Beautiful Lake Ainslie is a collection of traditional fiddle tunes by renowned Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac and American pianist Barbara MacDonald Magone. The two first performed together in 2011 at the Celtic Colours International Festival on MacIsaac's native Cape Breton Island and decided to continue their partnership the following year, recording this 11-song set in Windsor, Ontario. Known for his crossover work, which encompasses pop, punk, and various shades of traditional folk, MacIsaac remains one of the premier Celtic fiddlers in the Cape Breton style and this simple, no-frills recording should please purists. His thin, lilting fiddle accompanied by Magone's adept, rhythmic piano resembles classic ceilidh music on uptempo reels like "Lt. Gov. Mayann Francis" and the set of dance tunes "1st Figure," "2nd Figure," and "3rd Figure." The haunting title tune is a slow air showcasing MacIsaac's deft touch, while the lovely "Lea Rig" shows why Magone is one North America's most sought-after Celtic pianists. This is a strong set full of spontaneity and nuance capturing two veterans in their best light.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger