Dawn and Margie Beaton
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Dawn and Margie Beaton


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" My first time at Celtic Colours - toetapping on a budget"


(Portion of public post to Celtic Colours Forum courtesy of "Autumn Leaf")

Yesterday, at the 17th I went to the Festival Club again. It was the last concert and lots of people from the hostel joined in. Of course the club was completely different to the night before, otherwise it would be not the Festival Club.

"I was very impressed by the Beaton Sisters. I mean REALLY impressed. Fiddling and dancing at the same time! Wow! And the solo of the pianist was awesome and rocked the Festival Club!"

Close to the end Chris Stout and Catriona McKay stepped on the stage. I saw them at my first concert at the Big Fiddle already and loved there tunes. Somehow they sound different. A very good duo. The combination of fiddle and harp is very nice. Jiha!

I wish you all a great year till the the leafes are starting to change there colours again and some of you may come back to this beautiful Island in the East of Canada.

Greetings! Sing!

Autumn Leaf
- Celtic Colours International Festival - FORUM

"The Beaton Sisters"

I'll admit it. I'm a big fan of the Beaton Sisters. I mean, what's not to like - two beautiful flame haired sisters from the sprawling metropolis of Mabou in Cape Breton who can play a mean fiddle. They really wowed the crowds at Celtic Connections this year.

Although they look quiet and demure (first time I've used that word this year), they really attack the fiddles when they play. At the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party in Glasgow, most of the delegates in attendance were awestruck at their skills on the fiddle. And many of these are folks from Scotland who are used to good fiddle playing.

Accompanied by Derek McMullen on guitar and Jason Roach on piano (he's a show all by himself), the Beatons put on an amazing show of fiddle playing and step dancing. (What can't they do?) Spend a bit of time talking with them and you'll quickly discover they are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.

Here's a video of the at the East Coast Music Awards. Look for these two at a festival near you soon. - The Peat Blog

"Cape Breton Embassy set to rock ECMA weekend in Corner Brook"

February 20, 2009
For Immediate Release

SYDNEY, NS - The organizing committee for ECMA Cape Breton 2010 has announced the lineup of artists who will perform on the Cape Breton Embassy stage during this year’s East Coast Music Awards, Festival & Conference, in Corner Brook, NL.

The Cape Breton Embassy will operate Friday, February 27th and Saturday, the 28th. Its goal is to promote ECMA Cape Breton 2010 and Cape Breton musicians. The location is Jennifer’s, a well-known restaurant and bar in downtown Corner Brook.

“The Cape Breton Embassy is an EMCA tradition that gives us a chance to showcase some of our talented musicians and market next year’s ECMAs which will take place here in Cape Breton,” says Ian McNeil, ECMA 2010 chair. “The Embassy creates a Cape Breton presence at the event. We’re really excited about this year’s lineup; it’s a great mix of musicians and genres.”

Live music will be performed at the Embassy from 10 pm until 2 am.
The lineup for the weekend includes:

Friday February 27
10:00 pm Madison Violet
11:00 pm Gillian Boucher Band
12:00 am Pink Thunder
12:30 am Carmen Townsend
1:30 am The Tom Fun Orchestra

Saturday February 28
10 pm Chrissy Crowley & Jason Roach
10:40 pm Aaron MacDonald
11:20 pm Dawn & Margie Beaton
12:00 am Steve MacDougall & Special Guest
1:00 am Andrea Beaton & Friends
The Grand Finale

Ten Cape Breton musicians/groups have been nominated in seventeen categories for this year’s ECMAs. The Awards will be presented at the Gala Awards Show which will takes place Sunday, March 1.

