Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Join forces on “ONE”.
Bob Ezrin produced the debut album set for worldwide release April 28, 2015
Natalie MacMaster is the globally acclaimed Cape Breton fiddle player who has appeared on numerous CBC, CTV and PBS TV shows and sold over 200,000 albums. Donnell Leahy is the incendiary musical leader of Double Platinum selling, festival headlining Celtic family group Leahy. The two musical prodigies met as teenagers, found individual massive career success, and eventually reconnected and were married, becoming the first couple of Celtic music. Today the famous couple have six children, and perform together to sold out crowds in theatres across North America and the UK. They never, however, found the opportunity to record together – until now.
It was a chance meeting of Natalie with legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple) at a session he was producing for Scottish born Canadian singing star Johnny Reid that led to the unlikely musical match between the star producer and the Celtic couple. Smitten with their sound, Bob recruited Justin Cortelyou (Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Alan Jackson), to co-produce, and the two headed to Cape Breton to record the Celtic couple with ace session musicians Mark Kelso, Mac Morin, Tim Edey, Jamie Gatti, Rachel Aucoin and Sabin Jacques.
When asked about their experience recording with such an iconic producer, Natalie offered, “Bob Ezrin is so musical, truthful and honest in how he works. He heard the music the same way we did.” Donnell added “This album is far beyond anything we ever imagined it being.”
Bob Ezrin explains how exciting it is to work with people who are masters at their craft, “Both Natalie and Donnell are truly brilliant musicians whose instruments have become a natural extension of their bodies. They are such accomplished players that whatever they think of they can produce on their violins. It’s absolutely magical!”
There is energy and freshness, and unparalleled musicality on “ONE”, a completely instrumental album with creative medleys in the Celtic style mixed with originals, with the exception of one track, a deeply emotional vocal lament “Cagaran Gaolach” sung by Natalie – marking her first ever lead feature vocal to appear on an album. Some of the unconventional approaches used in the studio for this fiddle-centric album included distorted electric guitars on the driving up tempo “Fiddler’s Despair”, and two players on one piano on “Pastiche for Anne” and a drum kit made of paint cans and a cardboard box on “Joyous Waltz.”
Natalie and Donnell embark on the first leg of an expansive North American tour in February – the majority of dates sold out in advance – billed as “Visions From Cape Breton and Beyond”, a show which will feature many of the songs from “ONE”.
“We really can’t imagine ourselves doing anything else. All of this coming together was inevitable.” – Donnell Leahy
01. St. Nicks
02. The Chase
03. The Whistler of Rosslea
04. Pastiche for Anne
05. Fiddler’s Despair
06. Hector The Hero
07. Wedding Day Jig
08. Ellin Polka
09. Joyous Waltz
10. Tribute To Buddy
11. Clog Medley
12. Cagaran Gaolach
13. Bonus track: The Balkan Hills