[Close to the Floor] 1992 Debut Traditonal Recording
Ashley Mac Isaac with Joey Beaton and David Mac Isaac

Introduction by Archie Neil Chisholm

Ashley Mac Isaac, the son of Carm and Angus Mac Isaac, hails from Creignish, Inverness County, on the island of Cape Breton. Now being 17 years old, Ashley is attending Judique - Creignish High School.

Ashley has been exposed to music, you might say, since he was born. His father Angus frequently played the fiddle around the house and often with the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association.

Ashley's formal playing instruction started at the age of 9, under the tutelage of Stan Chapman of Antigonish. From Stan, Ashley learned both by ear and by written note.

In addition to his proficiency on the fiddle, Ashley is a very skilled performer on the piano, and has included a selection on this recording of that ability.

Ashley has entertained many people across North America, not only with the violin and piano, but as well, with his stpedancing ability, so I guess Ashley could certainly be called very versatile, to say the least. He is called frequently, to perform in such places as Toronto, Boston and Windsor. In addition, Ashley has performed in Memphis, California, and has upcoming engagements throughout Canada.

As backup, Ashley is accompanied by two of the most skilled performers of the Cape Breton style of music, to be found anywhere. Joey Beaton, a young businessman, of Mabou, has been recognised for quite some time for his uplifting style on the piano. Joey is also a very noteworthy composer of traditional music. David Mac Isaac, of Halifax, is extremely well known all over North America, for his wizardry, on the guitar for all styles of music.

Now, put these three performers together, and you have undoubtedly one of the best combos of Cape Breton music available to date, and indeed, the music achieved, is "Close to the Floor".

Archie Neil Chisholm, 1992

Track Listing:

I. (3:04)
  • The Little House Around the Corner, Jig
  • Traditonal Winston, Jig
  • The Wandering Minstrel, Jig

    II. (6:07)

  • 74th Highlanders', March
  • Roderick MacDonald, Strathspey
  • Sandy Cameron, Strathspey
  • Creignish Hills, Reel (Rev. Hugh A. Mac Donald)
  • A Pipe Tune, Reel
  • A Mary Mac Donald, Reel

    III. (6:53)

  • Hills of Lorne, Air
  • Sir Archibald Dunbar, Strathspey
  • Traditional, Strathspey
  • Pat Carney's, Reel
  • Scourdiness, Reel
  • Mrs. Duff, Reel

    IV. (3:55)

  • The New Fiddle, Jig (Dan R. Mac Donald)
  • Scotty's Favourite, Jig
  • 3 Mile Bridge, Jig
  • Champion, Jig

    V. (3:05) Miss Lyall's, Strathspey

  • Miss Lyall's, Reel
  • Sandy Cameron's, Reel
  • Carigoim Broach, Reel

    VI. (3:30)

  • Livingstone Pond, Jig (Dan R. Mac Donald)
  • Long Point, Jig (Dan R. Mac Donald)
  • Campion, Jig (Dan Hughie Mac Eachern)

    VII. (4:39)

  • Lament for Prophet, Air
  • Moxham Castle, Strathspey (Dan R. Mac Donald)
  • Children's Reel, Strathspey
  • Dublin Reel

    VIII. (3:35)

  • Miss Elanor Stewart, March
  • Glen Grant, Strathspey
  • Miss Robertson, Reel
  • Donalbane, Reel

    IX. (3:01)

  • Blue Bonnets Over the Border, Air

    X. (3:00)

  • Irish Lasses, Jig
  • Cambridge, Jig (Dan R. Mac Donald)
  • Aubry Foley's, Jig

    XI. (4:28)

  • Bonnie Anne Anderson, Strathspey
  • Headlight, Reel
  • Believe It or Not, Reel (Jerry Holland)
  • Mist Over the Loch, Reel

    Ashley's Thank Yous

    My most special thanks to my Mom and Dad. You are both there, whenever I need you, for anything. This one's for you.

    Also, thanks to Henry and Lisa, for putting up with my "heavy - foot".

    Thanks as well to Stan Chapman, Buddy Mac Master, John Morris Rankin, Rev. Colonel Mac Leod, William Danny Fraser, and all the other promoters of my music. Also Sherry Tait, Joe and Rita Mac Donald, Doug and Florence Cameron, Archie Neil Chisholm and Peter Rowan (M.M.P.C.)

    Thanks to Joey and David, who made things run very smoothly.