For more information contact: Ian McNeil, chairperson, ECMA 2010
Email: ian@ianmcneil.ca
Phone: 902 258-2681 Cell: 902 295-8808
- ECMA 2010

"Artists impressed at ECMAs"


The 2009 East Coast Music Awards are done and gone and, for most of us, our recovery is coming along quite well, thank you.
It was a very good (and a very busy) four days with more things happening than it was possible to keep track of. To give you an example, there were 38 official shows, including 15 on Saturday, and several of these were 12 hours long. I hopped and bopped from one to the other as much as possible and I still only saw a fraction of the total action.
I went to Corner Brook hoping to see several acts whose music had impressed me during my advance research. I caught both, and neither Meaghan Blanchard nor Christina Martin proved to be a disappointment to me. As a matter of fact, Martin impressed enough people that she won the pop recording award for Two Hearts.
Meaghan Blanchard created quite a buzz, as she was one of the artists who had people talking through the weekend. Included in that buzz list were Mabou sisters Dawn and Margie Beaton who did two high-energy showcases on the Discovery Stage on Saturday afternoon and again later that night at the Cape Breton Embassy. Back up by Ian Hayes on guitar and ECMA-nominee Jason Roach on piano, the girls received standing ovations after both sets. Another buzz group was Prince Edward Island’s Grass Mountain Hobos, an old-style, one-microphone acoustic group that took the bluegrass award.
Troy and Kendra MacGillivray did a powerful set at the ECMA Fan Fest in the Corner Brook Plaza and Chrissy Crowley, Madison Violet, the Gillian Boucher Band and Aaron MacDonald also impressed me. Country music’s Ryan Cook rocked out the Music Nova Scotia stage, as did Gypsophilia and Richmond County’s Pink Thunder. I also had a chance to catch some great action on the Francophone stage including Mary Barry, Vishtèn and our own Weldon Boudreau.
You always go to the ECMAs hoping to see and hear some new surprises and this year was no exception.
Jacquie Drew hails from New Brunswick but now lives in Calgary. She has a crystal-clear voice and a great stage presence and moved from her own material to old country and folk numbers with ease. The other surprise was more local. I was aware of Carmel Mikol before I arrived in Corner Brook but by name only. I was very impressed with her skills as a writer and singer and she has a laid-back style that makes her an engaging performer. I understand that she has recently started taking Halifax by storm. That’s one storm that I want to see a bit closer to home.
Cape Breton came away from Corner Brook with a total of 11 trophies. Jimmy Inch led the way with two of the five industry awards, for media person and broadcast of the year (for the East Coast Countdown). Other winners included Darren Gallop for manager, Mike “Sheppy” Shepherd for studio engineer and Fred Lavery for industry professional of the year.
Gordie Sampson had a pair of music awards for songwriter and single of the year, both for We Are Young and So Is The Night (co-written by Sydney’s J. Smith). The other prizes went to Ronald Bourgeois (francophone recording), The Burke Family (gospel recording), Brenda Stubbert (roots/traditional solo recording) and The Tom Fun Orchestra (the Rising Star award).
The gala award show was well done with several powerful music productions, including a tribute to Dick Nolan, posthumously honoured with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award. The show certainly finished up in style as Troy MacGillivray let loose a blast of tunes, joined part way through by Andrea Beaton, Gillian Boucher, Chrissy Crowley and his own sister, Kendra MacGillivray.
My personal highlight of the weekend was being on stage to accept Stubbert’s award. Brenda wasn’t able to attend and asked if I would do the honours, if she won. I was happy to say yes, since I was very sure that she would win.
I’ll have to crunch the numbers and see how I did on my predictions but that’s for next week.
The big dance Saturday night at the Cedars Club could be a sellout. Another name has been added to list of talent. Ian MacDougall will be joining Andrea Beaton, Shelly Campbell and Allan Dewar.
The Doodlebops come to the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre today with two shows, and Yuk Yuk’s returns Saturday. Steve Poltz is at Mescalero’s on Wednesday and March 13 it’s the return of the St. Paddy’s Bash, a fundraiser for the Atlantic Burn Camp, presented by Nova Scotia Power.
Stuart McLean & The Vinyl Cafe is on the Savoy stage tonight, (with guests Meaghan Smith & Matt Andersen), and Juno-winner Garrett Mason is there Friday.

