Andrea Beaton comes from a long line of great fiddlers from Mabou, on the western side of Cape Breton Island. Since her debut album License To Drive’er (2002), Andrea has shown that she is a fiddle player not to be taken lightly. Her latest album Branches is nominated for the 2010 ECMA Instrumental Recording of the Year award. Andrea’s new album delivers her unmistakable drive and lift to the tunes, and also highlights some new talents by taking a turn at a vocal selection.
Branches grabs the listener right away with a dandy bunch of reels, and refuses to let go until all of the marches, jigs and reels have been played. From the first few notes you know that you are in for a real treat. High energy tunes combined with interesting mixes of tunes will keep your dancing shoes happy and your ears wanting more. Andrea is joined on the album by Tracey Dares on piano, Remi Arsenault on guitar, and Jamie Gatti on upright bass.
What would a new Andrea Beaton CD be without a few little twists? On the track “Starfish” she shows her ability to combine tunes together; it begins as a set of jigs you may hear at one of her dances, which flows nicely into a waltz “The Mist Covered Mountains of Home” and without missing a beat, pianist Tracey Dares continues to keep the jig timing while quickly heading back into the spirited jig “Happy Hops” written by Kaitlin Hahn of Wisconsin which finishes off the track.
“Fire on the Lino” takes flight with a reel composed for her Aunt and Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. She continues the set with two more original reels which have an energetic and spirited feel.
The majority of the tunes on the cd were composed by Andrea, with a few traditional numbers thrown in for some good measure. She has also included tunes by some of today’s newest composers including Shelly Campbell, Glenn Graham and Colin Grant, just to name a few. Andrea has a wonderful style of composing tunes; they have a great animated feel to them.
On this record, Andrea shows us that not only is she a fantastic fiddler, but also a great vocalist. On the track “Hector” she shows off her vocal skills on a song written by PEI’s Patricia Murray and set to the air “Hector the Hero”. Andrea does an impressive job singing so hopefully it will continue into future projects.
Andrea’s latest foray will keep your ears happy and your mind eagerly awaiting her next release. A solid ECMA award contender, this cd will impress young and old alike.