The Octet – Songs of the Cape


New freshness and swing to Cape Breton music . . . it’s a classic”

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“OCTET successfully blends classical sophistication and Celtic energy”
– Dirty Linen; January 1995


Formed in 1985, the Octet was a dynamic combination of two groups; The Atlantic Rhythm Section and The Cat Gut Four. A fusion of classical and traditional music it still remains a truly exciting and contemporary sound.

Much of the OCTET’S excitement was generated by Scott Macmillan and Andrew Russell and the celtic traditional/classical fusion music they arranged for the group.


“Songs of the Cape adds a new freshness and swing to Cape Breton music . . . it’s a classic;”
– John O’Regan, Broadcaster; Limerick, Ireland, May 1997


The Celtic Rhythm Section heralded: Scott Macmillan and Dave MacIsaac, guitar wizz kids and Guitar Souls; you can also hear Dave on Fiddle; and Andrew Russell, banjo/guitar and Louis Benoit, mandolin/guitar, from the renowned Jarvis Benoit Quartet.

“Brings Maritime tradition to new heights of subtlety, sophistication;and excitement”
– author, Silver Donald Cameron, 1985


The Cat Gut Four comprised of Karen Langille, 1st violin and Yvonne DeRoller, Viola, both current members of Symphony Nova Scotia and husband and wife team Jim Danson, 2nd violin and Joanne Danson, cello.

The life of the OCTET only lasted two years as a performing ensemble but their recording Songs of the Cape has gone on to be classic recording from Atlantic Canada. The msic developed by the OCTET laid the seeds for Scott Macmillan’s best selling Classical/Celtic Crossover’s recording; the Celtic Mass for the Sea.

A CBC broadcast recordng, it was first released by the University College of Cape Breton and later re-released by Scott. It continues to be a favorite recording among visitors to Atlantic Canada who want to take home a taste of Maritime Tradition with a classical twist.

“You will be stunned by the beauty.”
– FAX Magazine; December 1992

Songs of the Cape

Movement 1 Jigs

(duration: 5min, 18sec)

Tunes in order of appearance: (note: each tune is appoxiamately 30 sec)
1. You’re Only as Good as Your Last Gig, Jig – Jerry Holland
2. Ronnie Rankin’s Jig – Kinnon Beaton
3. Whitehorse Jig – Louis Benoit
4. Nicole Fakoory’s Jig – John Morris Rankin
5. Charles MacCuspic’s Jig – Kinnon Beaton
6. Little Black Dog Jig – John Morris Rankin
7. John Alphonse’s Jig – Dave MacIsaac
8. Angela Cameron’s Jig – Jerry Holland
9. Angus Chisholm’s Jig – Jerry Holland (Played twice)

Movement 2 Song for the Cape – Scott Macmillan

(duration 6min, 27 sec)

Movement 3 Reels

(duration: 6min, 19sec)

Tunes in order of appearance:
1. My Friend’ Reel – Jerry Holland
2. Joey Beaton’s Reel – Jerry Holland
3. Jeannie and Bruz’s 25th Wedding
Anniversary Reel – Kinnon Beaton
4. John Allan Cameron’s Reel – Jerry Holland

Additional information


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