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Buddy MacMaster RIP

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The great fiddle player Buddy MacMaster passed away yesterday at the age of 89. He brought Cape Breton fiddling to the world and received many honours, including the Order of Canada and the Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award (in company with such musicians as Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan).

I was fortunate enough to hear Buddy close up some years ago. We had booked a night at the Normaway Inn in Margaree Valley Cape Breton to take in their weekly ceilidh, and imagine our surprise to see on a blackboard when we checked in "Tonight, Buddy MacMaster". He did not disappoint. He was accompanied on the piano by his daughter Mary Elizabeth, and among the other fiddlers that night was Rodney MacDonald, the future Premier of Nova Scotia, a better fiddler that politician in my opinion. Interestingly, that same night, his niece Natalie MacMaster, equally if not more famous, was playing down the road in Mabou, while up the road in Cheticamp the talented if notorious Ashley MacIsaac was also playing.

He will be missed, but his music will live on.