Island fiddler Ward MacDonald has released a new album entitled Ask Her To Dance: A PEI Trad Album.
Many of the fiddle tunes are originals by Ward with additional covers of songs by Jerry Holland, Kevin Chaisson, Nick vanOuwerkerk, Jimmy Banks, Sara Simpson, Brenda Stubbert, Gideon Stove, Donald Riddell, Charles Grant, Fred Morrison, John Morris Rankin along with some traditional tunes.
Engineers working on this project were Chris Gauthier, Colin Grant, Remi Arsenault and Jon Mathews. On the album are Ward MacDonald, fiddles and piano, Remi Arsenault, guitar, Ben Miller, border pipes, Eric Wright, cello, Emmanuelle LeBland, bodhran, Rowen Gallant, tenor banjo, Sara Simpson, smallpipes, and Richard Wood, piano. Musicians who assisted with arrangements are Zakk Cormier, Louis-charles Vigneau and Ian Forgeron. Album cover artwork is by Vincent Crotty. Graphic design is by Keith Mullen.
From the jacket:
“It might have been a dream…It went well into the night and felt like years went by. The fiddles had just started into a set of high bass tunes when Ben dropped in with his border pipes and Remi grabbed the guitar. Emmanuelle came by with her bodhran and Eric swung in on cello for a tune or two. Rowan had the banjo going that night and Sarah shared her beautiful pipe waltz. Richard arrived later on and gave a few great rips at the old piano…”
You can hear Ward MacDonald play fiddle and/or piano at various venues across PEI including Tunes on Tap on Sundays from 3–5 pm at Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague. He also plays and calls for the Here We Go Barn Dances at Barnone Brewery in Rose Valley—the next one is scheduled for July 21.