment of all. “Morrison’s” was not missing in their repertory, which ended with a dance medley with four of the family members.

Three hours after the event started, all the artists came out to say goodbye to the show that served to start the motor of Celtic Connections 2009. We left past 22.30 (10:30 pm).

Photo: Ashley McIsaac

Translation by : Angel Romero

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