The Minnie Sessions Vol 1


In a snug hollow in Hillsboro N.S., a home was built for Minnie Adams in the 1940’s by her brother James Adams. Minnie Adams comes from a line of Scottish emigrants to Cape Breton, the Livingstons, who came from Scotland to find the “earth with energy” and were known to have The “da Seallabh” or “The Sight”. A cousin to the renowned Rankin Family of Mabou, Cape Breton, and to Jim St. Clair; himself a wealth of historical information from Mull River; Minnie Adams was one of the last natural healers of her time. She passed away in 1984.

“Delivers quality Cape Breton music in a laid back, relaxed manner”
– John O’Regan, Broadcaster; Limerick, Ireland, May 1997

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Scott Macmillan and his wife Jennyfer Brickenden were first introduced to this ideallic spot in 1991, while it was being rented by a friend, Jasmine Jones, from Halifax. Upon entry to the house you pass under two ancient Celtic trees of power, an oak and an ash. During their first visit, Scott announced that there was a tune in the house and instantly composed the reel, “Minnie Adams’ House”.

In 1995, fate and circumstance lead Scott and his family to become the new owners of this very special part of the world and it wasn’t long before the idea to create small and intimate recording sessions at the house was hatched.

Minnie Adams was well known in the community and throughout the area. Scott, therefore, wanted a title for the recording sessions that would both describe the concept of what he wanted to do, as well as to acknowledge the area that these recording sessions would take place. Thus a play on words the “Mini Sessions” or rather the “Minnie Sessions”.

” Wonderful Eclectic Music “
– The Mail Star, January 1997

Combine a magical setting, with the enormous talents of East Coast Legend, Scott Macmillan and the expertise and sensitivity of Solar Audio, co-owner, producer and engineer, Hayward Parrott, and you have the seeds of a magical musical experience. In this combined force Scott and Hayward have created Tamarac Records.

The object of these sessions is to get away from the formality and structure of the large recording studios of the city and offer both to Scott and his guests of the recording sessions, an opportunity to explore their musicality on an intimate level, in an intimate setting. A composer, arranger, and instrumentalist, Scott encourages his guests to bring original material to the sessions to both explore and record. The genre of music is free of restrictions, although Scott is very cognitive of where the recording is set. The quality of the music and process of recording in a small and intimate location is foremost.

It is the intent of these sessions to both bring together the long standing professionals in the industry as well as to introduce some up and coming musicians along with some hidden treasures that the recording public hasn’t had the fortune to hear until now.

“Wrap-around, good-time and emotion packed sound”
– Walt Grealis, RPM Magazine March 1997

Production Credits

To that end Tamarac Records and Scott Macmillan Presents: Minnie Sessions Vol. 1;
with featured artists;

Brian Doyle Guitar
Jon Goodman Irish Flute
Rodney MacDonald Cape Breton Violin
Doris Mason Piano and Vocals
Scott Macmillan Floating constant-elation

Scott Macmillan Presents:
The Minnie Sessions Vol. 1
August 15,16,17, 18, 1996
Hillsboro, Inverness County, Cape Breton
Recorded Live at the home of Scott, Duncan, Ian Macmillan & Jennyfer Brickenden

Executive Producer: Jennyfer Brickenden
Co-Produced and Recorded by: Hayward Parrott
Composer, Arranger, Instrumentalist, and Co-Producer: Scott Macmillan
Mixed and Mastered: Solar Audio, Halifax, NS
Photography: Irena Shunt
Graphic Design: Doug Aucoin
Piano Tuner: John MacDougal
Cook and Bottle Washer: Jennyfer Brickenden

Featured Artists
Brian Doyle: Guitars
Jon Goodman: Irish Flute, Penny Whistle
Rodney MacDonald: Cape Breton Violin
Scott Macmillan: Guitars
Doris Mason: Piano and Vocal

A project like this does not get off the ground with tremendous support of many people and many places. We would like to thank our friends and the communities of Mabou, Glencoe, Broad Cove, Smithville, Hillsboro, Brook Village, Mull River, South-West Margaree, Port Williams and Mill Cove, for opening their homes and being there when problems arose.

Among those people we would in particular like to thank;
Jennie- Lee Brickenden, Silver Donald Cameron, Jim St. Clair, Suzanne Craig, Daniél Côté, Kim and Glen Covey, Pete Covey, Denise Doyle, Jasmine Jones, Dermot Kelly, Angus MacDonald and family, Tony MacKinnon, Ian and Margaret MacNeil, Duncan and Ian Macmillan, Chris Mitchell, Jim and Sue-Anne Morrow and family, Shawn Morrison, Candy Mudge, Alison and Duncan Mustard, Carol, Jennifer and Sara Parrott, Bobby & Anne Peters and family, Bernadette and Isaac Smith, Harold Tsistanus

“This CD confirms Scott place in the pantheon of great guitarists”
– Earl Rosen Marquis Classics, Feb., 1997

Who’s Who on Volume 1:

Your host is Scott Macmillan; composer, conductor, arranger and multi-instrumentalist extraodinaire. Scott makes his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia and part time in Hillsboro, Cape Breton. A vibrant musical force in Atlantic Canada, he can be found working as Host Conductor of the Mostly Maritimes POPS series for Symphony Nova Scotia to producing recording sessions for Rita MacNeil and the Rankin Family. His compositions and arrangements are performed all over North America and his music is regularly heard on CBC nationally. To date his most renowned work is the Celtic Mass for the Sea.

