With the release of her self-titled debut album in October 2009, Rachel Davis of Baddeck, Cape Breton Island has been busy playing for audiences throughout Cape Breton, parts of mainland Nova Scotia, and throughout the United States. This collection of twelve tunes, along with a vocal selection, proves why Rachel is quickly making a name for herself on the music scene.
Rachel is joined on the album by well-known Cape Breton singer and songwriter Buddy MacDonald. The composer of the Cape Breton sing-a-long hit “Getting Dark Again” proves that he is also a first-rate accompanist.
What goes best with a fiddle? The banjo of course! Brona Graham from Ireland joins Rachel for two tracks. The sound of the two instruments playing together adds a light airy feel to the tunes. Her style of playing is neat and clean. Each track is played with great drive yet you hear every note crisp and clear.
Rachel included one of her own compositions to the cd “West Side Reel”. If this is any indication of her writing ability, I cannot wait to hear her other tunes.
She takes a turn at singing a tradition Gaelic song which can be commonly heard sung around the island at concerts, Dh’fhalabh Mo Rùn ’s Dh’fhàg E ‘n Cala (“My Love Has Left the Harbour”). She enlisted her mother and grandmother as well as local Gaelic singers to help her out in the chorus. If you listen closely you will hear her mother Pauline’s voice singing out in the background! Rachel has a lovely voice and it lends itself nicely to the song. Maybe we will see Rachel adding more songs into her performances.
Rachel’s style of playing jigs has a great lift which makes it easy to pick her out. She turns out a dandy set of jigs near the end of the recording with her Grandfather, whom she credits for her playing of the fiddle. She has developed a style of playing that is neat and clean. Each track is played with great drive yet you hear every note crisp and clear.
Rachel Davis is a wonderful cd that should be in all fiddle collections, a delightful taste of Cape Breton fiddling for all to enjoy. If you would like to find out if Rachel will be playing in your area, or would like to purchase a copy of her cd you can check out her website at rachel-davis.ca.