Ashley MacIsaac looking forward to Symphony Nova Scotia shows
“He’s brash, brilliant, and one of the most celebrated Canadian roots musicians of all time. Cape Breton’s own platinum-selling, multiple-award-winning Ashley MacIsaac returns to Symphony Nova Scotia for a fiery, foot-stomping concert of savage energy, furious fiddling, and rollicking down-home fun. Featuring tried-and-true traditional favourites combined with lively symphonic arrangements, it’s an East Coast celebration of epic proportions!” – Symphony Nova Scotia’s promotion for the Ashley MacIsaac show.
Ashley MacIsaac is looking forward to returning to Nova Scotia later this month for three shows with Symphony Nova Scotia.
“It’s always an honour to work with Symphony Nova Scotia. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s a lot of fun as well,” said MacIsaac.
This will mark the third time that MacIsaac has joined forces with the Nova Scotia Symphony and in a conversation with The Oran this week, MacIsaac says he always looks forward to it.
MacIsaac has been doing a lot of shows of late with Jay “Sticks” Andrews, a native of Halifax who now resides in Toronto but this time expect more of the traditional music from Ashley.
“This is the third time we’ve done a show with these charts and we’ve always been pleased with the response but it may also be the last,” said MacIsaac. In other words, get a ticket while they last as they’re moving quickly.
Show dates for Halifax is March 29th, 30th, and 31st.
Talking with Ashley, one gets the impression that he may be at a crossroads with his career as a touring artist. He’s open about the fact that he may not want to continue touring extensively as an artist and one only hopes that he remains open to touring at all.
Ashley tells us he has a recording in the can but he’s uncertain yet whether he wants to release it.
“At this point in my career, I’m giving consideration to the popular culture aspect of my gig and considering the role of the adult contemporary genre for the future,” he added.
Then there’s the legalization of pot. While there are a lot of regulations to contend with and restrictions around celebrity endorsements to work through, Ashley says don’t be surprised if there’s a Sleepy Maggie product on the shelves in the near future. Ashley says it was unbelievable the international press he received from being the first customer through the door at the NSLC store in Sydney the day pot was legalized in Canada.
“That story literally went all around the world,” he says with a chuckle.
MacIsaac joked at the time that he is now relieved that he will no longer be treated as a criminal for enjoying a toke and stated that his dealer is now the prime minister.
MacIsaac’s latest release was Fdler, where the Cape Breton fiddler had the opportunity to explore various musical directions.
Asked how he gets into the Cape Breton fiddling groove, Ashley stated that he will often put on the music of a Cape Breton fiddler who influenced him.
“The desire to play fiddle tunes better has never left me. The other day, I remember going to YouTube and looking up clips of Willie Kennedy and I really enjoyed that. It really sets the mood,” he said.
This scribe has seen MacIsaac perform numerous times over the course of his career and one can only hope that he keeps performing.
MacIsaac has a tremendous musical gift and it’s always a treat to hear him play, knowing the reverence he has for Cape Breton music and culture.
Those attending the symphony shows will also be pleased to learn of a special guest appearance by Cape Breton and Halifax guitarist and composer, Scott Macmillan, who will be debuting his 12-minute blues concerto composition for guitar called Twelve and Change, which will be performed with the Nova Scotia Symphony.
As for MacIsaac, he’s looking forward to returning to Cape Breton for a special gig with percussionist Jay Andrews in late June or early July. Stay tuned with The Oran to learn more once an official announcement is made.
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