Natalie MacMaster – Sketches

Album Review | Linus Entertainment | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Natalie MacMaster’s status as Canada’s ‘Queen of the Fiddle’ is confirmed once again here with her first album release in eight years.  As expected, there’s some inspired playing on the dozen tracks, not only from Natalie’s own dexterous fingers but also from accompanist Tim Edey, whose flair on both guitar and accordion cannot be overstated.  There’s a stream of pure joy flowing through the centre of this album, with each instrumental set showcasing the relationship between each of the instruments, a veritable conversation devoid of words.

If these are merely sketches as the title suggests, then I’d like to hear the finished work. The album almost serves as a ‘music for all occasions’ scenario; there’s barn dances, square dances, slip jigs and reels a plenty, each of which can be equally enjoyed seated or up on your feet. “Professor Blackie” alone is such a beautiful air, that you can easily imagine it being chosen for the birth of a child, the first dance at a wedding or indeed, a funeral for a friend.

Choice Track: “Three Reels” (NSV 492)