JCB with Jerry Holland,
A Trip to Cape Breton
(Lochshore, 1997)

It should come as no shock that the music of Scotland and its musical heir, Nova Scotia, fit together extremely well. In case there were any doubts, members of JCB (formerly the Jura Ceilidh Band) crossed the Atlantic Ocean to a Cape Breton recording studio, where they joined forces with fiddler Jerry Holland and pianist Sheumas MacNeil (of the Barra MacNeils) for A Trip to Cape Breton.

JCB is Ross Kennedy (banjo, guitar, vocals), Davy MacDonald (accordion), Archie McAllister (fiddle) and Charlie Harrigan (guitar). Holland and MacNeil don't seem to have had much trouble finding common ground with the Scottish dance band. The performance on this collection of jigs and reels, hornpipes, airs and waltzes is one of a highly polished ensemble. Either everyone put in a lot of rehearsal time preparing for this album, or else both parties just clicked.

Whichever the truth, A Trip to Cape Breton is a delightful CD, a collaboration exposing the deep roots linking these musical cousins.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 30 December 2001

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