Dan MacDonald (BA Celtic Studies, Cert. Heritage Studies) is a former Inverness County resident who now resides in the Sydney area. Involved in the Cape Breton music scene for more than 20 years, he operates his own company, Creignish Hills Entertainment. Contact him at creignish_hills@hotmail.com. - The Cape Breton Post

"Mabou residents named recipients of Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award"


SYDNEY — The 2008 recipients of the Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award are Margie and Dawn Beaton, of Mabou.
The award, presented by the Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association, will help the two performers produce their first CD.
The non-profit organization — whose goal is to promote, represent and support participation in Cape Breton arts, music, cultural heritage and hospitality — formed in 2004 and is made up of individuals who volunteer as drivers with the Celtic Colours International Festival held each year in October. Drivers further volunteer their time by selling performing artists’ albums and the Celtic Colours compilation CD during the festival. Proceeds from these sales are directed to the association and sustain their sponsorship programs.
The Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award is named in honour of Frank Sampson, who was an inaugural member of our Drive’er Association, and provides funds to a young, up-and-coming artist studying or performing in the Celtic arts. The award is co-sponsored, by Lakewind Sound Studios and the recipients receive a total of six days of recording time.
Dawn and Margie Beaton have been dancing and playing fiddle since they were young girls. Over the years they have performed at concerts, ceilidhs and festivals all around Cape Breton, throughout the Maritimes and as far away as Washington, D.C. and Scotland. They have been featured internationally on television, radio and video. Dawn and Margie have performed in numerous Celtic Colours shows over the years. - The Cape Breton Post

"Beaton sisters shine on debut album"


The first thing that you will notice is the picture on the CD cover, a sea of green with a pair of striking redheads, fiddles in hand. The CD is Taste of Gaelic and the redheads in question are Dawn and Margie Beaton, sisters with musical roots that go deep into Mabou and its music.
Taste of Gaelic is a terrific CD that gives us a dozen cuts, some clearly traditional and some stretching the point a bit. It’s the little things that make this recording stand out including the wonderful tune selection and some different arrangements.
I would describe their sound as being very ‘Mabou’, and at times I can hear the influence of Donald Angus Beaton’s Coal Mines style coming through. Another aspect that stands out is their fiddle harmonies reminding me of the MacLellan Trio at its best. Overall, they maintain a characteristic lift and drive designed to get the dancers on the floor.
There are some local compositions here, including one from Margie and a half dozen from Dawn, as well as well-known works from Scottish writers like Walker, Gow, Marshall, etc. You will also find a wonderful collection of well-known traditional material, often in different combinations, tunes learned from travels abroad or from tapes of local artists or from sessions with older players such as Fr. Angus Morris (the local parish priest who joins them on one group.)
In addition to Fr. Angus, the girls are also backed by pianists Tracey Dares and Jason Roach, guitarists Sandy MacDonald and Ewan MacPherson, Kenneth MacKenzie on pipes and the step dancing of Mary Janet MacDonald. The closing cut even begins with a Gaelic song from their late great-uncle, Finley Cameron, with their grandmother and great-aunt singing the chorus. Skillful work blends fiddle and piano seamlessly into the mix.
I’m hard-pressed to pick out favourite cuts, although Thanks for the Drive (the opening cut that was included in this years Celtic Colours compilation CD) is right up there. I’m also taken by The Manjo, a group of Dawn’s jigs that she plays on mandolin and banjo in combination with MacPherson guitar work. Perhaps the most striking cuts on the CD are Sir James Baird, a solemn slow strathspey with the haunting bagpipes fusing with fiddles, mandolin and piano, and Ewan, Me And Yourself, something with a jazzy start and a powerful finish.
The Beatons produced the CD with the assistance of the Celtic Colours Drive’ers Association, a volunteer group that donates money to aspiring young Celtic musicians to help them with their first recording. This money is then matched by studio time from Lakewind Sound Studios in Point Aconi, allowing these young players to get that all-important first CD on the market as easily as possible.
This may be the first CD from Dawn and Margie Beaton but it certainly shouldn’t be their last. Skillfully crafted and wonderfully played, Taste of Gaelic is a recording worthy of note.
Don’t forget that Andrea Beaton, Shelly Campbell and Joel Chiasson are playing at the Westmount Legion on Saturday.
The Membertou Trade & Convention Centre has Canadian Idol: The Top Three coming up this weekend. Tomorrow’s show is sold out but there are still tickets for Sunday’s show. Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy will be there Monday while Valdy is at Mescalero’s on Tuesday.
Shawn Klush, recognized as International Champion Elvis, is at the Savoy Theatre Saturday while Sunday it’s the Von Trapp Children.
He never played or danced solo in front of a large audience but he was someone known by many in the Cape Breton Celtic music scene. Archie A. MacNeil was a longtime member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association and a regular at dances and ceilidhs in Inverness County and beyond. He was in his element on the dance floor in West Mabou or at a music session in Judique.
He was a longtime friend and former neighbour of mine and he passed away Sunday on his way home after dancing a set in Judique. For him, it was a perfect way to go. Archie may not have been famous but many more people will miss him than he could ever realize, myself included.