– Guitarist, Brian Doyle; grew up and lives Margaree Forks with his two cats Angus and Manual and his wife Denise. He was raised in the Cape Breton music scene and is the son of the well known Cape Breton piano player; Maybelle Chisholm Doyle MacQueen. Having performed on stage since he was 14, Brian is no stranger to audiences in Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia. Currently, he is very involved in developing his 5 piece, high energy R&R, R&B, band, Greyloch, that is slowly becoming a Cape Breton Celtic Rock and Roll band. Brian is also co-writing material at this time with Frank MacDonald of Inverness and Tracy Cavanaugh of Englishtown C.B.

“Brilliant composition, arrangement and performance;”
– The Oran, January 1997

Irish flutist and Uilleann Piper, Jon Goodman; from Ottawa, has made his home in Halifax since the late ’70’s. Jon has studied in Dublin with Na Piobare Uilleann and with Hughes and MacLeod in County Down, Northern Ireland. Jon has worked as a “Musical Ambassador” during promotional trade missions to Ireland and his music career has taken him to music festivals across Canada and the U. S., including such festivals as the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Folk Legacy Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. Jon has been Musical Director of the An Cumann Ceili Band since 1991. Jon has recorded with artists like Rita MacNeil and is featured on Uilleann Pipes, Irish Flute and Whistle on Scott Macmillan’s Celtic Mass for the Sea.

– Doris Mason; is an accomplished singer/songwriter and pianist. Doris has been a vibrant and exciting performer since an early age. She began playing piano as a toddler of three years. She remembers sessions with her dad where he would teach her fiddle tunes. Doris was the co-founder of the Mason Chapman Band. The group recorded a self titled LP with CBC and toured extensively through out Eastern Canada for 6 years. Doris was approached to be head the band for the “Rise and Follies of Cape Breton Island”. A year later the “Cape Breton Summertime Revue”, took the stage with Doris on board as contributing writer and band leader for the next nine years. Doris has composed over a hundred songs including twelve original songs for her solo recording Photograph, released in 1995 on her own Big Shore Music label.

– Rodney MacDonald; is a Fiddler/Dancer from Mabou, Cape Breton. During the last number of years he has performed throughout the Atlantic Provinces, Eastern USA, Ontario, Detroit and Scotland. Rodney comes from a strong bloodline of violinists and musicians where such names as Donald Angus Beaton, John Morris Rankin, Kinnon Beaton, John Campbell and Joey Beaton appear. During high school Rodney MacDonald was part of two groups; The Special Seven and the Highland Classics. Both groups featured Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac. In 1995 Rodney released his premier recording Dancers Delight.

– Hayward Parrott; began recording-engineering for RCA in 1969. In 1976 he became Chief Engineer for Manta Sound. In 1985, he returned to the RCA site, now McClear Place, as Vice President and General Manager, where, in partnership with Eric Robertson and Larry Trudel, formed Hands On Productions Music House. Returning to the East Coast in 1993, Hayward’s most recent endeavour, Solar Audio Productions, combines all of his creative and technical talents in this new and innovative audio company. Notably, he engineered the hit single Tears are not Enough produced by David Foster, the song features 62 top Canadian artists including Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Brian Adams.

– A Haligonian, Jennyfer Brickenden; is co-owner of Scojen Music Productions. Most of her time is taken up with promotion, marketing, publishing and management of Scojen Music and is an active and enthusiastic force behind the musical career of Scott Macmillan. As an Executive Producer on a number of recordings, she lists among her credits; The Celtic Mass for the Sea, Guitar Souls with Dave MacIsaac and Scott Macmillan, and Bach Meets Cape Breton with Puirt a Baroque. Jennyfer is the librettist for Scott Macmillan’s Celtic Mass for the Sea and for the chamber work also composed by Scott Macmillan, The Three that Seek my Heart.

List of Tunes:

1- Minnie Adams’ House Reel
Composed by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records
Arranged and performed for this recording by;
Doris Mason; Piano
Jon Goodman; Penny Whistle
Brian Doyle; Rhythm Guitar
Scott Macmillan; Lead guitar

This tune fell out of the walls the first time that Scott went into Minnie Adams’ House in 1991.

2- If Ever You Were Mine
Music; Maurice Lennon
Lyrics; Silver Donald Cameron
Performed by Doris Mason; Piano, Vocals
Scott Macmillan; Guitar

Silver Donald Cameron wrote the words for this melody by Maurice Lennon for his wife Lulu Terrio-Cameron. Lulu passed away in March 1996 and this tune was one here all time favorites. She had learned how to play it on the violin before she died.

