One of Cape Breton's most promising young fiddlers, Andrea Beaton comes by her music honestly. Listen to her play, the power of her bow, the drive and swing of her timing, the crispness of her attack. She's making a name for herself in dance halls, concerts, pubs and festivals. Like the compelling tradition she represents, her reputation is growing, spreading beyond the island. Andrea Beaton seems destined for great things.
She's the youngest of generations of Beaton musicians. Her father, Kinnon, is one of today's most influential Cape Breton fiddlers, and you can hear some of his timing in Andrea's playing. Her mother, Betty Beaton, is one of the great piano accompanists of her generation, contributing to that remarkable Beaton timing.
Her paternal grandfather, Donald Angus Beaton, was one of the strongest and most popular players of his generation, and you can hear some of his power in her playing. Her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Beaton, is a strongly rhythmic piano player, with a great love of the music.
Her uncle, Buddy MacMaster, is the most revered fiddler on Cape Breton Island. Her cousin, Natalie MacMaster, is an enormously popular entertainer. And so it goes, back and across the generations. Cape Breton is an extraordinarily musical place, and Andrea is increasingly in the forefront of her generation. Her music is at once her own and deeply rooted in the tradition associated with the Mabou Coal Mines. And, like her father and grandfather, she is a composer in the tradition, adding fine new music to the island's repertoire.
Born in 1979, Andrea grew up surrounded by music and dance. She was playing a little at ten; at thirteen she took lessons from Stephanie Wills, a very fine traditional player. But it was some years later, when, missing home while doing a two-year course on Prince Edward Island, that she began playing in earnest. And it seems she never looked back.
Her first CD, "License to Drive 'Er," led to a nomination as Roots Traditional Solo Artist of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards. Her spring 2004 release, "Cuts," features many of the island's finest musicians on its fourteen tracks, and her love for the music, her enthusiasm and humor, and that forceful beat add up to a very compelling recording. "Cuts" was nominated for the 2005 Instrumental Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards. Andrea recorded her latest release, "The Tap Session," live at a pub during a tour of Scotland. With Troy MacGillivray on piano, and a track featuring Fin Moore on smallpipes, the album has high energy and a very natural feel. Andrea also appears on two of Kinnon's recordings, "Saturday Night Lively" and "Eoghan Dubh," which she produced. In 2004, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released "Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music: The Beaton Family of Mabou," and she is featured there with members of her extended family. Andrea is also featured on a live track with Kinnon and Betty Lou on "Cape Breton Live: Take 01", recorded at a house party at Andrea's house. She was also co-producer of that album.
“A friend of mine told me that she'd once listened to an Aretha Franklin greatest hits CD, followed by a tape of Andrea playing for a local dance. "Andrea", my friend told me, "has all the power and drive that she heard on Aretha's recording. There's something indefinable about music's power to make people move. It's nearly impossible to talk about it. But you know it when you hear it. And Andrea Beaton has it. - Burt Feintuch, University of New Hampshire
Andrea Beaton - Fiddle/Vocals/Stepdance
Tracey Dares - Piano
Remi Arsenault- Guitar
Branches - 2009
Kinnon & Andrea Beaton - 2007
The Tap Session - 2006
Cuts - 2004
License to Drive'er - 2002
Andrea Beaton - The Tap Session
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Andrea’s third independently released CD of traditional Cape Breton fiddle music is as warm and glow...Andrea’s third independently released CD of traditional Cape Breton fiddle music is as warm and glowing as the red and orange tones of its package. Recorded live in an evening at The Tap Inn, a pub in Birnam Scotland where she has worked for two consecutive winters, this 20-something fiddler from the famed Beaton family of Mabou puts down a selection of jigs, strathespeys, and reels that are as old as the hills, with a few of her own compositions mixed in, including a lovely clog she wrote for her dad’s 50th birthday and a co-write with Gordie Sampson called The Bush Administration Reel.
Troy MacGillivary’s incredibly innovative piano accompaniment would impress even the jazz-afficianado, and one of his more experimental passes earn one set the title The Airplane Landing. Whoa! Andrea’s fondness for switching from major to minor mid-tune give these sets alot of ‘oumf,’ not to mention her jumpy, ornamented playing. The last track, a duet with small-piper Fin Moore is sheer musical ecstacy. Between song giggles and liner notes are so endearing, and this cd is so upbeat that you will want to hug Andrea and Troy after each cut. And you may think you can, live sound and all.
Celtic Colours project strikes a chord with group of musicians
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BADDECK — Take 10 talented musicians, a picture-perfect setting, and Flo Sampson’s home cooking and ...BADDECK — Take 10 talented musicians, a picture-perfect setting, and Flo Sampson’s home cooking and you have all the ingredients needed to make musical magic. For the past four days some of the best Canadian and Scottish roots/traditional artists have been holed up in a Beinn Bhreagh home sharing their own songs and collaborating on new material and tunes which will be performed publicly for the first time tonight at Strathspey Place in Mabou, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The New Tunemakers is a special project of this year’s Celtic Colours International Festival and features well-known local musicians Glenn Graham, Andrea Beaton, Troy MacGillivray, Ryan J. MacNeil, Colin Grant, Prince Edward Island’s Patricia Murray, Metis fiddler Sierra Noble and the three members of Scotland band, Lau, - Aidan O’Rourke, Martin Green and Kris Drever.
O’Rourke said the project was devised by Celtic Colours co-director Joella Foulds and inspired by Scotland’s Burnsong project where a dozen artists spent a week together collaborating on new material.
With just four days to prepare for tonight’s show, O’Rourke said Sunday was the icebreaker day where everyone got to know each other and one another’s music during a jam session, and Monday and Tuesday were full days of writing and practising new tunes. The group will hold a final day of rehearsal today at Strathspey Place.
“It’s quite interesting for us as a band to work under this kind of pressure,” he said, noting he, Green and Drever typically spend a lot of time fine-tuning new songs before performing them.
With a wall of windows overlooking the Bras d’Or Lakes as their backdrop, a fireplace keeping things toasty and lots of good food and snacks to keep the creative juices flowing, Green said the past few days have been a unique experience.
“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “We’re in a beautiful spot and that never hurts.”
O’Rourke said working with other musicians and creating new traditional tunes makes the time and effort required worth it.
“It’s really rewarding to know these quality new tunes are being written,” he said, adding, “The atmosphere is good, morale is high.”
October 9, 2007
Beaton clan continues to pump out traditional, contemporary music
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Andrea Beaton has just released a new CD in conjunction with her father. Just called “Kinnon & Andre...Andrea Beaton has just released a new CD in conjunction with her father. Just called “Kinnon & Andrea Beaton”, it contains 11 powerful duets, well-selected and carefully paced. This is Beaton music at it best, giving you a good cross-section of old and traditional tunes, mixed liberally with contemporary material, including several of their own compositions, as well as tunes from other members of the extended Beaton family.
Other than the two fiddles, the only instrumentation is Betty Beaton (Kinnon’s wife and Andrea’s mother) on piano and Sandy MacDonald on guitar. The playing is well matched, particularly on the older Mabou Coal Mines-style tunes. Only occasionally does their variance in style show, though, and you can hear slight differences in bowing or ornamentation that allow you to tell one from the other.
This is a great CD, produced by Kinnon and Andrea and recorded at Lakewind Sound Studios by Mike Shepherd. For fiddle fans, this is a winner, and will likely be a welcome gift. If you want to hear them live, Andrea, Kinnon, Betty Beaton and Joel Chiasson are playing for a dance at the Boisdale Firehall, Dec. 26.
December 14, 2007
There are no upcoming dates at this time.