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Buddy MacMaster, renowned Cape Breton fiddler, dead at 89
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August 21, 2014 - 10:06 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
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Renowned Cape Breton fiddler Hugh Allan (Buddy) MacMaster has died at age 89.

A friend of the family confirmed MacMaster died in his home in rural western Cape Breton in Nova Scotia around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Buddy MacMaster

A member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, MacMaster was born into a Celtic-speaking, musical family in the northeastern Ontario mining town of Timmins. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

MacMaster is credited with bringing Cape Breton fiddling to the world stage. He spent his career with Canadian National Railway, but often played fiddle on the side most nights of the week.


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Honorary tenured advisor

August 22, 2014 - 12:08 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
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Here's a video overview of Buddy MacMaster's influence.  Thanks to @Raywells  for posting it on the chat.  Thanks to @KindaScratchy for the other link, which contains a lot of good links.

He was a part-time fiddler, retiring from his railroad job after 45 years.  The video states that he was to Cape Breton fiddling what Bill Monroe was to Bluegrass.

He didn't usually "play the violin for free", but it seems that he played about a million dances.  The video indicates that that is one thing that distinguished Cape Breton fiddling from other genres---that it stayed close to the origins of fiddling by being tied together with dancing.

California, the place of my heart
August 25, 2014 - 3:40 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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To our Roving Report Diane.

Thank you for that article and for posting.  It was a very nice article and it gives me some more fiddle music to youtube and seek out. 

Thanks again. 


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


August 30, 2014 - 8:31 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
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AWESOME!!  Thank you for posting this!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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August 30, 2014 - 3:00 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 973
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Really great.  I really like the Cape Breton style. It's too bad he passed last week, but I'll bet they're dancing in heaven today. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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