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Guitar Playing Duo pull out all the ‘chops’ on new CD


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The Cape Breton Post – Arts – Entertainment
Published on September 1st, 2010
by Laura Jean Grant

MARGAREE — Fifteen years after they met, guitarists Brian Doyle and Scott Macmillan are set to release an album that celebrates the unique musical connection between the two.

“When I’m playing with Brian, he’s just this intuitive player that I hit it off with right away. He’s just one of those players that we talk the same language,” said Macmillan.
The two guitarists met when Doyle, a resident of Margaree Forks, attended a house warming party at Macmillan’s home in Brook Village in 1995.

“Ever since then we’ve been playing a lot together, just gigs as a guitar duet,” he said. So what exactly makes it work between the two?

“I guess I call it musical intuition,” said Macmillan. “We’ve both got a lot of chops so we can play good and fast and all that kinda stuff, but more than that we have a good way of listening to each other.”

The success of their collaborations on stage has also translated to the recording studio.
Doyle contributed to four cuts on Macmillan’s Scott Macmillan Presents the Minnie Sessions Vol. 1, which won an East Coast Music Award in 1998, and 12 years later the two guitarists — both accomplished musicians in their own right — are joining forces on a full-length recording.

“It’s a guitar duet all the way,” said Macmillan. “It’s mostly acoustic but there’s a couple tracks with two electrics and another track with an electric and an acoustic. We just recorded it right here in the house and it’s called Live Off the Floor which is literally what it is.”

And Cape Breton audiences will be the first to have a live listen to the new material as Doyle and Macmillan have CD release events planned for Friday at 8 p.m. at The Barn at the Normaway Inn on Egypt Road in Margaree Valley, and Saturday at 10 p.m. at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou.

Reserved seating for the show at The Barn can booked in advance by calling 1-800-565-9463, and tickets will also be available at the door —$8 for adults/$4 for youth. Tickets to the Red Shoe Pub show are $7 and for more information call 945-2996.

Next week, Macmillan and Doyle will head to mainland Nova Scotia for two more release events — one in Halifax and one in Lunenburg.

In addition to touring in support of the new album, Macmillan will also be busy this fall with his regular gig teaching guitar at Dalhousie University, and with a special project near and dear to his heart. Macmillan’s composition Within Sight of Shore, which premiered in 2008, will be remounted in November and he hopes to record it this time around. The chamber orchestra piece depicts the last Canadian warship sunk in WWII, HMSC Esquimalt, of which Macmillan’s father was the commanding officer.