Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

By Howie MacDonald & Ashley MacIsaac

Search for Howie MacDonald, Ashley MacIsaac.

Thirteen comments

"Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm" ~ Howie MacDonald & Ashley MacIsaac

Label: Celestial Entertainment ~ HMCD456, 2001


"Two of Cape Breton’s finest fiddlers team up for their first recording together….. Howie MacDonald and Ashley MacIsaac…and if that is NOT enough…it was recorded live with all the energy found in a typical Maritime Pub." ~ Dan MacDonald, Cape Breton Post

The Living Tradition ~

"’NOT CALM’ was inspired by the death of a close mutual friend of Howie and Ashley’s - John Morris Rankin. It was recorded live ‘off the floor’, in various pubs throughout Nova Scotia in spring 2000 but wasn’t released until spring 2001. The tunes are very off- the-cuff and spontaneous - as you can tell! ~ On the last track, it comes to a very abrupt end as it cuts out mid-tune - I can only assume the tape ran out and the cut was too good to lose! Have you ever heard a CD end in mid air…………..?

This will be a favourite for decades to come. They are definitely my "New Hero’s" Breathtaking!" ~ Kirsty Robson

San Francisco Celtic Music: Ambassadors of Cape Breton Fiddling

"Two of Cape Breton’s finest fiddlers go on a tour around the island to recover from crises in their lives— Ashley’s pop career implosion and for Howie the tragic death of playing partner John Morris Rankin — to let the music heal them. Playing live before knowledgeable, appreciative, and energetic crowds on two fiddles simultaneously, the music bursts forth in a torrent of passion and skill. Later, in a studio Howie added piano on some tracks and drummer Matthew Foulds. Because the fiddling was recorded live, this is not studio-refined commercial tunes aimed for airplay, but intense, wild Cape Breton music played for the joy of it. Three of the tracks are 13, 14, and 18 minutes long, the last one cut off abruptly as the tape recorder ran out of tape! (They kept playing for another 5 minutes.) 59 minutes of music." ~ Brent Aucoin

Having lost our copy, one way or t’other, we are still looking to chase this up again for our furture listening pleasures. Oh how I wish I’d digitized it to WAVs… 🙁

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Every copy of this I’ve found on Amazon is at least $100. How is this so expensive especially with only 7 tracks?? It’s really too bad… the tune selection here sounds absolutely fabulous.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Is it worth forking over such a hefty sum for this, for anyone who has it?

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Actually I was wrong, it’s only a little more than $20 on Amazon. I may consider it.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

It may just have 7 tracks, but the second track has 17 tunes, track 6 has 15 and the final track consists of 23 tunes.
Is that not enough ?

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Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Well, Kenny, I thought I saw a copy online for a huge amount, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to pay that. Definitely thinking of getting it now. And Oh I would have loved to be at one of those performances.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Just bought it, will be sure to comment when I get it.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Very raw, very very good. Howie and Ashley have played together for many years, and they have something special. I saw them at the old Bonny Prince one New Year’s or around then…. Ashley was at the height of his fame, not long before this CD, but he played 100% trad that night and they tore the roof off. I didn’t think it was still available new.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

It’s not. But if you stick around the trad world long enough, you know that used recordings are just as valuable.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

We got a brand new unopened copy just a while ago; my fiddler daughter did a painting for a fellow, and when she refused payment, he gave her the new copy of the CD and 2-3 virgin old Howie MacDonald LPs. He is a friend of Howie’s (there’s a tune named after him), and he has treasures. And yes, we haunt the places where we can get used CD’s and vinyl.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Just got it. Absolutely love it! Some of the wildest fiddling I’ve ever heard. What a shame that last track cuts off so suddenly though, but that track alone is 18 minutes of something I can’t even describe. Get it if you have the chance, it’s fabulous.

Re: Cape Breton Fiddle Music Not Calm

Ditto! ~ me too, having finally managed to score it…