Celtic-flavoured music will fill The Dome in downtown Red Deer tonight when Alan Doyle and Ashley MacIssac take the stage in a free Canada Winter Games concert.
Doyle, best known as the Great Big Sea frontman, and MacIsaac, a celebrated fiddler from Cape Breton Island, will perform in a large heated tent off Celebration Plaza (in the Central Middle School yard) in a show that starts at 6:30 p.m.
Doyle is a singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist (guitarist, mandolinist, banjo and bouzouki player). He is also an actor (Republic of Doyle, Robin Hood, Winter’s Tale Murdoch Mysteries, A Whale for the Killing) and an author, having written two memoirs about growing up in Newfoundland.
The Petty Harbour-native was made a member of the Order of Canada “for his contributions to the musical traditions of his home province and for his commitment to numerous charitable initiatives.”
Doyle’s put out three solo albums, starting with 2012’s Boy on Bridge, which contains the singles I’ve Seen a Little and Testify.
His tunes So Let’s Go and The Night Loves Us sprang from his second solo album So Let’s Go from 2014. And the 2017 release A Week at the Warehouse produced the singles Summer Summer Night and Bully Boys.
MacIsaac, the bad boy of Celtic music, has had more than his share of controversies, but he’s also had huge successes — including three Juno Awards and a double-platinum selling record, Hi, How Are You Today? (1995), which produced the hit single Sleepy Maggie.
The native of Creignish, N.S., has toured North America with the Chieftains, performed in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and has co-hosted the East Coast Music Awards. In 2010 he released a charity single, Dreams, to benefit the first skier from Ghana to ever compete in the Winter Olympics.
His musical playing style is considered highly unusual as he plays a right-handed fiddle left handed — meaning that the instrument’s strings are strung opposite to how most violinists would play them. MacIsaac has stated that this makes sonic sense to him, as the lower notes remain on the lower side of the fiddle, allowing him to work his way up to the higher notes.
Doors to The Dome open at 6 p.m. The tent has a 2,000 person capacity.