Buddy MacDonald
& John Ferguson,
Getting Dark Again
(Rocky Coast, 1996)

Getting Dark Again lacks some of the spit and polish heard on Buddy MacDonald's later solo recording, We Remember You Well, which I'd rate as a far superior album. Still, this one has its charms in part because it sounds like two friends sitting down with their instruments for a casual exchange of songs, each taking his turn with an original piece of a traditional number.

After all, that's exactly what it is.

MacDonald, of Cape Breton, and John Ferguson, from Halifax, present a number of traditional songs, including "Nancy Whisky," "Whisky in the Jar," "Leaving of Liverpool" and "The Little Beggarman." There are some MacDonald originals ("Getting Dark Again," "Atlantic Seabreeze," "Six Strings and Me") and Ferguson originals ("This Old House," "Ode to Moonshine"), plus Jimmy Rankin's "Orangedale Whistle."

It's this relaxed air that gives Atlantic Canada much of its appeal, and it's fitting for some albums, at least, to capture that casual, laid-back feeling.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 10 May 2003