When two become ONE, musical magic happens. That is most certainly the case with this new album from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. These two award-winning fiddle virtuosos have each enjoyed phenomenally successful careers on their own, but ONE marks their recording debut as a duo.
To fans of fiddle music, Natalie MacMaster needs no introduction. Over a recording career now spanning 25 years, this Order of Canada recipient has released 11 albums that have notched sales of over 200,000 copies. She has won two JUNO and eleven East Coast Music Awards and been nominated for a Grammy, is in great demand as a charismatic performer, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma (on the Grammy-winning album Songs of Joy & Peace), Alison Krauss, Jesse Cook, and Bela Fleck. Though acknowledging that she can be “a musical chameleon,” Natalie stresses that, above all else, “I play Cape Breton fiddle.”
Her husband, Donnell Leahy, is no stranger to the awards podium himself. He is the oldest brother of the internationally-acclaimed family musical group Leahy, winners of three JUNO Awards. Widely recognized as one of the best Celtic fiddlers in the world, his high-energy playing style also makes him a highly popular performer.
They have previously performed together and appeared on each other’s record, but ONE is their official first full recording as a duo. “When we married in 2002, we felt there would be some recording project in our future, but we didn’t realize it wouldn’t happen until 2014!,” says Natalie. “Six children later, we’ve finally documented our musical growth together.”