Dan MacDonald (BA Celtic Studies, Cert. Heritage Studies) is a former Inverness County resident who now resides in the Sydney area. Involved in the Cape Breton music scene for more than 20 years, he operates his own company, Creignish Hills Entertainment. Contact him at creignish_hills@hotmail.com - The Cape Breton Post

"ECMA Press Conference Introduction"

"One of the great things about being a public broadcaster in this region, is you can see performers when they first hit the stage when they are 9 or 10 years old and you can follow them through to becoming established artists and I would like to present to you a couple of women who have actually done that. I first saw them in the 1990s at Highland Village. I’m not even sure that in terms of their ages, they were into double digits yet. They might have been nine. A flash of red hair comes walking across the field and they got on stage and they were absolutely extraordinary and it’s wonderful that today, they are ECMA nominees. Let’s welcome back to the stage, Margie and Dawn Beaton from Mabou."

January 20, 2010
Membertou Trade & Convention Centre - Wendy Bergfeldt

"Beaton Sisters debut in China on their way to ECMA"


While artists across the region are getting ready to take a trip to Cape Breton for next weekend’s East Coast Music Awards, Festival and Conference in Sydney, Dawn and Margie Beaton are taking the long way to the annual event. The duo from Mabou, whose debut album Taste of Gaelic is nominated for an East Coast Music Award in the Roots Traditional Group of the Year category, will be making their way to Sydney via China, where they are performing as part of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.

Taking advantage of a significant international marketing opportunity, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) has sponsored one of the nine yachts in the race this year. As the Cape Breton Clipper and its eight competitors make their way into port in China, Dawn and Margie Beaton will be flying into Qingdao to be a part of the festivities greeting them on March 2.

By participating in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, ECBC has the opportunity to organize and host events in key business and tourism ports, participate in numerous networking situations, and have the chance to leverage the significant media exposure that the Clipper race generates throughout the world. The Beatons have a played a role in many of the port activities up to this point, including the kickoff to the race in Hull, England in September, and a visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October.

“Each port of call brings new opportunities for Cape Breton businesses best aligned with the industries of each country,” says Dawn Beaton, who has seen first-hand how this works, having been involved in three of the eight port of call events. “It’s a chance to make new connections, and to present business strategies to an audience of local companies, as will be the case in Qingdao.”

The dinner on March 2 will feature lobster from Atlantic Canada and be capped off with music by the sisters from Mabou.

