index page

NEW MUSIC: The Barra MacNeils display Cape Breton proudly with On The Bright Side

THE EAST
MUSIC

Iconic Cape Breton band/family The Barra MacNeils have graced the ears of the East Coast once again with their newest album On The Bright Side. The ten-track recording is packed with everything an islander loves; an abundance of the fiddle, a jig here and there, and even Cape Breton staples like a full Gaelic track are present in The Barra MacNeil’s latest.

Beginning with the lovely little jig “Welcome to Boston,” the siblings establish their Cape Breton roots right off the bat. Building into a foot-tapping jam before dipping in energy and ending with a heavy spark of energy and harmony, the introductory piece is an island staple with a contemporary kick to it.

“Jug of Punch” then takes this distinct islander vibe and swells it to perfection. With a mixture of the deep, march-worthy drumbeat, the pronounced singing technique and some non-verbal vocals that are nothing short of charming, “Jug of Punch” is easily among the album’s best.

Retaining that vocal style, the album’s third track, “Livin’ The Dream,” is unique since it is the single that was released last year. A deep, almost growl-like bass accompanies the light-hearted hymn that creates that feeling of home.

Following is another staple of Cape Breton’s music culture: a track sung completely in Scottish Gaelic with the name “Ribhinn Donn,” meaning “brown-haired maiden.” One need not speak the language to pick up on the powerful emotion emitting from the track; the gentle lull of voice and string coupled with the small flute piece at the end tells listeners all they need to feel.

Elsewhere, “Saratoga” and “Mademoiselle Gallant” add some more fiddle-heavy instrumental songs to the mix, with the latter offering up a waltz-esque vibe. “Daisy,” using its beautifully catchy melodies, seems to explain the dangers of the world to a pure-hearted individual, and “The Underachiever” pulls a 180 on the instrumentals by only utilizing vocals, making it an interesting take on the theme of death.  Finally, “The Way Old Friends Do” is a heart-wrenching testament to ever-lasting friendship, and it is bound to drop a nostalgia bomb on listeners of all ages.

The Celtic music powerhouses are no strangers to success, and On The Bright Side is bound to be a pleasing return for listeners old and new.

Tour Dates:
06.07.18 – The Arts Center, Brockville, ON
06.20-22.18 – ideacity, Toronto, ON
06.23.18 – Hugh’s Room Live, Toronto, ON
08.01.18 – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Sydney Mines, NS
08.02.18 – The Markland Dingwall, NS
08.03.18 – La Place des arts Père-Anselme-Chiasson Cheticamp
08.06.18 – Miramichi Civic Centre, Miramichi, NB

On The Bright Side – new album, new tour!

The Barra MacNeils are touring this spring 2018 in support of their latest release On The Bright Side; an exquisite collection of everything their fans love. It’s an upbeat album, with fiddle tunes that you know will erupt into a flurry of step-dancing on stage. Reserved seating tickets for The Barra MacNeils – On The Bright Side are $57.50 (tax and facility fees included, additional on line or phone order surcharges may apply), go on sale Friday, March 9th. 

Crash postpones Orillia show – rescheduled for June 6th

The outage has forced the postponement of tonight’s scheduled Barra MacNeils show at the Opera House. It has been rescheduled for June 6th.