Sunday, September 25th will mark yet another world premier for LiveIreland, as Nova Scotia’s Cassie and Maggie MacDonald’s new album will be featured on the Bill & Imelda Show. The new album is The Willow Collection. Bill and Imelda will introduce the album worldwide at 18:00 GMT. You’ll hear the magic for the very first time, as it is the release point for this brilliant and brand new bit of business! Here is Bill’s review of The Willow Collection. Join us Sunday for another world premier–a specialty of LiveIreland!
If you are a LiveIreland listener, you are probably aware that Cassie and Maggie MacDonald are among the very top musical acts currently in demand on the Irish/American/Canadian concert scene. The sisters’ new album, The Willow Collection, shows why. From Nova Scotia, the young ladies are developing quite an international following. It is not for nothing that the producer of this CD, Dave Gunning, also appears as guest musician and musical sherpa. He is among Canada’s premier recording artists, and he knows talent when he hears it. So will you. Here’s the secret to the incredibly rapid growth in popularity of Cassie and Maggie’s performances. They are really, really good. They are also incredibly entertaining, be it their foot percussion accompaniments to the driving Nova Scotian sets, or their perfect sibling blend on their vocal harmonies, added to a stunning interplay on various instruments. A musical evening spent with the Cassie and Maggie is a great night, altogether. So far, so good.
But here is another secret to their success. As you listen to their albums and watch their performances, you sense the completeness with which Cassie and Maggie absorb musical information, styles and approaches. Because they are young, and so dedicated (driven?), they have a long list of mentors. Unlike many musicians, they really, truly pay attention. They learn. They study. They synthesize. They draw it all together from an incredible variety of sources, and the result is a gem like The Willow Collection. There are 11 songs and tunes on this CD. A tremendous variety ranging from The Salley Garden Set to Down in the Willow Garden shows not only the musical ability, but the depth and variety of their musicianship. Their music is as straightforward and charming as are they themselves. Think this is an exaggeration? Listen to this CD. Go to one of their concerts. Meet them. Talk to them. You’ll see. The picture of the two on the back of the CD shows their determination and seriousness, as well. Does this review sound as if we have lost all objectivity regarding this duo, Cassie and Maggie? Good. It should. We have. It’s hard to think of a more entertaining act in music right now. As always, the bottom line is the music, and they play it superbly. What a future!