The Lake Sessions

Dara Smith-MacDonald, Adam Young + Brent Chaisson

Traditional East Coast music featuring fiddle, piano and guitar

The Lake Sessions


The Lake Sessions


by Dara Smith-MacDonald + Adam Young

Released June 2017

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Recorded February and April 2017 at Taigh nan Òg (Adam's house), French Road, Nova Scotia and Studio Dimanche, Miscouche, Prince Edward Island
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Brent Chaisson, Studio Dimanche
Artwork by Adam Young
Artist illustrations by Adam MacKenzie, Sperry Design
Printed by Sociable Entertainment

Fiddle: Dara Smith-MacDonald
Piano: Adam Young
Guitar: Brent Chaisson

Cape Breton bustles with activity in the summer. The weather is perfect for hiking, golfing or visits to the beach. Visitors flock to its natural and cultural treasures. There's music to be found in every nook and cranny, from Meat Cove to Martinique, from Main-a-Dieu to Mabou.

The winter, though? That's a different story. Most visitors have long since returned home, the music scene slows down, and the residents brace for a long, cold, snowy season. It's beautiful in its own way, but far removed from the warmer weather; the lush, green leaves of summer; and the community halls, concert venues and pubs filled with music 'til the wee hours of the morning.

It was during this downtime that The Lake Sessions album was born. One cold weekend in February, Dara Smith-MacDonald made her way to Adam Young's lakeside home in the tiny community of French Road, on the island's east side. They were joined by Brent Chaisson, a talented guitarist and a wizard of a recording engineer from Prince Edward Island. Together, they recorded a couple of tracks which appear on this album. A return trip over a weekend in April would capture the remaining eight tracks, all recorded live "off the floor" in the old style, with the instrumentalists seated in the same room and in close proximity to each other.

What you hear on this album is exactly what was played during those sessions: it isn't perfect, but it's honest. In an age where most recordings are edited to remove all imperfections, this album embraces them. It's refreshing and authentic, and it allows the listener to feel as though they are in that same house in the woods by the lake, experiencing the music—and the moment—together.

Track list:

  1. To Market, To Market - 3:11
    Union Street Station (Paul S. Cranford)
    A' Chuachag (traditional)
    Trip to the Market (Adam Sutherland, MCPS/PRS)

  2. Settle In - 10:02
    Fingal's Cave (traditional)
    Cawdor Fair (traditional)
    Calum Breugach (traditional)
    The Drummer (traditional)
    Little Donald's Wife (traditional)
    The Last Mile (Mark Stewart, SOCAN)
    John Smeaton (Ewen Henderson & Gary Innes, MCPS/PRS)
    Wissahickon Drive (Liz Carroll, BMI)
    Radio Edit (Andrea Beaton, SOCAN)

  3. Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig - 4:22
    Deepdale (Dan Hughie MacEachern, SOCAN)
    Miss Gordon of Park (William Marshall)
    Adam Young's (Dara Smith-MacDonald, SOCAN)
    Send Us Whisky (attributed to John French)

  4. Dara's Delight - 5:51
    John MacColl's Farewell to the Scottish Horse (John MacColl)
    Colin Rankin's (Glenn Graham, SOCAN)
    Smirnoff Gigolo (Andrea Beaton, SOCAN)
    Keeping Up with Calum (Wendy MacIsaac, SOCAN)
    Dara's Delight (Paul S. Cranford, SOCAN)

  5. Roddie! - 4:19
    Maggie Brown's Favourite (Nathaniel Gow)
    Miss Sophia Campbell (Robert Mackintosh)
    Fraser's (Dan Hughie MacEachern, SOCAN)
    The Flower in the Garden (traditional)

  6. Lasting Impression - 4:42
    Lasting Impression (Adam Young, SOCAN)

  7. A Set of Keys - 5:24
    Lady Shaftesbury (Nathaniel Gow)
    Miss Augusta Chartiers (traditional)
    Air m'fhalluinn bheirinn pog dhi (I'll Kiss the Bonnie Lass, Oh!) (traditional)
    The Soft Horse (Phil Cunningham, MCPS/PRS)
    Ramnee Ceilidh (Gordon Duncan, Grian Publishing, MCPS/PRS)

  8. The Auld Farm Inn - 4:23
    Baddeck Shenanigans (Kevin MacDonald & Shannon Poirier)
    Chasing KC at the Inn (Gary Palmer)
    The Irish in Cape Breton (Alaina Smith & Kerry Osborne)
    Nightmare at the Inn (Linda Moran & Peter Clements)

  9. Sesquicentennial Set - 7:43
    Ben Williams of Tiree (John Somerville, MCPS/PRS)
    The Braes o' Tulliemet (traditional)
    Haughs of Cromdale (traditional)
    Canada 150 (Kinnon Beaton, SOCAN)
    Far from Home (traditional)
    Chéticamp (traditional)

  10. Leaving Stoer - 3:52
    Leaving Stoer (Ivan Drever, MCPS/PRS)

To hear audio clips, visit the Music page