“The entire evening gives the locals a great sense of the people and culture that Cape Breton offers,” continues Beaton, “with a hope that new business links will be forged with economic benefit for Cape Breton businesses. It also provides a tourism opportunity to invite tourists to Cape Breton Island and see first hand, all that the music, people and landscape have to offer!”

The Beaton Sisters will return from Qingdao just in time to dive into a jam-packed ECMA weekend schedule. It’s going to be a busy time for the sisters, but they are looking forward to it.

“The weekend promises to be a well-packed one, but certainly attending the conferences as a self-managed artist will help us and bring new insight into our own genre of music,” says Dawn referring to the many music industry seminars, talks and conferences that go on in the daytime during ECMA.

And as helpful as these sessions will be for Dawn and Margie and their career in music, they have already shown a willingness to give back when they showcased this week at Rankin School in Iona, as part of the Soundwaves series, with opening act Maggie Beaton. The experience reminded Dawn of growing up in Mabou and the impact these kinds of performances can have.

“We had such an excited bunch of students in Iona with the Soundwaves stage, I think we got through to them,” Beaton says. “Having grown up with memories of visiting artists coming to Mabou Consolidated, I can see the impact they had on my childhood, and now fulfilling that role to this generation is humbling. We knew the culture was strong at Rankin School, and they only confirmed it for us with dedicated step dancers of all ages, and many students taking fiddle lessons from another local fiddler, Shelly Campbell, so it’s safe to say that something is working there and the preservation of the culture has a bright future. Reinforcing that with these in-house school concerts will only aid that and give direction for these kids.”

The full schedule for Dawn and Margie during ECMA weekend includes the CBMIC Presents Hometown Throwdown at Smooth Herman’s on Thursday (March 4), followed by a set at the Celtic Colours Festival Club stage in Membertou on Friday (March 5). On Saturday (March 6), they will be a part of the CBC Cape Breton radio broadcast Island Echoes taping and will later appear at the ECMA house party, Orain Taigh at 42 Amelia Street. The girls also have an official showcase on Sunday, March 7 on the RBC Discovery Stage at the Capri Club.

“We’re really looking forward to the Festival Club of Celtic Colours at Membertou. We always look forward to the impromptu jam sessions and great music and crew in October, so having it in abundance in March just adds to the anticipation of the weekend. We’re also playing at Orain Taigh which is an intimate concert set in a house. It’s a great fit with ECMA’s theme this year, and growing up in rural Cape Breton, this is what we thrive on, a good old fashioned house party!”

“It’s our first ECMAs as nominated artists, so the build up, and anticipation for us personally has been so riveting,” adds Beaton. “And then on top of that, to be experiencing China for the first time and returning to ECMA weekend with a showcase every night and having a successful showcase in Iona with the Soundwaves stage, well, it all feels like 20 years of enjoyable work is being rewarded!”

Dave Mahalik

- Whatsgoinon.ca

"Dawn and Margie Beaton – Taste of Gaelic (CD Review)"

Every now and then you come across a fiddle CD that has everything you want to listen to. You enjoy every second of each track, taking it all in one note at a time. With all of that being said, it also makes it hard to write a review (try and figure that one out). Dawn and Margie Beaton of Mabou, Cape Breton Island made that CD with their debut album, ECMA 2010 Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year, Taste of Gaelic.

Dawn and Margie have put together a great selection of tunes, which definitely have a taste of Gaelic in each one. Each selection on the album shows their respect for the music and its tradition.

A Taste of Gaelic is filled with lively jigs and reels and everything in between. It will have you wishing for it not to end. All tracks are a joy to listen to. It is hard to single out a few to talk about, so your best bet is to go out and pick up a copy of the album for yourself.

One track I would like to mention is “Sir James Baird” for which Dawn and Margie put together a wonderful arrangement. Dawn begins the tune on the fiddle which is beautifully complemented by Margie’s piano accompaniment. Half way through, they are joined on the pipes by Kenneth MacKenzie to give it an emotional feel.

