CD Release - Cape Breton Post

posted by Kyle MacDonald on Saturday May 13


Album Review - Kyle MacDonald

Written by Dan MacDonald, Cape Breton Post

Nov. 3rd 2016


This is a long CD with 16 cuts of fiddle music as well as a Gaelic song and three short surprise cuts at the end. In one of those cuts, Dan R. MacDonald describes how he obtained his violin, one of three that Kyle plays on the CD (along with one from his Kennedy ancestors and another from Inverness resident Mary Knight). Kyle is backed by pianist Howie MacDonald and guitarists Patrick Gillis and Gordie Sampson. There`s also additional help from Emily MacDonald, Britany and David Rankin and his brothers Keith and Colin.  

Kyle is an “old style” player, in that his music reflects the older players who he grew up around or whose influence still abounds in the Central Inverness County area. Thus, the CD is largely a well-selected collection of traditional tunes meshed skillfully with compositions by older players such as Sandy Maclean, Gordon F. MacQuarrie, Dan R. MacDonald, John MacDougall, and others. However, he doesn’t live completely in the past as more modern composers are represented by Jerry Holland, Howie MacDonald, Dougie MacDonald and others (including Kyle himself).

There’s a great drive to his playing with a timing well suited for dancing but he isn’t afraid of something more sedate. Perfect examples are his renditions of Dark Island and Mo Mhàthair (My Mother), both familiar pieces. Kyle comes off the latter with one of my favourite cuts, (Dunvegan), a snappy strathspey and reel combination that ends with Margie Beaton’s The Post Road. Another favourite, (Cape), includes a nice selection of Sandy MacLean, Angus Allan Gillis and Buddy MacMaster tunes that runs for almost nine minutes.

Kyle has a nice CD here, well produced with tasty tunes and great arrangements. This is a CD for any collection. It’s already getting regular play in mine.