Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy make one hell of a fine album…

Thank Alison Krauss for introducing me to the Canadian fiddle playing wonder that is Natalie MacMaster. Back in 2007, I bought Alison Krauss’s compilation CD A Hundred Miles or More: A Compilation. Although Alison Krauss is a noted fiddle player, she and MacMaster teamed up for the hauntingly beautiful ballad, “Get Me Through December”. Alison’s angelic vocals were a fine match for Natalie MacMaster’s haunting fiddle playing. After hearing them together, I decided I wanted to hear more from Natalie MacMaster, so I bought a couple of her albums. Later, I found out that Natalie and I are only a week apart in age. She is exactly one week older than I am.

Natalie MacMaster is married to another well-known Canadian fiddle player, Donnell Leahy. The couple has made some great music together, along with several talented kids who dance and play fiddle at their shows…

I don’t know why, but I always get choked up when I watch them perform. Though only three kids dance in this clip, there are six Leahy kids and five of them dance.

Here’s a clip featuring the whole family.

When I heard that Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy had come out with a new Celtic album, I decided I had to have it. I downloaded One when it was released a couple of months ago. I have to admit, the energy and creative forces on this new album are infectious. MacMaster and Leahy have said that One is a “combination of old and new, the original and the traditional, the Cape Breton and the Ontario”. Along with their band of talented musicians, MacMaster and Leahy have made an instrumental album worth tapping your toes to. I can’t dance at all, but their music makes me want to learn.

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy talk about One.

As much as I enjoy listening to Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster play on their CD, it’s even more fun to watch them play on video. I never get tired of watching their videos on YouTube, especially the ones that feature them performing with their talented offspring. Someday, I hope I can see them play live. Something tells me their live shows are incredible.

Just beautiful…

This couple has been together for twelve years, but due to their many tours and many kids, have only now gotten around to making an album together. I look forward to many more albums from them, since One has turned out so brilliantly. I wouldn’t say this is an album to relax to, but one to be amazed by. The blazing energy that comes from these two talented performers is truly inspirational. If you like good fiddling, this is a great album to own!