Guitar Summit
at the Judique Community Centre,
Judique, Cape Breton
(13 October 2005)

Once again the Guitar Summit in Judique during the Celtic Colours festival proved to be a popular event. The seats were full, folks stood along the walls and extra seats were set up so people could watch and listen in the mezzanine.

Over the last few years, J.P. Cormier has become a staple at this event, and the rest of the line-up was just as exciting. J.P. was tireless, and put out a lot of different tunes. He's got such a knack for the country sound and played a good sample of that for us along with quite a number of traditional tunes.

Masterful player and composer Scott MacMillan sat centre stage while J.P took his traditional seat at the far left. Scott has an amazing range of musical capabilities; his instrumental rendition of one of Rita MacNeil's songs continued to show what an active musical imagination he has.

I have been waiting for Brian Doyle to do this event ever since he emceed and joined musicians for the Pickin' & Grinnin' concert here in 2002. The musicians chosen for this event are not lightweights, so I expected great things from these three locals and the two guest players.

Kris Dreaver also played here in 2002, with Fine Friday, and though he was an amazing part of that group, he showed more than enough energy and talent to shine as a solo player in this concert tonight.

Andrew White's playing was exceptional, quite unique. When he added percussion with his hands on his guitar face, the interest level in the room soared. Showing a lot of different techniques works, up to a point, at a concert like this. The audience likes to be wowed, but they're also looking for a lot of melody and rhythm to enjoy the evening. And it happened, every one of the guitar players dished it up for us.

You've really got to like guitar to sit and listen to it all evening, but when you've got players of this calibre sitting up on stage doing their thing, it's not that difficult at all. The formula for the concert is a good one, a popular one, and every year, there's a little bit of something that one or more of the guitar players throws in the mix to keep it interesting.

by Virginia MacIsaac
10 December 2005