They also have special guests on the album—Mary Janet MacDonald, Father Angus Morris and Finlay Cameron. Mary Janet is a well known step-dancer and teacher from Inverness who shows off her steps on a track dedicated to her. Father Angus Morris, of Mabou, joins Dawn and Margie for a great blast of tunes near the end of the album.

To end the CD, the girls begin with the singing of Finlay Cameron which also features their grandmother and her sister. The girls join in with their fiddles half way through the singing. The representation of Gaelic in the tunes really comes alive with this number.

Dawn and Margie did a remarkable job producing A Taste of Gaelic. The sisters display a style that is crisp and well beyond their years. It’s a real pleasure to listen to, time and time again. - What's Goin' On (Anne Louise Campbell)

"Strathspey Place’s Dawn Beaton taking to stage of Mabou venue for Celtic Women concert"


The Cape Breton Post

MABOU — Dawn Beaton is wearing two hats this week at Strathspey Place.
As program co-ordinator at the popular Mabou venue, she is busy overseeing the summer events schedule, while also preparing for a show performance herself at Strathspey Place.
“I have to get all pratised up for it,” said Dawn, a renowned fiddler from Mabou who is thrilled to be sharing the stage with a multi-talented mix of female musicians in a special show this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
The Celtic Women concert, which has become an annual event at Strathspey Place, will feature Dawn, and her sister, Margie, and many of Inverness County’s best including Andrea Beaton, Jeannie Beks, Bonny Jean MacDonald, K.C. Beaton, Lisa Cameron, Marion MacLeod, Kelly MacDonald, Joanne Rankin MacIntyre and more.
“I’s an all-inclusive list in terms of what type of talent we have here that we’re trying to showcase. First and foremost, it’s a showcase of female talent, so for those coming they can expect to see your typical kind of variety concert with fiddlers, stepdancers and singer/songwriters and there will be a mix of Scottish ballads and folk songs and original compositions in that regard,” said Beaton. “There will be some solo numbers and I know some of our songwriters and singers are going to collaborate together and offer back up and harmonies for their fellow singers.”
On a personal note, Dawn and Margie are at the top of their musical game since the release of their debut album, Taste of Gaelic, which they recorded after receiving the 2008 Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award, presented by the (Celtic Colours) Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association and co-sponsored by Lakewind Sound Studios, designed to help performers with recording costs.
“It’s been a banner year for us and it’s all thanks to the CD,” said Dawn. “It’s been a fairly busy year. I have been teaching fiddle all winter. I’ve had group lessons and individual lessons and then we’ve been playing square dances and concerts in the area.”
The sisters will also soon be heading to France to perform at Festival Interceltique Lorient in August.
“It’s one of the largest Celtic festivals in the world so that’s coming up for us and that will be a big highlight,” she said.
Tickets to see the Beaton sisters and many other talented local artists in the Celtic Women show are $15 and can be purchased in advance by calling the Strathspey box office at 945-5300 or at the door the night of the show.
“It promises to be a nice evening for people and hopefully the weather will be better and really hot and they can enjoy the air conditioning and soft, comfy seats in the theatre,” said Dawn.

09/07/09 - The Cape Breton Post

"Beatons 'floored' by nomination"


