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Cassie and Maggie

May 19, 2024

The Square, Vancouver, BC

Cassie and Maggie MacDonald encompass everything you could ask for in a musical act, their talent is only surpassed by the joy with which they so generously share it. Exciting and innovative, they have found the perfect balance between musical integrity, and sheer entertainment. While still staying true to their Celtic roots, they have explored and tested the boundaries of traditional music, bringing a breath of fresh air to the genre with their original compositions and arrangements. Sisters, cohorts and collaborators, Cassie and Maggie have been enchanting audiences far and wide with their infectious energy, driving rhythms and lilting melodies.

Born to a family with a rich musical heritage and raised in Nova Scotia, a province steeped in musical culture and traditions, the girls have used their unique up bringing as a springboard for their own brand of Celtic Roots music. Equally at home playing tunes passed down through generations of musicians, as seamlessly weaving themes from the Moonlight Sonata into sets of sure fire reels, Cassie and Maggie are turning heads wherever they go. And the music community has taken note; Galaxie Radio Rising Star award winners, Canadian Folk Music Award nominees for “Young Performers of the Year”, East Coast Music Award nominees for Traditional Album and double Music Nova Scotia Award nominees for New Artist and Roots Album of the year, their accolades and awards speak of a young duo that will surely continue to do great things.

Cassie and Maggie have just finished a new album called 'Gold and Coal', inspired by letters written during the Gold Rush era and at the height of coal mining in places like Nova Scotia. “We’ve been taking love letters from people who have been on either side of both of those traditions and putting them to music.” The letters, found in online databases, feature people writing to their sweethearts back home, after heading west to seek their fortune. They found the letters revealed how much human nature stays the same, over the centuries.

Appearing on stages across Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Bermuda and the UK, the list continues to grow as people are beginning to know the names Cassie and Maggie MacDonald. Since their first festival performance at the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Ontario, the girls have gone on to be soloists in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and International Polizi Show in Hamburg, Germany, perform for the French Ambassador in Paris, France, play at the independence day celebrations on Bermuda Island, the Milwaukee Irish festival, the Celtic Colours International festival, the Lunenburg Folk Harbour festival, Celtic Classic festival, Stan Rogers International Songwriters festival, Festival Memoires et Racines in Jolliette, QC to name a few.



“The sound that emanates from these two is so enormous it could take up any room, and is a true testament to their talent.”

- NY Theater Guide

"The Willow Collection showcases not only their musical ability, but the depth and variety of their musicianship." 

– Irish Music Magazine

"They offer the perfect sibling blend... Think of the Everly Brothers and the Mills Brothers... Perfect harmony. There is so much that goes on in each of their tunes and great live performances, it is easy to miss their beautifully offered harmonies. Perfection."

- Chicago Irish American News
“With songs ranging from heartbreakingly beautiful and soft to loud and boisterous, Cassie and Maggie's sisterly voices blend in such a way that you automatically know it is genetic… theirs are voices that wrap themselves around each other more than others.” - No Depression

"This album packs a punch and has harmonies laden with peaches and cream"

- fRoots

"As gifted musically as the are gorgeous, the sisters strike sonic gold... one of the finest Celtic acts this side of the Atlantic." - Celtic Life International 

"There’s never a dull moment about with the MacDonald’s fiddle and guitar combo and anyone not up and dancing will surely find it hard to resist... a hugely enjoyable discovery.

- Bright Young Folk
“This album (The Willow Collection) is magnificent It tests the boundaries of traditional folk sounds with each song celebrating the symbolic tree”

- Woman’s Internationals Music Network

"Of the numerous East Coast artists the Calgary Folk Club has featured, these two young ladies inhabit the rare air of the greats. At an age (each in their early twenties) where they only have more to achieve and develop as performers and writers, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald gave the sort of performance you’d expect from seasoned veterans of their craft." - The Calgary Herald 

"The MacDonald’s music is a beautiful blend of all these Celtic sounds, anchored by the powerful, lively fiddling of elder sister Cassie MacDonald and the beautiful guitar and piano work and clear-as-a-mountain-spring vocals of her younger sister Maggie MacDonald. This is the kind of family music that has always fueled the Maritimes, and there’s a very real closeness in this music that can only come from siblings making music together." - Music News Nashville

"It’s fair to say that the words ‘exciting and innovative’ are often used to describe acts.  In this instance it is entirely justified because by any measure, in terms of music or album, this release is outstanding."  

- Trad Connect 

"Cassie & Maggie both play and sing with a wonderful combination of verve and skill on a program of original and traditional songs and tunes. This is traditional music played with a modern edge"

- New Classics, UK

"With a sound that reflects generations of Nova Scotian fiddlers, and a youthful charm that literally pops out from their recordings, Cassie and Maggie ensure that the true folk ways of their home community reaches the broader world." - Penguin Eggs  

"Rocking Celtic country might not seem the obvious choice for a review in The Living Tradition, but these sisters from Nova Scotia have enough of a background in the Scottish traditions of eastern Canada that those roots are clearly visible even in their more contemporary music.... something as acceptable in Nashville as in New Glasgow, indubitably modern but with clear ties to older music."

- Living Tradition

"In the finest tradition of Celtic folk, these sisters offer a collection of songs dealing with willows and so much more. The instrumental panache between violin and acoustic guitar in addition to fine vocal work is a fine addition to the rich and fertile folk lands of eastern Canada."

- Folkworld  

“Cassie and Maggie turned my head like no other act. There is something very special about their sound, their dedication and their spirit that drew me to want to see every moment of their performances! I was not alone; they quickly became fan favourites at that festival as I know they will be wherever they go.”

- Cheryl Prashkar- President North East Regional Folk Alliance

"The dynamic duo, two sisters whose deep family musical heritage is the launching pad for the finest Nova Scotia fiddle tunes, vocals and step dancing. They are the 'real deal' whose talent is only exceeded by their charm and passion." -  Warren Robinson (Artistic Director Goderich Celtic Roots festival/ past VP of Folk Alliance)

“Cassie & Maggie MacDonald blew me away. They are my kinds of musician. I love the Canadian Celtic traditional music. It's different than most anything else you could hear and that's a good thing. We need a diverse musical world. Being different isn't enough though. They are also virtuosi. Their playing took me to another world.”

- Gordon Nash (Wise Madness)

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