MacIsaac performing at the Burlington Sound of Music festival. Neil MacIntosh also pictured on drums.
|Birth name||Ashley Dwayne MacIsaac|
February 24, 1975 |
Creignish, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Genres||Celtic fusion, folk, rock|
|Labels||A&M, RCA, Decca, Linus, Loggerhead|
Ashley Dwayne MacIsaac (born February 24, 1975) is a Canadian professional fiddler from Cape Breton Island. He has received three Juno Awards. One for Best New Solo Artist, the second for Best Instrumental Artist, and the third in 1996 for Best Roots & Traditional Album – Solo. His 1995 album Hi™ How Are You Today? was a double-platinum selling Canadian record. MacIsaac published an autobiography, Fiddling with Disaster in 2003.
Life and family
MacIsaac was born in Creignish, Nova Scotia. His sister Lisa is also a fiddler, who has her own alternative country band, Madison Violet. She also appears on his album Helter's Celtic, which was recorded at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ontario.
His cousins Alexis MacIsaac, Wendy MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster are also touring fiddlers. Ashley MacIsaac is a distant cousin of The White Stripes guitarist and lead vocalist Jack White. The two met and MacIsaac opened for The White Stripes concert in Glace Bay.
MacIsaac's album Hi™ How Are You Today?, featuring the hit single "Sleepy Maggie", with vocals in Scottish Gaelic by Mary Jane Lamond was released in 1995. The album was a double-platinum selling Canadian record. It earned MacIsaac a 1996 Juno in the category Best Roots & Traditional Album – Solo.
On a 1997 Late Night with Conan O'Brien appearance, his leg kick lifted his kilt high enough that his genitals were visible to the studio and television audience. MacIsaac stated it was unintentional. Also in 1997, MacIsaac toured the United States as an opening act for The Chieftains. It was widely reported in the media that another opener, folk singer Nanci Griffith, dropped out of the tour because she objected to MacIsaac's musical style, but Griffith confirmed in Rolling Stone that her primary conflict was with tour organizers over how much time was available for her after the addition of MacIsaac to the bill.
In 1998 MacIsaac fought successfully to be independent of his record label. He subsequently signed with the independent label Loggerhead Records for his 1999 album Helter's Celtic. During the promotional tour for that album, he indicated to the press that he had battled an addiction to crack cocaine from 1997 to 1999.
In 1999, a journalist for The New Yorker noted MacIsaac's rock-star bravado and eccentricities. In 1996, in a Maclean's interview, he claimed that he had discussed his sexual life, including his young boyfriend and fondness for watersports in an interview with the LGBT newsmagazine The Advocate. The Advocate did not print any of the material, but Maclean's dropped him from its year-end honours list.
In December 1999, MacIsaac screamed obscenities at a New Year's Eve rave in Halifax; the performance led to cancellations of his concerts across Canada and a "media frenzy over his perceived downward spiral". MacIsaac got into a media spat with his label Loggerhead after the label sent out a press release distancing itself from his actions. Also the same year, MacIsaac told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald that he was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy, retracted the statement within a few days, and then actually filed for bankruptcy several months later.
In 2003, MacIsaac was alleged to have made a racist statement on stage, at a show where he reportedly accused an Asian woman in the audience of spreading SARS. He subsequently stated that the comment was intended as an ironic parody of racism, and sued the Ottawa Citizen for misrepresenting the statement as racist when in fact he was speaking out against racial profiling happening in Canada at the time.
In 2005, MacIsaac signed on with Linus Entertainment, forming a rock band with himself on lead vocals and guitar.
In 2010, MacIsaac wrote a charity single, "Dreams", to benefit Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, a skier from Ghana who was the first Ghanaian athlete ever to compete in the Winter Olympics. In addition to Matthew Harder of the band House of Doc and Geoffrey Kelly, Vince Ditrich and Tobin Frank of the band Spirit of the West, Nkrumah-Acheampong himself participated in the recording, playing traditional Ghanaian percussion. The single, credited to The Parallel Band, was released to iTunes on February 19, 2010. MacIsaac also performed in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
MacIsaac has declared an interest in politics and has stated, in a letter to the National Post, that he is studying constitutional law so as to pursue an entry into Canadian federal politics.
In the March 20, 2006, edition of the Halifax Daily News, MacIsaac declared himself a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. MacIsaac denied that his campaign was a publicity stunt, telling the Canadian Press that he fully intended to mount a serious campaign, but on June 21, 2006, he decided to no longer take part in the leadership race.
|CAN||CAN Country||US Heat|
|1992||Close to the Floor||71||10|
|1993||A Cape Breton Christmas (Ashley MacIsaac and Friends)|
|1995||Hi™ How Are You Today?||9||20||2× Platinum|
|1996||Fine®, Thank You Very Much||24|
|2001||capebretonfiddlemusicNOTCALM (with Howie MacDonald)|
|2004||Live at the Savoy|
|2005||Fiddle Music 101 (with Dave MacIsaac)|
|2008||The Best of Ashley MacIsaac|
|CAN AC||CAN Dance||CAN||US Adult||US Dance||US|
|1995||"The Square Dance Song" (with BKS)||18||Astroplane (BKS album)|
|"Sleepy Maggie"||42||15||13||29||102||Hi™ How Are You Today?|
|1996||"Devil in the Kitchen"||47||53|
|1998||"Great Divide" (with Bruce Hornsby)||43||33||Spirit Trail (Bruce Hornsby album)|
- The Hanging Garden – Basil, wedding musician (1997)
- Power Play – himself (one episode, 1999)
- New Waterford Girl – Town fiddler (1999)
- Nabbie no koi – Ashley O'Connor (1999)
- Marion Bridge – Mickey (2002)
- Life and Times – himself (one episode, 2005)
- Through the Times – himself at the Doryman Tavern
- "Musical duo: Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac". Xtra!, June 5, 2008.
- Natalie MacMaster official website, citing Herman Goodden, "MacMaster now has time to fiddle a bit," London Free Press - London, ON August 26, 2004. Accessed November 17, 2008.
- "Ashley MacIsaac to open for White Stripes". CBC News. June 15, 2007.
- "Fiddler MacIsaac marries on stage". Canadian Broadcasting Company. February 19, 2007. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "MacIsaac marries sweetheart onstage at music awards: It wasn't performing in front of hundreds of people Saturday night in Halifax that made Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac's palms sweat -- it was the excitement of getting married onstage to his sweetheart.". The Ottawa Citizen. February 19, 2007. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "Musician Ashley MacIsaac hints at political run in Windsor". CBC News, September 23, 2013.
- "Gold Platinum Database » Displaying Search Results for: » Title: How Are You Today? » To: January, 2012". musiccanada.com. Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Juno Awards Database". junoawards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Fiddler Ashley MacIsaac pledges to run for Liberal leadership". cbc.ca/a&e (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). March 22, 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- These Days: Nanci Griffith : Rolling Stone
- CANOE - JAM!%? Music - Artists - MacIsaac, Ashley: MacIsaac is out on his own
- CANOE - JAM! Music - Artists - MacIsaac, Ashley: Cracking up
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- "MacIsaac, Ashley (Profile)", TheCanadianEncyclopedia.com.
- CANOE - JAM! Music - Artists - MacIsaac, Ashley: Skirting around
- "MacIsaac sues newspaper over alleged racist label". CBC News. May 13, 2003.
- "Ghana's Snow Leopard records Olympic dream song with Canadian fiddler MacIsaac". Canadian Press, February 19, 2010.
- "MacIsaac denies leadership bid is a stunt". www.ctv.ca. Retrieved 2009-04-23.