Buddy MacDonald,
Live: A Night at the Pub
(self-produced, 2002)

Buddy MacDonald, one of the most distinctive voices of Cape Breton, performs live at the Thistledown Pub in Baddeck -- and we're all invited to the show. Live: A Night at the Pub is Buddy's latest recording.

The 17-track CD has a lot of old favorites, as well as some songs I've never heard him sing before. There are several traditional Scottish and Irish songs -- "Moonshiner," "Wild Mountain Thyme," "Red is the Rose," "Black Velvet Band," "Molly Malone," "Wild Rover," "Farewell to Nova Scotia" and "The Parting Glass" -- plus Andy M. Stewart's "Take Her in Your Arms," John Prine's "Paradise," Kenzie MacNeil's "The Island," Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," Buddy's own "Getting Dark Again" and more.

His sing-along crowd, alas, is not always quite as tuneful as Buddy, particularly on "Wild Rover" -- but the tendency of people to belt out songs just for the pure joy of singing is half the fun of pub shows anyway. The only thing the disc is missing is between-song interaction with the audience. The recording flows straight from song to song with no time for the kind of interplay that makes pub recordings so much fun.

Having enjoyed seeing Buddy perform dozens of times, it's nice to have this live recording to bring back the moment!

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 10 July 2004