Past Performers

The Barra MacNeils    Lennie Gallant                    
John Campbelljohn   Makayla lynn                        Jason Price                 Aaron MacDonald             
All Fired Up                 Kim Dunn                          
Allie Bennett               Donnie Campbell             
Ian Sherwood              Alycia Putnam
Cyril MacPhee             Kyle MacDonald
Wally MacAulay          John Curtis Sampson
Duncan Wells              Ryan Roberts
Jordon Musycsyn       Gillian Head
Dwayne Cote               NC Elite Dancers
The Goin's On             CBU Pipe Band
Adrianne & Mike          Kelly Matheson
Crowdis Bridge            Amber Lynk
Angelo Spinazzola       Meaghan Blanchard
The Cape Breton School of the Arts
Chrissy Crowley,          Howie MacDonald
Christine Melanson      MacNeil Sisters
Jason MacDonald        Brenda Stubbert
Buddy MacDonald       David Meuse
Keith Mullins                Blanche Sopholeous     
Anita MacDonald         David Carroll 
Andrew Fedora            Naming The Twins    
Darren McMullen         Harold MacIntyre     
Dara MacDonald           Catherine MacLellan 
Ben Miller                       Laura Smith 
Pretty Archie                  Chris Ryan
Dave Gunning                Nicole LeBlanc
Joseph Gillis                  James MacLean
Lyrics and Laughter    Doucette Sisters
Rob MacLean                   Leona Burkey
Decota McNamara           David Stone
Jason Roach                      Morgan Toney
Rachel Davis,                     Mario Colosimo
Colin Grant ,                      Mike Hall
Coig,                                    Beverly MacLean
Adam Young                       Terry Peters
MacArthur School of Dancing   Rob Murphy
Wills Addiction                       Hearts of Kin
Buffy MacNeil & Larry Boutilier  RG Schller
Robert Bouchard                    Steve MacIntyre
Roger Stone                            Nik MacDonald
Darrell Keigan                       Joey MacLeod
Kimberley Fraser                Norma MacDonald    Asaph Deuse  Ferris and Shauna Asaph
Catahoula Brown                Jon Hines
Donna Marie DeWolf         Erin O'Brien     Membertou Drummers and Dancers                 Melody  & Derrick Cameron                                    Brian Doyle                                Isabelle Samson
Jesse Cox                                    Cassidy Riley                  Mary Beth Carty                     Cameron Nickerson       Mike McKenna Jr                    Sons of Membertou  


 Acoustic Roots Festival  happening Aug 30 - Sept 1 . 2024. Make your plans to   attend. List of performers                                                                                              

Matt Minglewood

Robert Bouchard

Gordie MacKeeman and Rhythm Boys

Hearts of Kin

John Donovan

Jon Hines 

Buddy MacDonald

Dara MacDonald and Adam Young

2nd Generation

Tide and Timbre

Mary Beth Carty , Bradley Murphy and Donnie Calabrese

Dawn and Margie Beaton

Darrell Keigan

Kimberly Fraser, Mac Morin and Jason MacDonald

Turnbull Brothers

MacArthur Dancers

Cassidy Riley

Joe Gillis and Marcel Lefort

Brenda Stubbert







2024 Acoustic Roots Festival Artist Bio

Brenda Stubbert

Brenda Stubbert is an extraordinary fiddler, pianist, and composer whose name has become synonymous with Cape Breton fiddle music. Deeply rooted in the distinctive music of Industrial Cape Breton’s Northside, she grew up surrounded by wonderful musicians, including her father, a highly-respected fiddler and composer who was strongly influenced by the Irish tradition, and folks like Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, Johnny Wilmot and Joe Confiant. Known as one of Cape Breton’s leading composers, two books of Brenda’s compositions are in print, and her tunes are in repertoires everywhere Celtic fiddle music can be heard. Brenda is in constant demand throughout Cape Breton. Her dances are lively and well-attended. Since 1986, Brenda has released seven albums, including Endless Memories (2008) which won the East Coast Music Award for Traditional Recording of the Year.

Buddy MacDonald

I have been chasing audiences around since thirty five years .have performed all over Canada and the United States, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Holland as a solo act and as part of celtic folk band combinations.Performed at pubs, folk festivals, house concerts, theatre tours, corporate conventions, tourism related shows for the province of Nova Scotia, song-writers circles and workshops. Have performed at Tourist Resorts around maritime Canada, and love to entertain as well as talk to the visitors and give them a little local feel and flavour of where they are.I've also done a lot of touring as a backup guitar player for various celtic fiddle players, such as Natalie Macmaster, Asley MacIssac, Wendy MacIssac, Glenn Graham, Rachel Davis and Howie Mac Donald.

I enjoy doing my own material, but also feel at home doing old pub music, sing along tunes and getting the audience as involved as possible .old Irish, Scottish, Canadian, American folk music is what I do and it works. I was born and grew up on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia, in a rural setting where culture is strong and music is important, and it is that format that I follow entertain is what I do .Being involved as host and entertainer at the Celtic Colours International Festival since it began, has given me the opportunity to meet and perform and learn from, some of the worlds greatest musicians in the celtic world such as Tommy Makem, Dougie Mac Lean, Phil Cunningham, David Francey, Dave Gunning, JP Cormier, Lennie Gallant, and the list goes on...I believe strongly that there is way more to getting on stage and playing the guitar and singing you must make that connection with the people who have paid the nickle and entertain them to the best of your ability  and that is what I enjoy the most and continue to do so in every show matter what the setting.

Dara Smith- MacDonald

Dara Smith-MacDonald, born and raised in Antigonish, has been playing the fiddle for more than 20 years and now resides in Port Hawkesbury. With family roots in Inverness, she very quickly developed a style that is strong, lively, and traditional. Dara has played for concerts, ceilidhs, and dances throughout Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and the U.S. She has performed at the Antigonish Highland Games, the Acoustic Roots Festival, Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival, KitchenFest!, and Celtic Colours. In the summer of 2019, she performed in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland with Shetland-based fiddle group Hjaltibonhoga. She has taught fiddle at Colaisde na Gàidhlig / the Gaelic College and at her home and around the world via Skype. Dara is a musical director and a member of the Board of Directors with the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association with whom she has traveled to Boston and to Maxville, Ontario. She can often be found on stage with Adam Young, and they have released two CDs together, The Lake Sessions (2017) and Island (2019) which also featured Brent Chaisson, receiving nominations for 2018 and 2019 Music Nova Scotia awards and an ECMA for 2019 Gaelic Artist of the Year.


Dawn and Margie Beaton

Dawn and Margie Beaton, who come from a long line of Celtic musicians, started their musical careers at the age of four, learning step dance from their grandmother. By the time they were five years old, they were playing the Celtic violin.

Coming from a family of fiddlers, dancers, and singers, learning stepdancing and the violin at a young age was a logical development. It's a continuation of that significant culture into vibrant tunes and arrangements as the Beaton Sisters' Band!


Donnie Campbell and Jinks (James) O'Neill

Donnie Campbell and Jinks (James) O'Neill started performing together in 2014. Both are from Sydney and grew up in musical households. They have  travelled extensively with their music, Donnie with folk music and Jinks rock and roll bands giving them a vast repertoire of music from the revival, classic country, rock and roll of the 50's and 60's as well traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton.

2nd Generation

2nd Generation is a dynamic musical ensemble hailing from the vibrant community of Eskasoni, nestled in the heart of Nova Scotia, Canada. Comprised of talented artists deeply rooted in Mi’kmaq culture, this band has captivated audiences with their unique blend of traditional Indigenous sounds and contemporary music genres.

Formed with a vision to celebrate their heritage while embracing modern influences, 2nd Generation infuses their performances with a rich tapestry of rhythms, melodies, and storytelling. Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of their surroundings and the wisdom of their ancestors, their music resonates with authenticity and depth.

Led by visionary musicians who are not only masters of their craft but also passionate advocates for Indigenous rights and cultural preservation, 2nd Generation has garnered acclaim for their soul-stirring performances both locally and internationally. From intimate gatherings within their community to larger stages around the world, the band’s infectious energy and profound message leave an indelible mark on all who experience their music.


Gordie MacKeeman and His  Rhythm Boys

There’s no other band around like Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys. Led by fiddling Wiz Gordie “Crazy Legs” MacKeeman, the roots quartet features all- star pickers and singers, with everything from down – home country to reckless rockabilly to intricate bluegrass. Now the boys are back with their latest release Dreamland.

Crowds all over the world stare in awe as Gordie plays with joyful abandonment. They create new fans at festivals such as Denmark’s Tonder Festival and the U.K.’s Glastombury, to Merlefest in  North Carolina and the Port Fairy Folk Festival in Australia. Onlookers report Gordie and the Boys to be festival highlights time and time again. This is mostly due to the elastic legged band leader nicknamed “Crazylegs” as he demonstrates his unique blend of Canadian clogging and step dancing. Since their inception they have collected a mantle full of awards and recognitions. Their latest album “Dreamland”, produced by Nashville’s R.S. Fields has captured the versatility the group has to offer while showing their expansive talent.

While their records are tremendous, it’s their exhilarating live show that keeps people coming back time and time again and leaving with the same wonder and amazement.


Heart of Kin

Hearts of Kin are an acoustic duo consisting of sisters Danielle MacDonald and Shellie Tobin. Based out of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, these sisters have been singing and playing together for over 20 years. Originally from New Waterford, NS, they officially began performing under the "Hearts of Kin" brand in 2018.

These sisters aim to lend a fresh spin on some timeless folk and country. Heavily influenced and motivated by the wealth of musical talent in Cape Breton, Hearts of Kin bring a sisterly harmony to their own original arrangements. 


Jason MacDonald

Singer/songwriter Jason MacDonald’s passion for music plays out in a driving acoustic fashion, wonderful storytelling and a warm personality that connects immediately with his audience. Since 2002 Jason has released three full length CDs and one EP of original material.  Tracks from his CDs have received significant radio airplay. His music has earned him award nominations from Music Nova Scotia, East Coast Music Awards, Independent Singer-Songwriter Assoc. and Top Honours in the Indie International Songwriters Contest. He has showcased at NS Music Week, East Coast Music Awards and Canadian Country Music Awards. A track from his last recording was chosen for the Atlantic Film Festival Music and Images Compilation. Recently he has licensed a track form one of his CDs to Sailing – Classics of Germany for use in promoting their cruise ship business. He has toured in the US several times doing shows booked through New England Celtic Arts. He has performed at several festivals that include the Milwaukee Irish Festival, Celtic Colours International festival, Kempt Shore Acoustic Festival and Acoustic Roots Festival to name a few. In 2017 Jason toured in Western Canada that included performances at Calgary Folk Club and Northern Lights Folk Club in Edmonton


Joe Gillis

After serving 38 years with the Canadian Forces, retired Lieutenant Colonel Joe Gillis, has decided to pursue his other passion in life: music. In 2016, Joe's recorded his first professional CD and once you've heard it, you will know Joe Gillis. Yet, it is more than the sum of its parts. Through this compilation, you will discover that Joe is a spirited artist who loves his wife and family, his parents and siblings and holds his friends as dearly. You’ll recognize the influences in Joe’s songs about missing home and Cape Breton Island while traveling on operations throughout the world. You'll sense his deep loyalty to Canada and to family and friends alike. These songs also speak to Joe’s spiritual beliefs and give you a glimpse into his true gentlemanly nature. While Joe doesn’t live in the past, he does cherish old songs that reflect the times of which they speak; the time-tested melodies that long to be revisited and renewed. Joe believes those songs should be enjoyed over and over again, and some of Joe’s favourites are included. Joe’s three original compositions, "Will Ye No Come Back Again”, “My Old Home Town”and “Jerome’s Farewell", tell of his love of being a Cape Bretoner and the fun a person can have just by being on the Island, or even, at a farewell funeral party. This carefully chosen collection pays homage to Joe’s Cape Breton roots and value system, born of a supportive family and nurtured by loving parents who instilled in him a deep sense of morality and compassion for all. In the spirit of sharing the songs and stories that bring you back to your roots and make you feel good, Joe hopes you will find as much joy in listening to this CD has he had in making it.

Jon Hines

Jon Hines is a national touring blues, jazz and folk singer-songwriter based in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Digital recoding, release Down To Funk, (DTF) was nominated for blues recording of the year ECMAs 2022. Jon is endorsed by Godin Guitars & Black Mountain Thumb Picks. A perfect combination of Canadian products for this Canadian traveling blues man. Jon has toured nationally, opening for international acts Steven Page, Jesse Roper & Daniel Champagne. Jons debut album, “Wild Things Roam” had a song featured in ISC (International Songwriting Competition) where it advanced into the semi finals two years in a row, out of 19,000 song entries world wide. 

2017 ISC semi finalist
2018 ISC semi finalist
2020 ECMA showcase artist
2020 selected as a Black Mountain Picks Artist 
2021 Godin Guitars artist

2021 Live At Heart Newfoundland artist
2021 Cape Breton Jazz Festival showcase artist
2021 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival showcase artist
2022 ECMA nomination, Blues recording of the year


John Donovan

John was born and raised in Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island and was influenced by Cape Breton/East Coast and Canadian music from his father’s record collection at the early age of 10 years.  He began to perform professionally at the age of 15 with his rendition of Cape Breton Celtic and Folk songs.  John established himself touring with local cover bands around the Maritime bars/pubs, music festivals and conferences in Ontario & the USA. 

Initial LP released in 2010, and a Christmas Songs EP released in 2019, John has completed his sophomore LP, (Southern Sun).  Infused Americana sounds and a blend of East Coast Folk and Bluegrass; this record is warm and inviting.


MacArthur Dancers
The MacArthur Dancers are known for their award winning creative stage Choreography, as well as their Traditional Celtic Dance performances. In 2017, they won the Canadian Choreography Challenge Title. The dancers are trained in Scottish Highland Dance, Cape Breton Step Dance, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Contemporary and Modern styles. This helps to enhance their stage and performance skills, and bring Choreography to life on stage. Whether it be a local charity, international festival, or a professional stage show, these dancers perform at over 100 events a year. Cape Breton Island is known for its living Gaelic/Scottish culture, and this group has been continuing this passion through a shared love of dance, expressed through instruction and performance. They will continue to pass this along through many generations to come.(</span>


Mary Beth Carty

Accordionist, guitarist, and player of pocket-sized instruments, Mary Beth Carty of Nova Scotia possesses a magical voice that earned her a nomination for Traditional Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Carty’s new album, Crossing the Causeway, fuses traditional song, instrumental tunes, & originals to create a multilingual opus that reflects the diverse yet unified roots of her region. The project features some of Cape Breton Island’s best musicians and singers including  Colin Grant (Rum Ragged), Bradley Murphy (Mhira Blood), and Donnie Mailing ListCalabrese (Sprag Session), and guest vocalists including Cassie and Maggie. Mary Beth has toured throughout Canada, performed in Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Rwanda, and DRCongo, and performed on Holland-America and NCL cruise lines. She is known for her entertaining live shows, ripe with sing-alongs, dance jigs, and all around good vibes!


Matt Minglewood

Matt Minglewood – genre – Northern Rock with a Canadianna feel, a musical hybrid with one foot steeped in the musical roots of blues & country and the other knee-deep in rock. Minglewood, known for his high octane shows will have you enjoying his brand of rock as it should be heard, wrenched from the heart and shot from the hip. For all music fans with a taste for the blues & rock, to witness this band is a feather in your cap. Joining Matt on stage is Moon McInnis on drums & vocals, Donnie Hann, a suburb bass player is back in the fold after a 40 plus year hiatus, Nick McInnis adds his immense talent on guitar and with Jeff Stapleton tickling the keyboards & vocals. The youthfulness in the band has added a fiery spark to their shows. Hope you got the opportunity to catch one of their shows, you won’t be disappointed. 

Matt has released 14 recordings and has amassed numerous awards & accolades including 

two ECMA awards for 2018 ‘Blues Recording of the Year’ and the coveted ‘Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year’ awards. In 2019 was honored to be inducted into Casino NS Music Hall of Fame.

 A few of the awards he has amassed throughout his career include: East 

Coast Music Awards

 2018 Fans Choice ‘Entertainer of the Year’ 

2018 Blues Recording of the Year for ‘Fly Like Desperados’ 

2008 Blues Recording of the Year for ‘The Story” 

2006 Blues Recording of the Year for ‘Live at Last’

 Lifetime Achievement Award 

Maple Blues Awards

 2015 Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement) 

2013 Entertainer of the Year Award

Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival 

2005 Dutch Mason Blues Award

 Canadian Country Song of the Year Me & The Boys 

1986 Great Canadian Blues Award

 CBC Radio Saturday Night with Holger Peterson 

Honorary Doctorate from UCB 

Two Juno Nominations & Three Gold Records 

Bestowed with the Queens Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Canadian Music

 Amsterdam Website – Facebook Page - Facebook- Twitter - Instagram – YouTube – For music, high-res photos & interview requests, contact Barbara Batherson Cape Music ♫ Ph: 902 919-4225


Robert Bouchard 

A life-long performing artist, Robert Bouchard has toured this national vast expanse on more than one occasion. He is a bonafide country sensation who has earned many accolades, the most recent being an induction into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.

No stranger to television cameras, Robert Bouchard accepted an invitaion to appear on the popular Tommy Hunter Show, among others.

A native of Arichat, Cape Breton, Robert showed both his Irish and Country Sides in a introductory recording of the same name. In the years that followed, Robert and duet partner Giselle, recorded 2 more albums. These were followed by 3 solo recordings adding up to a total lifetime of 6 recording projects.

Today, we are about to witness the cream rising to top yet again with the release of his new CD entitled 'That's What I Live For'.

His fans have already heard and witnessed what he was placed on this earth to do, sing & entertain!Others are in for the finest country artist to ever emerge from these parts.

Dennis ‘Nick’ Boudreau is a most sought after and respected guitarist. Nick toured extensively with country artists Robert Bouchard and Cornelia & Billy. He toured Canada and Germany, work that lasted most of his adult life. Nick was a featured guitarist on a Rankin Family tour. He is modest and humble, yet musical colleagues sing his praises as a player of guitar, banjo, bass, and mandolin. Throughout his entire career, Nick has always partaken in fundraising initiatives, especially for persons with serious illness. 

Tide & Timbre

Jamming to Roy Orbison on cardboard cut out guitars as kids, these brothers were destined to strum real guitars together on the same stage. Music has always been a part of their lives, as far back as they can remember. Obsessed with musicians such as the already mentioned, Roy Orbison, as well as CCR, The Beach Boys, fLynyrd Skynyrd, and many more, music went where they went. 

Moving rom Nova Scotia to New Brunswick to PEI and eventually back to Nova Scotia, the scenery and the people were in a constant motion of change, but the one thing that remained was their love of music. 

Nathan being a lobster fisherman and Jeremy with a career in the lumber industry, they've always been connected to the sea and the forest, especially as kids growing up in the Maritimes. Thus, the birth of TIDE & TIMBRE. Back in 2016 Nathan and Jeremy decided they'd record an EP. Nathan had already written songs such as Facebook, My hometown, Singing' for my Supper, and Her and Summer. So they got together a few times and wrote the song What it is you're Doing to Me , and Light it up Run, which would end up being the title of their EP. 

They recorded their debut EP with producer Scott Ferguson, formerly the drummer of The Rankin Family.  When the album was finished, they remained a nameless duo until Scott was putting together a compilation album of his work, and wanted to use a couple of their songs, but he requested a band name, "Can you guys come up with a band name by tomorrow?" Challenge accepted. 

Eight years after releasing their debut EP "Light It Up And Run" and many delays, the new EP "Feelin' Pretty Good" is finally here and available right now on all platforms. Go give it a listen. 

Turnbull Brothers

The Turnbull Brothers are Evan and Aaron Turnbull 20 year old twins from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia who placed 3rd. in the finals of Canada Got Talent season two. They have been playing small cafes and restaurants since the age of 16 and always were a local crowd favorite . Since competing on Canada Got Talent they have been playing shows all across Nova Scotia. And 2024 is not slowing down for them, working hard in the studio putting their first album together hoping to be released in the fall of  2024.