3- Mine’R Jigs
The Cat in the Wheelbarrow
The Halls of St. Clair
Composed and performed on guitar by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

Cat in the Wheelbarrow. The title for this tune came long before the music. On Scott’s first visit to Minnie Adams’ House he saw Jasmine Jone’s cat, in a wheelbarrow. Four years later he composed this tune at Minnie’s house.
The Halls of St. Clair. When Jennyfer and Scott were in Toronto for the Ontario Premiere of the Celtic Mass for the Sea we stayed with friends, Bruce Hall and Astrid Augspols and their son, John. They live on St. Clair Avenue, and the title seemed to roll together rather well. This tune is for them .

4- The Delhi Siege Medley
The Siege of Delhi March; Trad
Hoch Hey Johnny Lad Stathspey; Athole Collection
Hugh Rory MacKinnon Stathspey;Trad.
Reel Trad.
Over the Isles to America Reel; Trad.
Arranged by Rodney MacDonald
Rodney MacDonald; Cape Breton Violin
Scott Macmillan; Guitars
Arranged by Rodney MacDonald
Published by Tamarac Records

5- The Runout Group
The Runout
Memories of the House Caller
The Rain Over Hillsboro
Composed and performed on guitar by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

The Runout Reel. This tune was made while working with Mermaid Theatre during rehearsals for Wee Gillis. Mermaid has their home in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and I live in Halifax.
Memories of the House Caller. I was sitting beside a doctor on an airplane and happened to be writing this tune. Our conversation brought back memories of childhood when the doctor would come to your house when you were sick.
The Rain Over Hillsborough. I made this tune while sitting on my front verandah, in the rain, on a warm summer’s day.

6- Sir Lu -Lu
Composed and performed on guitar by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

This march was composed while driving from Hillsboro to D’Escouse to visit Silver Donald Cameron, upon the news of the death of his wife Lulu Terrio. This piece is dedicated to them.

7- Joys of Brotherhood Medley
-Quiet Joys of Brotherhood (My Lagan Love) Trad.
-Balintor Fancy slow reel, Trad.
-Galway Rambler, reel, Trad.
Jon Goodman; Irish Flute
Scott Macmillan; Guitar
Arranged by Jon Goodman
Published by Tamarac Records

8- Toyota Tailpipe

Composed and performed on guitar by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

While driving in our Toyota, Scott was providing entertainment on the mandolin and composed this tune.

9- Romper River
Composed by Scott Macmillan
Arranged for this recording by Scott Macmillan and Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle; Guitar
Scott Macmillan; Guitar
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

Just below Scott’ house in Hillboro lies the South-East Mabou River, also called the Mull River. This tune was hatched after a visit by Brian and we went for a romp and swim in the river.

10- Sligo Knights
– Knights of St.. Patrick; Trad.
-Tar Road to Sligo, Trad.
Jon Goodman; Irish Flute
Scott Macmillan; Guitar
Arranged by Jon Goodman
Published by Tamarac Records

11- Caterer’s Request
Composed by Scott Macmillan
Arranged for this recording by Scott Macmillan and Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle; Guitar
Scott Macmillan; Guitar
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

This is an old Melody of Scott’s that seemed to be waiting for Brian To float all around it. The tune was originally written for all the waiters and waitress who slug it out working in the bar scene.

12- Clogging in Bb
Bags in the Breeze
The Keji Peddlers
Composed and performed on guitar by Scott Macmillan
Published by Scojen Music Productions Ltd. and Tamarac Records

Bags in the Breeze. The title for this tune came from Ty Klassen. Scott and his family recycle bags by washing them with the dishes, then hanging them out to dry.

The Keji Peddlers Clog. Scott and Jennyfer, went to Kejimkujik National Park and rented mountain bikes. They spent the day bombing around the trails in the woods .

13- Cameron Side Road
Composed by Brian Doyle
Arranged for this recording by Brian Doyle and Scott Macmillan
Brian Doyle; Guitar
Scott Macmillan; Guitar
Published by Tamarac Records

When Scott and Hayward suggested to Brian that the melody of this tunes sounded like a traveling tune, Brian thought of where he grew up and all the hours spent with the car radio on, traveling up and down the Cameron – Side Road.

14- Your Beauty
Composed by Doris Mason
Performed by Doris Mason; Piano, Vocals
Scott Macmillan, Guitar
Published by Big Shore Music and Tamarac Records

Written about Cape Breton’s beautiful shores. “Heaven should look this good, if that should be my reward”. Beauty is timeless…. comes before us lasts long after us. We are just lucky to experience it while we are here.

All tunes are MAPL except :#2? If Ever You Were Mine” which is APL.

Send correspondence to:
Tamarac Publishing
239 Five Island Road, Hubley, N.S. B3Z 1B5

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