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The Best of Ashley MacIsaac

Ashley MacIsaac

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Album Review

Genre-bending, left-handed Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac may not be a household name in the United States, but he's a force to be reckoned with in the Great White North, especially in his native Cape Breton. By capably blending elements of rock, electronic, folk, and even hip-hop into traditional Irish, Scottish, and Canadian folk music, he has successfully (for the most part) earned himself a reputation as wily and unpredictable, both musically and socially (he once said in an interview that he wanted "to be weirder than Michael Jackson), which is why the Best of Ashley MacIsaac is so disappointing. While his three most notable songs ("To America We Go," "Little House Around the Corner," and "Sleepy Maggie") are here, only seven others make the trip. MacIsaac may not have a "Shakespearian" canon of work behind him but surely he deserves more than a ten-song retrospective, unless this is the kind of product that gets its own kiosk at the grocery checkout.


Born: 24 February 1975 in Criegnish, Cape Breton, Nova Scot

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Ashley MacIsaac is, in a sense, the musical representative of the pre-millennial generation of Atlantic Canada. An ardent traditionalist (and cousin of international Celtic performer Natalie MacMaster) with a penchant, nevertheless, for experimentation, this young Nova Scotian native has been taught to play the fiddle the working-class, pub-stomp Cape Breton way: fast, furious, and with phenomenal precision. Alternately considered a rebel, taking the old fiddling conventions in newfangled directions...
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The Best of Ashley MacIsaac, Ashley MacIsaac
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