Over the past 18 years, Celtic Colours International Festival has certainly had its share of “you just had to be there” moments. And until very recently, you really did have to be there to experience them.
With the release of last year’s Celtic Colours – Live 2013, festival organizers were thrilled to fulfill a long-standing request from Celtic Colours fans to produce a live souvenir of the much-loved, nine-day, Cape Breton Island-wide festival. Overjoyed by the results, and encouraged by the response, producer Declan O’Doherty and engineer Jamie Foulds were once again enlisted to record a selection of concerts presented during Celtic Colours this year. The resulting CD, Celtic Colours Live – Volume Two, is available now, just in time for Christmas gift giving.
Celtic Colours Live – Volume Two features performers from Cape Breton, Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, Sweden, the US and Canada, and includes sixteen tracks recorded during Celtic Colours 2014. Some of these performances are truly unique to the Celtic Colours experience like when Cape Breton’s fiddling ambassador Natalie MacMaster joins Irish accordion player Sharon Shannon onstage for a tune, revisiting the magic when they first met at the Festival in 1997, or percussive dancer Nic Gareiss’ collaborations with a variety of performers including Scottish-born harp player Maeve Gilchrist, fiddlers Darol Anger, Kimberley Fraser and Brittany Haas, and cello player Natalie Haas. Also included on this compilation are Väsen, We Banjo 3, Còig, Sharon Shannon & Alan Connor, Laura Smith, Tony McManus, Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac, David Francey, Les Amis Creole, The Chaisson Family and Beòlach.
There are songs sung in Gaelic, English, and Creole French and tunes from around the Celtic world, all impressively performed by friends of the festival old and new. From beautiful slow songs to lively instrumentals, this collection of performers and performances nicely captures the theme of “friends and family” that permeated the festival in 2014. Whether you are reliving memories of concerts you attended, catching up on what you missed, or checking it out for the first time, this record of the 2014 Celtic Colours International Festival is one you need to have in your collection.
Celtic Colours Live – Volume Two is available now on iTunes and copies can be ordered through celtic-colours.com. The CD will be available to buy locally next week at the Curiosity Shop on Charlotte Street in Sydney, Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College Gift Shop in St. Ann’s, and the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique. Celtic Colours staff will also be selling the CD at the Cape Breton Farmers Market on Keltic Drive the next two Saturdays (December 13 and December 20).