MABOU - One of Inverness County’s most prolific sister acts will be front-and-centre at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards weekend in Sydney this coming March.
Dawn and Margie Beaton are nominated for Roots Group Recording of the Year for their debut album Taste of Gaelic, and the Mabou siblings are also slated for three ECMA-related performances in different parts of Cape Breton in the run-up to the awards ceremony.
While older sister Dawn Beaton was already present at the press conference unveiling the 2010 ECMA nominations at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, serving in her capacity as assistant Artistic Director for the Celtic Colours International Festival, she wasn’t prepared to see the Beaton name displayed on a large screen among the other ECMA nominees.
“I just happened to sit beside Randy MacDonald from CTV, and he just picked up the camera and quickly turned it on me,” Dawn Beaton recalls with a smile.
At the Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, younger sister Margie Beaton was in-between classes in the Graphic Design program when she found a congratulatory message from a friend on her Facebook page. Back in the classroom a few moments later, she received an excited text-message from her big sister in Sydney.
“It’s pretty astounding - we were floored by it,” Dawn Beaton says of the nomination.
“We had been playing for 20 years, so to do that and have the patience to wait for this recording and then get this kind of recognition, it was very rewarding and we feel very blessed to have this recognition with the nomination.”
In addition to their first nomination, the Beaton sisters will perform at the ECMA Discovery Stage hours before the awards ceremony on Sunday, March 7, and contribute a set to the Cape Breton Embassy Showcase at Smooth Herman’s on the evening of Thursday, March 4. The duo will also deliver an hour-long fiddle set at Rankin Schoo of the Narrows in Iona in late February, as part of the ECMA Soundwaves program.
For Dawn Beaton, the school visit will bring back memories of visits by Cape Breton musicians during her elementary-school days at Mabou Consolidated School.
“We had Rita MacNeil come, Billy and Cornelia, and of course The Rankins would have been there, and it was a big deal to walk down the corridor and go to the gym, and everyone in the school was there,” she recalls.
“Just thinking about it [Soundwaves] makes me think of that type of responsibility to showcase what we’re all about to those very attentive ears. It’s kind of exciting.”
The ECMA performances and nomination come on the heels of a busy 2009 for the Beaton sisters, who also received a Nova Scotia Music Award nomination in November and performed in France, England and Brazil during the past year. The latter two countries were stops on the promotional Cape Breton Clipper tour, which invited the Mabou siblings to join the seagoing global expedition.
“After we had been out for a tour on the boat, we came in and there was this local band performing in conjunction with the local celebrations down at the marina, and they asked if we wanted to play, so we set up and we played for some local Brazilians down there, and they really responded to it,” said Dawn Beaton.
“And one day we grabbed a cab, and we went up to the 130-foot stone statue of Christ the Redeemer [north of Rio de Janeiro]. And we said, ‘Why don’t we just pull our fiddles out?’ So we played a nice slow air up at the base of the statue for the people that were milling around the base of it. That was kind of fun, and we were looking over all of Rio - it was pretty spectacular.”
For more information about Dawn and Margie Beaton, visit their Web site: www.dawnandmargie.com. - The Reporter, Port Hawkesbury NS

"Cape Breton CD Reviews - TASTE OF GAELIC, Dawn & Margie Beaton"

The Festival Volunteer Drive'er Association of Celtic Colours International Festival makes a bursary available on a yearly basis to young Cape Breton celtic musicians that enables them to record a professional quality CD to help their musical careers. These two CD'S were released by the 2006 recipient, Colin Grant, and the 2008 recipients, Dawn and Margie Beaton. These young musicians come from very different backgrounds but have become linked in their music and by this innovative program from the Drive'ers Association.
Colin Grant was born in Toronto and began studying violin at age four. Before he was a teen he became interested in Cape Breton music and took lessons from Sandy MacIntyre in Toronto and travelled to Cape Breton to attend the Gaelic College of Arts and Music in St. Ann's. His family moved to Cape Breton in the late nineties and he continued to study with North Sydney musician and teacher Allie Bennett.
Colin's self-titled CD is a rousing collection of tunes from traditional sources, some of the well-known Scottish composers, Cape Breton tunesmiths, Acadian composers and his own original tunes. The playing on the recording is of the highest calibre. Colin's dynamic style, the great playing of the session musicians and the original arrangements make for a fine listening experience.
Colin Grant is still in his twenties and has already been to various places in the world (France, China Indonesia) with his music. Look for Colin Grant to be pleasing audiences for some time to come.
Dawn and Margie Beaton grew up in the Gaelic culture of Inverness County surrounded by the music and language of family, friends and neighbours. That culture is certainly evident on their debut CD, Taste of Gaelic. The auburn-haired sisters are proficient on a number of instruments. On this recording Dawn plays the fiddle, mandolin and banjo while Margie palys the fiddle, piane and stepdances. They are joined by a number of well-known Cape Breton musicians and one from Scotland.
Not unlike Colin Grant, Dawn and Margie show an innovative side with the arrangements of their tune sets. One thing that caught my ear right away was the use of harmony when both girls play the fiddle, something rarely heard in Cape Breton fiddle music. The use of other instruments like the banjo playing the tunes with the fiddle, while common in Ireland and Scotland, is only recently taking hold here.
These young women are also still in their early twenties and having done several gigs with them in the last few years, my feeling is they'll be a musical force a long time. "Taste of Gaelic" by Dawn and Margie Beaton is very appetizing.

