Volume 96, Issue 4

Thursday, June 13, 2002
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12 Questions
Still full of Soul

SOIA brings home the veggie bacon after all these years

Nipples nices, boobs better

Bad "Bitch"

Suzanne North: Canada's Nancy Drew

Vegas: a winning bet

Killer solves the Mystery

MacIssac fiddles with his fate

MacIssac fiddles with his fate

By Chris Hodge
Gazette Staff

"Where is the show?" Ashley MacIsaac asks while on the subject of his upcoming gig in London on Jun. 21 with headliner Holly Cole. "Is it the symphony thing?"

MacIsaac is not the type of person who dwells too much on minor details. He's actually everything you would expect from one of Canada's most prominent fiddlers. There's no mistaking his thick Cape Breton accent and when he speaks, it is with the same blinding intensity which fuels his performances.

Life is surprisingly good for the 26-year-old who has bounced back unscathed from some rather difficult times, both professionally and personally.

First there were the controversies over his unconventional stage antics which dogged him since the success of his 1995 release Hi, how are you today?. Even though the album sold 300,000 copies, MacIsaac was unable to consolidate his accumulating debts and declared bankruptcy in 2000.

A year later, MacIsaac was released from the Toronto indie label Loggerhead Records.

However, MacIsaac has survived in pristine condition and is now looking forward to working on a brand new album with the New York based classical label Decca Records.

"Decca are open to doing a lot of different things," MacIsaac says. "I'm a Celtic traditional artist – I think that's pretty clear – but whatever I add to the mix after the traditional thing is what I'll add to it."

MacIsaac is looking forward to adding to his unique blend of Celtic and pop music the further development of his own vocals.

"This time I've made the decision to make it half songs and half tunes – that's the one experimental change I've made. In the past, every record I've made has been directed towards tunes," MacIsaac, who has worked with a variety of guest vocalists including Mary-Jane Lamond, explains.

"My talents as a vocalist are obviously not anywhere near my talents as a musician," MacIsaac says. "As an instrumentalist I can do much better, but I am working hard to do great vocals and I would hope that, when it's finished, my vocals would stand as good as anyone else who sings on the record."

With a new album in the works and a number of live shows scheduled, MacIsaac said he looks forward to getting back to his first passion – performing.

"The London one that's coming up, that's what you're calling me up for?" a confused MacIsaac asks, unaware he even had an interview scheduled with The Gazette. "The London show that's coming up? Yeah, that's in Burlington, isn't it?"

MacIsaac (hopefully) plays in London at the Fiddles, Strings and Jazz Festival at Covent Garden Market on Jun. 21. Tickets are $20. For more information call 672-1967.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002