Guitar Summit
at Judique Community Centre,
Judique, NS
(16 October 2003)

Back on home turf, I was expecting a pretty good time tonight. J.P. Cormier and Dave MacIsaac were on the bill, so how could one go wrong? Add to the line-up Scott MacMillan, who has a list of accomplishments too long to list, and everything goes up another notch. The two newcomers were John Doyle and Anna Massie.

Well, before the night was over, I couldn't imagine them having a concert without them.

The Nova Scotians were in fine form and treated the audience to exactly what was expected. Call them finger wizards or great players, there was such a variety of tunes and tempos that the folks in the audience were often left shaking their heads in wonder -- at least those who knew how difficult some pieces were did. The rest of us just enjoyed it. Immensely.

The two guests had a high bar to reach, but there wasn't a problem. Doyle took a new approach to performance at the summit and it was one I approved of. He sang. He played the guitar and sang. It was just a wonderful addition, a break from the pure instrumentals that dominated the show, and something that might have been missing all along.

Massie in turn was just a fantastic player and won my admiration for her playing and her attitude. She was this year's winner of the BBC Young Traditional Instrumental Artist Award and I wondered if she could earn her keep among the more experienced players she was accompanying on the Judique stage. Did she do it? Without a doubt. Not only was her playing adept, but the music she chose was a really strong collection of pieces that everyone enjoyed.

The mood was light-hearted, or it was as light-hearted as intense guitar fans can be. MacIsaac told Cormier at one point that he sounded like "John Allan Van Halen."

I'd have to say this concert was a hit in my books with its great music and great camaraderie, and I quickly admit that I liked how the guest players showed such strong Celtic styles. Rousing tunes and blistering sound effects were the hallmarks of the night.

- Rambles
written by Virginia MacIsaac
published 3 January 2004