Saturday, July 30, 2011

Artist: Ashley MacIsaac, Album: Hi How Are You Today?, Song: What An Idiot He Is

Ashley MacIsaac is a multi instrumentalist and prominent fiddle player from Cape Breton.  He started touring and playing shows with John McDermott in his early years.  By the time he turned sixteen, he was already recording music.  Ashley's big breakthrough came in 1995 with the release of his double platinum selling debut, Hi How Are You Today? on A&M Records.  That album remains one of our country's most pivotal releases for it's genre bending quality and mass appreciation.  I don't think there has been an artist who has successfully brought the fiddle to the mainstream since the Charlie Daniel's hit, The Devil Went Down To Georgia.  Arguably, the latter was likely an accidental pop hit.  Ashley set out to create an album that drew on his Gaelic traditional background yet applied pop and rock sensibilities.  He enlisted some major rock and roll muscle for this recording as well.  Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11), Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar and Gordie Sampson (see blog 4/27/11) all take turns on guitar and they let it wail.  The big pop hit on this recording was the song, Sleeping Maggie, which featured the vocals of one, Mary Jane Lamond.  I particularly enjoy his cover of a Bob Snider song called, What An Idiot He Is, featuring Ashley without a fiddle on vocals and backed by the band, Jale.  Ashley would take this idea to a new level in 2005 and release an entire album without the fiddle.  Ashley continues to record, tour and collaborate with many artists today.  He is said to be working with Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, The Dead Weather).  He also has a new album entitled, Crossover, released last month which is supposed to be as experimental as his opus, Hi How Are You Today?  You can follow Ashley at  You can purchase the album, Hi How Are You Today? on Itunes.  You can check out the track, What An Idiot He Is, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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