Andrea, Kinnon, and Betty Lou Beaton
at Lebanon

Event Summary

2008 November 22 (Saturday)
House concert at Carla Sandstrom and Dan Crook’s, 181 Stevens Road, Lebanon, New Hampshire.
The Beatons of Mabou: Andrea, Kinnon, and Betty Lou Beaton play Cape Breton music in a house concert.
By invitation from
(or call (603) 448-2544) and a donation of “$15, or whatever more you feel like it is worth to you”.

Review for the Cape Breton Music List
(Posted 2008 November 24)

This past week, Andrea, Kinnon, and Betty Lou Beaton played in Maine at three different venues and, on Saturday, at Lebanon (New Hampshire) in a house concert organized by Dan Crook and Carla Sandstrom (Carla was called away earlier in the afternoon and was unable to attend). Dan believes that this was the sixteenth house concert they have staged—he says that he’s sort of lost track—and they have become so successful that he had over sixty people for this concert and had to turn away twenty more who wanted to come as the house could comfortably hold no more. Beth Telford and Jerry Holland have been very active in Vermont in establishing and nurturing a large group of fiddle players and Scottish traditional music enthusiasts; Dan also credits Beth with encouraging him to start holding the house concerts. Unlike many such concerts, where the grey heads are nearly all that one sees, there were lots of younger folks at this concert, from a pre-kindergartener to elementary students to tweens to teens to twenty-somethings and beyond; their enthusiasm for the music was deep and heartfelt, coming in many cases from having played that music themselves on the fiddle. Scottish traditional music is certainly in good health in this area and the credit for that surely goes to Beth and Jerry and to the large group of supporters like Dan and Carla that they have encouraged as proponents of this music.

The concert opened with a set of three jigs: Elizabeth’s Jig, which Glenn Graham wrote in honour of his grandmother; The Hills of Glenorchy, a traditional jig; and Buddy’s Order of Canada, which Kinnon wrote in honour of Buddy MacMaster’s entry into the Order of Canada. Andrea and Kinnon were both playing fiddle and Betty Lou was on the piano. The next set was of reels; as with most of the following sets, tune names weren’t given and, while the tunes were familiar to me, I don’t know their names, so I apologize for not giving them. In the next set, Andrea step-danced. In the fourth set, Kinnon played alone while Andrea sat out the set. In the fifth set, it was reversed: Andrea played alone while Kinnon sat out. Kinnon and Andrea rejoined forces in a beautiful slow air whose name Andrea gave but which I alas didn’t hear. Three additional marvellous sets followed to close out the first half of the concert.

With Andrea and Kinnon on dual fiddles accompanied by Betty Lou on piano, the second half again opened with a jig set, this one from Kinnon and Betty Lou’s Cape Breton Fiddle Compilation CD, but alas I’m not sure which of the jig sets on this CD they played. The second set ended with strathspeys and reels. The third set had Kinnon’s 50th Birthday Clog, which Andrea composed. Betty Lou took a rest during the fourth set as Andrea moved to piano. Betty Lou then came back to the piano and Kinnon and Andrea resumed playing, beginning with a slow air; after the tempo picked up, Andrea again step-danced during this set. The final set of the evening started with a slow strathspey and finished with reels. Most of the sets in the second half were very long, with from six to ten tunes in each set. A standing ovation greeted the performers.

Anyone who has heard these three play together knows how magical their music is and those who know the tunes well move and sway and tap their feet as the music in each set progresses. This audience was very knowledgeable about the music and equally appreciative of the superb playing. It was a great concert with nearly two full hours of the very best music and one everyone I spoke with was very happy to have attended!

But the music was not finished when Andrea, Kinnon, and Betty Lou finished their last set. Beth and several of her students had brought their fiddles and Dan supplied a couple more so, with Andrea on the piano, they gave us another half hour of tunes. Young Matt Brouard finished the evening off surprising everyone by step-dancing while fiddling, a bravura performance in the Cape Breton tradition! My congratulations to these musicians for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance; it is a joy indeed to see the music in such fine shape with the younger folk.

And to Dan and Carla go my sincere thanks both for their great hospitality and for all they have done to support the music, not least by providing a delightful and alluring venue for Cape Breton artists who have made the trip to New England.


Dan Crook opens the concert

Andrea and Kinnon Beaton on fiddles
accompanied by Betty Lou Beaton on piano

Kinnon Beaton on fiddle accompanied by Betty Lou Beaton on piano

Andrea Beaton on fiddle accompanied by Betty Lou Beaton on piano

Andrea Beaton

Andrea and Kinnon Beaton on fiddles
accompanied by Betty Lou Beaton on piano

Kinnon Beaton on fiddle
accompanied by Andrea Beaton on piano

Andrea Beaton step-dancing

Andrea and Kinnon Beaton on fiddles
accompanied by Betty Lou Beaton on piano

Jake Brouard, Matt Brouard, Danny Brouard, and Beth Telford on fiddles
accompanied by Andrea Beaton on piano

Matt Brouard step-dances and fiddles