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11-01-2004, 12:50 PM
On Saturday night we drove up to the casino to see Natalie MacMaster perform. I'm not much of a fiddle fan, but the tickets were free and I figured, if nothing else, it'll be a nice evening of dinner, drinks and a little gambling with friends.

Well....I can't remember the last time I was so entertained for a solid 90 minutes. Not only is Ms. MacMaster an extremely talented fiddle player. But she's warm, personable, funny, and one hell of a dancer! And for you boys reading this...her pictures don't do her justice. This girl is incredibly beautiful! (although she does look kinda funny when the fiddle is crushed up to her chin)

She was accompanied by an outstanding group of Canadian musicians. The band was great. And they weren't just there for back-up. They were an integral part of the show. Each having his own time to show off his talent, and the bass player and guitar player each sang a song.

After opening with a couple of traditional fiddle-type jigs, the bass player began to sing this lovely jazz tune. I don't know the song, but it was beautiful. And a nice change of pace from the fiddling frenzy that had just ended.

Later in the evening, the guitar player sang a fantastic rendition of Danny Boy, done in 3/4 time instead of the usual 4/4. The change in signature gave the song a whole new dimension. Both the bass and guitar players could have been fronting a band rather than supporting MacMaster.

Natalie MacMaster was a very warm presence on stage. She talked to the audience like she was sitting across the kitchen table having a cup of tea with them. She shared a few stories and was very funny and quick. She was talking to the audience and was scratching her arm. You could see that something on her arm was annoying her. She eventually, pulled a long hair off of her arm stating, "well, that has got to go". Then looked at the audience and said, "I don't usually grow 'em that long on my arms!". Maybe you had to be there, but it was very funny.

She was fantastic to watch. Her playing is outstanding and she dances around stage as she plays, with her fiddle attached to her chin, and never misses a note. About mid-show, everyone left the stage except Natalie and the drummer. She put her fiddle down, came up to the front of the stage. And started tapping her foot. We all realized then, that she had taps on her shoes. She did this fantastic tap dance, keeping time to a drum solo, that was unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it. She had a way of fusing traditional tap steps with more modern dance and some Scottish jigging. It was very unique, and was obviously very difficult. This was no ordinary tap dance.

The 90 minute show just flew by. I went into the show very skepticle about how I was going to sit through 90 minutes of fiddling. But I walked out having thoroughly enjoyed myself and feeling that the whole band deserved the standing ovation that they got.

Dusty Chalk
11-01-2004, 06:18 PM
Very nice review! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Your experiences sound similar to mine -- I saw her just a couple of months ago, and was similarly blown away. As a matter of fact, I started a whole thread about it, I think I called it "I have a new crush" or something to that effect.

EDIT: Here ya go: link ( Your description is much better than mine, I sound like I was still a little pumped up over the show -- all oozing enthusiasm, but losing my ability to describe the show too much.