Meagan McCarrel
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Meagan McCarrel

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


“…many are still saying about how quickly Meagan has picked up Cape Breton style fiddling. It’s a complicated improvised system of lightning-quick grace notes, rolls and other finger flicks, droning, triplet bowing and other techniques to accentuate both the melody and the music’s dance rhythms. The style is usually aquired over a much more lengthy apprenticeship.” - Will Henry


One of the bright new stars out of Ontario's Celtic music scene... who combine their own Gaelic roots with touches of the East Coast Celtic music style.

On Wide Awake & Dreaming, their first recording, the McCarrels put a bright, fresh veneer on the tradition. Their playing is lively and fun, certainly offering plenty of hope for the next generation of Celtic music.
- Tom Knapp


The McCarrel Sisters are three young women from Ontario who play Cape Breton style ceilidh music with playful energy and a winning style. 'Wide Awake and Dreaming' [self produced MCD01 (2003] features fiddler Meagan McCarrel,whose powerful, assertive technique is great for driving dancers, joined by sisters Michelle on piano and Lisa on guitar. In one typically wide-ranging medley, they seamlessly connect Jay Unger's well-known "Ashokan Farewell" to a complementary series of Cape Breton reels with a strathspey in the middle. In fact, with a total of 38 fiddle tunes represented in the 11 medleys here, this disc would make a great introduction for anyone who's new to the dynamic dance music of Cape Breton.
- Dirty Linen April 2004


Listening to each of the eleven sets of tunes on "Wide Awake and Dreaming" is like taking a trip to a variety of Celtic nations in under an hour...This is a very lively debut recording from a fresh group of musicians that have a bright future ahead of them. - Summer 2004


I made a stop at The Doryman Tavern in Cheticamp....The biggest surprise was a young girl who jumped headlong into a group of Cape Breton reels like she was 'bred and buttered' here. It turns out that she is Meagan McCarrel from Ontario.

- Dan MacDonald


Bruce County artist Meagan McCarrel went to Scotland last month to attend the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow....On Feb. 1, the festival announced the winners of the open stage competition, which drew numerous professional as well as amateur artists. McCarrel was judged in the top five and has been invited back to the 2005 festival as a featured performer.
In related news, the McCarrel Sisters' debut CD has remained among the top 10 celtic albums on the CBC Galaxie Charts for the month of February. The McCarrel Sisters initially received the honor in January. - Shoreline Beacon


Discography

"Wide Awake and Dreaming" debut cd

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Meagan McCarrel is a young Canadian fiddler whose style is an amalgam of various musical influences, characterized by a strong incorporation of the Cape Breton tradition. Summers spent on the island introduced the young musician to the area's unique musical culture and she has recently moved to Nova Scotia to pursue a solo career. Earlier, Meagan performed in her native province of Ontario as part of the McCarrel Sisters Band, with older sister Lisa and younger sibling Michelle. The teenaged trio amazed many with a level of artistry that belied their youth and in 2003 the group released their CD "Wide Awake and Dreaming", recorded when Meagan was a mere 16 years old. Critically praised, the recording launched the young group onto the Canadian Celtic music scene, and audiences were impressed with what Dirty Linen Magazine called Meagan's "powerful, assertive technique". A performance at Nova Scotia's Celtic Colours Festival brought international attention to the group and they were subsequently invited to perform outside Canada playing at the Cape Cod Celtic Festival and the Barbados Celtic Festival. Driven by a keen interest in the music and culture of her Scottish ancestors, Meagan travelled to Scotland for the first time to attend Celtic Connections 2004. Her open stage performance at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall garnered her a Danny Kyle award and an invitation to perform at the 2005 festival.