Caltech Presents:
Natalie MacMaster Band
Review by Ross Anthony

Natalie MacMaster engages the audience with a wonderfully relaxed, informal, and chipper rapport – and with great music.

Billed as Celtic, her music is really more simply put: eclectic. Yes, her band includes an excellent pennywhistling bagpiper, but the guitarist from time to time straps on the electric and jams out some rock. In fact, in this one performance alone, the styles ranged from New Orleans Jazz to a southern Fried Rock the likes of which Charlie Daniels might envy. Other tunes are reminiscent of the old rock group Kansas. Then the next minute they drop into some wah-wah guitar funk.

And if that’s not eclectic enough, the first few songs are instrumentals, then suddenly the stage is silent, the tall smiling 5-string bass player steps up to the microphone and fills the big auditorium with a deep rich warm voice you might expect more from a piano player like Harry Connick Jr.. The set continues to highlight Natalie and her spirit-filled relationship with the violin. The only other vocal song employs the guitarist who plays a soft sweet jazz-chord version of “Danny Boy” that aims for the heart – and hits.

I lost focus during some piano/violin medleys but overall, it’s a great show, go see it. Excellent musicianship all round.

Review based on the Saturday, April 29th, 2006 performance at Beckman Auditorium, Caltech, Pasadena, California.

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  • Natalie MacMaster Band. Copyright © 2006.
  • The band: Natalie MacMaster, Brad Davidge, John CHiasson, Allan Dewar, Matt MacIsacc, Miche Pouliot.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:02:07 PDT