Fiddler Natalie MacMaster lights up City stage

  • Apr. 17, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Canadian fiddle sensation Natalie MacMaster brought her infectious, east coast tunes to the Memorial Centre last week and the sold-out crowd was given quite the show.

MacMaster has an amazing ability to captivate the audience and to build excitement throughout her two-hour show. The audience seemed more energetic as every tune was played.

From the beginning, the crowd of 700 people were stomping their feet, clapping their hands and hollering in excitement. And MacMaster made her presence known as she commanded the stage.

Her current tour features her traditional Cape Breton fiddling style, foot-stomping jigs as well as new favourites from her latest CD Cape Breton Girl.

Each show is a new one every night as there is no set play list. But MacMaster and her band mates were pros in that they would just go with it while never missing a beat.

“I grew up in the thick of fiddle music. My mom always had cassettes playing. I started dancing at five and playing the fiddle at nine. We were a very musical family,” she said. “I realize the value of music now that I have my own children.”

The mother of five, who is married to Donnell Leahy of the Canadian Celtic band Leahy, said “Standing in lipstick and sparkles feels like a day at the spa” as she seemed excited to be dressed up for the show.

MacMaster talked further about her family and in particular about her grandmother who passed away when she was 94-years-old.

“CBC was doing a documentary about me when I was 18-years-old and my grandmother was 93. At one point she looked into the camera and said she was looking for a man and when she found him she was going to hang onto him,” she said with a laugh.

MacMaster went onto say her grandmother loved the fiddle so much that she thought fiddles would be played in heaven.

“I told her that could be someone’s version of hell too,” she said, sending the audience into roaring laughter.

MacMaster often danced around on stage and even did some Irish step dancing as well. After one number she asked the crowd, “Are you working up a bit of a lather? I am.” With the audience responding with applause.

The chemistry between MacMaster and her band mates was great. They would often wink and smile at each other as they played and sometimes make funny faces at one another too. It is really refreshing to see people who truly love what they do.

MacMaster is truly gifted as a fiddler and performer. Her show is definitely one to see and she really knows how to get the crowd going.

I particularly enjoyed MacMaster as I grew up Highland dancing and also doing some Irish step dancing as well. Her music brought back wonderful memories of my childhood.