Tuesday, April 14, 2009
JOHN ALLAN CAMERON
LORD OF THE DANCE
Disclaimer: This has absolutely nothing to do with that marionette Michael Flatley, feet flailing about at 100 mph with 1000 other people on stage, copying his every move. Some day his legs will just detach and fly off, killing several unfortunate geriatrics with front row seats.
All that they wanted was a nice evening out.
John Allan Cameron garnered the respect of his peers as a first rate musician and story teller. Few would have the sheer guts that it must have taken to carve out his career path. Here was a young man from Cape Breton, who donned a kilt in the sixties and walked out on stage to present traditional Scottish fare to an unsuspecting public. Best of all was that he played arrangements of Celtic music on a 12 string acoustic guitar. Fiddle tunes (strathspeys in 4/4 time, reels in 2/2), folk ballads that were hundreds of years old, jigs and everything in between was served up in a way that captivated listeners.
Born with a gift to entertain, he was a truly innovative soul and tenaciously brought the music that he grew up with to a much wider audience. He has often been named as the "Godfather of East Coast Music", bravely cutting a path that many fine musicians from the region have followed.
"Lord of the Dance" was his fourth record and is a great place to start for those who haven't heard his music. Within the grooves you'll find folk, pop, traditional, Gaelic, bagpipes, fiddle and a host of top notch players who compliment but never overpower the man himself.
Highlights include the title song, "Streets of London", "Robbie's Song for Jesus" and the expertly picked "Trip to Mabou Ridge" which is authentic Scottish music, designed to pack everyone into the kitchen and start the party.
Why the kitchen? You don't have to walk as far to grab the next beer.
I must state that while I grew up with this music all around me, I really didn't appreciate a note of it until much later in life. Each in their own time.
John Allan Cameron took his final bows in the fall of 2006, leaving a wonderful legacy and far too many who miss him dearly.
Here's an audio clip of John Allan playing with a handful of talented musicians who were lovingly called "The Cape Breton Symphony"