John Ferguson for Celtic Life, Sept. 15, 2009 - Celtic Life Magazine


Taste of Gaelic - 2008



EAST COAST AWARD WINNERS 2010 for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year!!

Nova Scotia Music Industry Award Nominees 2009 - Traditional Roots Recording!

Traditional music has been a huge component of the girls' lives from day one. Coming from a musical heritage of singers, dancers, and fiddlers, it was a natural progression to learn both stepdancing and the violin at an early age (4 and 6 to be exact). With this in mind, "Taste of Gaelic" was an appropriate title to name their first recording. The CD comprises many traditional and well known local compositions that they have learned from teachers, from fellow musicians and recordings, both current and of the past. One such tune was the inspiration for the title, a traditional reel in D called "A Taste of Gaelic."

Being of Scottish descent and growing up in the vibrant community of Mabou, both girls took the Gaelic language as a course both in Highschool and University, and try to incorporate the Gaelic inflections common to their ancestors in their playing as considered a traditional sound of the Cape Breton area.

As mentioned, family plays a vital role in their introduction and continued style of music. On their first recording, their aunt and former stepdance teacher, Mary Janet MacDonald makes an appearance. Also, grand uncle and well noted local Gaelic singer and story teller, Finlay Cameron is incorporated into a track, highlighting his unique and powerful Gaelic singing.

Alongside family, friends have certainly made an impact in the girls' playing and many friends accompanied them on the album to give a fresh approach to some standard tunes. Included on the CD are Jason Roach (piano), Tracey Dares (piano), Kenneth MacKenzie (pipes), Sandy MacDonald (guitar), Ewan MacPherson (guitar), and Fr. Angus Morris (fiddle). Fr. Angus is the parish priest in Mabou and an oft called upon player for his traditional style and vast repertoire of tunes. He has been a mentor to the girls and adds a definite taste of Gaelic with his rich style of playing.

All factors combine to make "Taste of Gaelic" a unique and traditional album that combine both traditional and tunes composed by Dawn and Margie themselves!

2009 has also been a busy touring year for the girls, beginning in early 2009 with a very warm welcome to Cornerbrook, NFLD with two showcases during the ECMA's. The girls then attended one of the largest Celtic Festivals in the world, Fesitval-Interceltique in Lorient, France, headlining numerous shows as part of the official events of the Festival. Only a few weeks later, Margie and Dawn traveled to Hull, England where they kicked off the Clipper race 09-10 with the Cape Breton Clipper boat entry! And in late October, the girls also made the trip to Brazil to welcome the Clipper into Port! It was a whirlwind trip that incorporated playing for the crew and an impromptu performance for the locals!!

2010 also promises to be another very busy year for the girls as their summer quickly books up with planned trips overseas, and to the United States, and of course, ATTENDING THE ECMA'S IN SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA!!! It promises to be a great time, with a number of both official and unofficial ECMA Showcases! See you there!

Have a look! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0QwofNKKI