Guitar Souls Scott Macmillan/Dave MacIsaac


“Anyone who enjoys guitar greats like Freddie King and Jimmy Bryant will find much to relish here”

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Scott Macmillan and Dave MacIsaac are Guitar Souls

What do Eric Clapton and Jerry Holland have in common? Or for that matter Buddy Guy and Buddy MacMaster? They have the Celtic Blues Breaking guitar mastery of two of the world’s best pickers, Scott Macmillan and Dave MacIsaac!

Dave MacIsaac, born in 1955, son of Alex Dan and Frances MacIsaac was raised on Drummond Court in the north end of Halifax NS, where he was weaned on Cape Breton fiddle accompanying his father on guitar. As a young teenager Dave delved into the blues under such great guitar influences as Freddie King and Jeff Beck. Meanwhile on Edward Street, in the south end of Halifax, Scott Macmillan, also born in 1955, was himself a budding guitarist. Scott was surrounded by the musical influences of his older brothers John and Mark, both the music they listened to and the music they played.

“Anyone who enjoys guitar greats like Freddie King and Jimmy Bryant will find much to relish here”
– Dirty Linen; January 1995

After hearing rumours about each other as “those hot young guitarists,” they finally met in 1970 in grade 10. It didn’t take long for Scott and Dave to discover a musical wavelength and friendship that would keep them coming back to each other no matter where their paths would lead. In the early years they spent countless hours exchanging guitar licks and spurring each other on. On a professional level they began their special brand of rockin’ blues interplay in ACME Blues Band, 1974-76.

Today, Dave is widely sought after as a celtic guitarist, violinist, and session picker extraordinaire. It is not uncommon for Dave to be flying off to Ireland or Washington DC, accompanying the fiddle greats of Cape Breton Island, then to come home to Halifax and be off again this time to a studio or on a tour to add his irrepressible talents as a sideman and session player.

“Guitar Souls: Circling each other’s force fields like twin suns”
– Mail Star; 1993

Scott Macmillan, on the other hand, has been driven by a need to compose. His original music has taken him from the Montreal Jazz Festival to the concert halls with Symphony Nova Scotia. While making his home in Halifax, Scott’s unique gift for understanding musical cultures and traditions has led him into many worlds. He has arranged music for and has worked with Dr. Helen Creighton, the Acadians, the Blacks of Nova Scotia, the Cape Bretoners and in the Celtic Traditions.

Scott and Dave have worked together whenever producers and budgets have allowed. Over the last 23 years they have been heard separately and together on radio, television, in concert halls, on film, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard on NS tourism promotions. Mostly though, Scott and Dave have honed their special music in the wee hours of the morning and in late afternoons sessions, where without the restraints of “the gig,” they could play a free fall of guitar improvisation and interplay. Scott’s love of jazz and blues and Dave’s love of blues, rock and celtic, and their mutual admiration for each other have been the cornerstone of this recording. From the heart of Chicago Blues to the depths of Cape Breton fiddle music, Scott Macmillan and Dave MacIsaac are GUITAR SOULS.

GUITAR SOULS also features the wonderful playing skills of Danny Parker on bass, and Tom Roach on drums, whose creative energies bring out that extra excitement.

“Great music delivered by two great friends”
– Mail Star; 1993

Scott and Dave would like to give a special thanks to Andy Gillis who served as master of ceremonies during the “Live at the Flamingo Café and Lounge” recording, Febuary 4, 5, and 6 and added his own special brand of blues harp to the three performances.

Also thanks to Steve Dooks, Sheri Jones, Danny Mombourquette, Stephen Osler, Halifax City Music Dept. and Jeff Rudderham.

Instruments used by Scott and Dave on GUITAR SOULS:

Guitars 1967 Gibson ES335
1963 Schecter Fender Stratocaster
1988 custom Stratocaster with EMG pick-ups
1974 Martin D35
Amps Fender Deluxe Re-verb
Fender Super Re-verb

Guitars 1961 Fender Telecaster, Seymour Duncan pick-ups
1970 Gallagher G70 acoustic guitar
Amps Fender Vibro-verb
Fender Super Re-verb


Recorded live at the Flamingo Café and Lounge, Febuary 4, 5, and 6, 1993
Produced by; Scott Macmillan and Dave MacIsaac for Atlantica Records
Executive Producer; Jennyfer Brickenden
Mixed at Scojen Music Productions in Halifax, Nova Scotia by;
Scott Macmillan Dave MacIsaac and Karl Falkenham
Location recording Karl Falkenham
Assistant enineer; Mario Bradet
House sound; Brad Fox
Assistant House sound; Brian Wambolt
Anolog proceesing utililizing Focus Rite ISA 110’s and ISA 131’s and
Digitally Mastered on AMS Aufiofile at ReelTime Recorders; Halifax, NS
Photographs; Albert Lee

SOLOS; Track Order: Dave MacIsaac (DM), Scott Macmillan (SM),
Danny Parker (DP), Tom Roach (TM).
1) DM, SM. 7)
2) SM, DM. 8) SM, DP, DM.
3) DM, SM, DM, SM, DM, SM, DM. 9) SM, DM, TR.
4) SM, DM, DP. 10) SM, DM.
5) SM. 11)
6) DM. 12) DM, SM.
Side A
Country Crunch: Macmillan, MacIsaac, Parker, Roach SOCAN
Hot Country pickin’ with a good dose of rock guaranteed to get your
arms flapping and your toes tapping.

Sad Night Owl: Freddie King/Sonny Thompson SONLO-BMI
Slow Blues from an old ?King’ recording,
“Freddie King plays a bonanza of Instrumentals.”

Hydrostone Rock: Macmillan, MacIsaac, Parker, Roach SOCAN
The Historic Hydrostone area of Halifax where
Scott and Dave live; a Stones throw away from each other.

Lament for Albert King: Macmillan, MacIsaac, Parker, Roach SOCAN
Farwell tribute to a great blues guitar legend.

Jig Medley: Scott Macmillan SOCAN
Rocks in my Tea
Curly Haired Mule
Kedge Clay
Reg the Red
Lisa’s Jig
Each title represents a moment in time with friends and of places.

March, Strathspey & 3 Reels: Trad. arranged by Dave MacIsaac SOCAN
Cluny Castle March; Archie Troup (PD)
Athole Brose Strathspey; Neil Gow (PD)
General Stewart Reel; Trad.
Jenny Dang the Weaver; Trad.
The Randy wife of Greenlow; Trad.
Dave palys compliments to two of Cape Breton’s fiddle greats,
Joe MacLean and Buddy MacMaster.

Side 2
Halifax Shuffle: Macmillan, MacIsaac, Parker, Roach SOCAN
The latest Dance that is sweeping the Nation.

Mayall Bag: Macmillan, MacIsaac, Parker, Roach SOCAN
A John Mayall insopired,?groove to move.’

All Blues: Miles Davis CBS(?)
From the mouth and mind of Miles Davis.

The Stumble: Freddie King/Sonny Thompson SONLO-BMI
A cookin’ Freddie King Shuffle.

Blue Bag: Andy Gillis SOCAN
A recycled product maybe, but not a recylceled song.

Hometown Polka: Jimmy Bryant EMI-Blackwood
A nimble fingered tune from the original master of the
Fender Telecaster, Jimmy Bryant.

Dave and Scott hope you enjoy this recording as much as they enjoyed making it.