Allie Bennett, Artist of the Week
Runs Oct. 10-14th.
Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia native Allie Bennett is in his 40th year in the Canadian Music Industry. He has toured Canada, the U.S., Britain, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
As a studio musician, Allie has over 150 album projects to his credit, and his name appears on over 1,000,000 units sold in Canada. He has worked with John Allan Cameron, Rita MacNeil, Stan Rogers, Murray McLauchlan, The Rankin Family, The Barra MacNeils, Mary Jane Lamond, Natalie MacMaster, Ron Hynes, Bruce Guthro, Dave Gunning, Howie MacDonald, Ashley MacIsaac, Raylene Rankin, Jimmy Rankin and many more.
Allie was Musical Director for the 1995 East Coast Music Awards. He was also band leader for the 1997 and 1998 editions of the Cape Breton Summertime Review and the 2000 and 2001 productions of Howie’s Celtic Brew. In 2003 he was Musical Director of The Rise And Follies Of Cape Breton – The Second Coming. In 2004 Allie released a fiddle album, his first solo project aptly titled “It’s About Time”, and in 2005 he was presented with the East Coast Music Association’s Musicians Achievement Award.
When Cape Breton musician Allie Bennett first performed the song Heading for Halifax with his mentor, the Celtic Godfather himself, John Allan Cameron, he didn’t think Alastair MacDonald’s lyrics would one day apply to himself. He lives in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, where he operates a private music school teaching fiddle and guitar, as well as teaching at the Halifax and Bedford Long&McQuade Lesson Centres. It’s hard to be away, but he still finds himself crossing the Canso Causeway on a regular basis. And I miss my former students. You develop a lot of good friendships, but I do get back there quite often. After I moved here, I found myself working back in Cape Breton more than I had in a number of years, but it’s only a four-hour drive. And if that’s where the work is, I’ll go back there.
Full Circle CD – It’s been nine years since my first recording, so this one is well overdue. I chose the name Full Circle because of the many requests I received to put a few vocal tracks on this CD. I used to do some signing back in my days at Acadia University in the mid to late 70s. In those days I played mostly coffee houses and small halls. In all the years in between, my career path has been comprised mostly of accompanying other artists. That is still mostly what I do, but the opportunity to do shows on my own again has opened a few other doors for me. I enjoyed putting this package together, and I hope you enjoy the recording as well.
This album is dedicated to the memories of some very special in my life who have passed on since my first recording. Jessie Bennett (my mother), John Allan Cameron, Jerry Holland, Dave & Donna MacKeough, Raylene Rankin and Rita MacNeil.
This year at Celtic Colours, he makes his debut at the Guitar Summit on Oct. 13th. and is working with David Milligan and Corrina Hewat arranging and directing the Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours.