Allan MacDonald | Bowing Down Home

Allan MacDonald, 1991

Biography

Allan MacDonald is the son of well-known northern Kings County fiddler Hector MacDonald, and father of fiddler Ward MacDonald. Many of his sisters played guitar or piano and sang beautifully.

Allan grew up on the family farm and started playing guitar at about age 10. By the time he was 14, he was regularly accompanying his father at weddings and dances. When he was 15, the two of them built a dance hall on the property, using lumber from trees they cut down themselves from their own wood lot. The Hall was a great success right from the start; for one thing, everyone loved to dance to Hector’s fiddling,

Allan took up the fiddle himself right around the time the hall went up; the instrument came relatively easy to him because he already had many of Hector’s tunes committed to memory. By the second year the hall was in existance, he had progressed enough to help his father out by playing for a set or two over the course of an evening.

Later on, Allan became enchanted with Cape Breton fiddling (two of his early heros were Donald Angus Beaton and Winston Fitzgerald). In the late 1970s, he joined the local branch of the PEI Fiddlers’ Society, known as the Eastern Kings Fiddlers. He recalls that right around this time he attended a benefit concert and heard Kenny Chaisson play beautifully at a benefit concert; this essentially hooked him on the Cape Breton sound and repertoire for all time: “I couldn't believe the music that man was takin’ out, and him a young fellow! But Kenny sat up there and my God he opened my eyes. I said, ‘That's the way the fiddle should be played.’ I've been trying to do that ever since.”

Tune Selections

MacDonald, Allan - AMacdonald March 3 / AMacdonald Reel 4 Accompanied by: Ward MacDonald, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Arkansas Traveler Routine Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Caber Feidh Accompanied by: Ward MacDonald, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Carter MacKenzie's Reel Accompanied by: Ward MacDonald, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Darlin' Don't You Meddle Me Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Goldenrod Jig / Don't be Teasing Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Island Boy Accompanied by: unacc
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Liam's Jig / Ocean's Jig Accompanied by: Ward MacDonald, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - London Lasses (A PEI Setting) Accompanied by: unacc
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Lord Lovat's Lament / John Angus Beaton / Sandy MacIntyre's Trip to Boston Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Old Brown Coat & Me, The Accompanied by: unacc
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Sandy MacIntyre's March / Anna is My Darling / Hector MacDonald's Reel / Arrochar Bridge / Anne MacQuarrie's Reel Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Tamara's Reel Accompanied by: Ward MacDonald, pno
Northeast Kings
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MacDonald, Allan - Wilfred's Fiddle /AMacDonald Jig #1 / AMacDonald Jig #2 Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Northeast Kings
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Oral Histories

Hector MacDonald’s fiddling His fiddling had a great rhythm, beautiful dance music; never get tired of listening to it; the more he played the better he got info and transcript
How he got started Started at 15; he was playing guitar for his father at first, then one day he decided to try fiddle; he had tunes in his head from accompanying his father. info and transcript
MacDonald, Allan - Hector’s dance hall Allan helped his father Hector build a dance hall on the property using lumber from their own trees that they cut down; they had two dances a week, and on Sunday it became a venue for a musical afternoon. info and transcript