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Review: John Allen Cameron

Sandy Mc Lean 21 May 05 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 May 05 - 10:42 AM
Barry T 21 May 05 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Noreen Barwise 30 May 05 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Susan Jackson Charters (nee Baker) 17 Aug 06 - 09:51 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 19 Aug 06 - 11:24 AM
Sorcha 19 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM
MAG 20 Aug 06 - 01:15 AM
maeve 26 Feb 13 - 07:45 AM
meself 26 Feb 13 - 09:56 AM
maeve 26 Feb 13 - 11:29 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 26 Feb 13 - 10:52 PM
Elmore 27 Feb 13 - 05:53 PM
ollaimh 27 Feb 13 - 08:58 PM
gnu 28 Feb 13 - 01:33 PM
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Subject: John Allen Cameron
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 21 May 05 - 09:01 AM

John Allen is not well and a tribute concert was held in Halifax Thursday in his honour. This is a review from a local newspaper:


Halifax Daily News
Friday, May 20, 2005
John Allan Cameron honoured with tribute night at Rebecca Cohn
By Sandy MacDonald


Before there was Ashley or Natalie, the Rankins or the Barra MacNeils, there was John Allan Cameron, a charismatic almost-priest from Mabou who spread the gospel of his beloved Celtic music to the world. Last night at the overflowing Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Cameron was feted for the unmatched contribution he's made to fueling the global interest in Cape Breton music and culture.

Cameron, 66, has been battling cancer in recent months, but was kilted and beaming as he slowly made his way down the centre aisle of the hall with his wife Angela before the show started. He may be frailer than his last time in the Cohn, but his eyes blazed with Celtic pride last night.

Fittingly his son Stuart opened the show, picking out a lovely slow air on his father's well-travelled 12-string guitar. Like the cresting wave that Cameron helped generate, the opening medley of tunes built, adding guitars and fiddles, dancers and pipers until the Cohn was rocking like a Mabou house party.

Jimmy Rankin, who grew up across the street from Cameron's mother, delivered a spirited version of his own Roving Gypsy Boy, which Cameron recorded on one of his albums. Then Rankin sang the stirring Banks of Sicily, a poignant war song that Cameron popularized.

Nostalgic revisiting
Over the next three hours, a score of East Coast musicians, most of whom had played with Cameron over the years, shared the stage. Buddy MacDonald, Fred Lavery, Jerry Holland, Mary Jane Lamond and Dave Gunning offered up tunes from the John Allan songbook. For those of us who grew up with Cameron's albums in our family record collection, it was a nostalgic revisiting of some timeless music.

Through the evening, hosts Denis Ryan and Eric MacEwan read letters from a litany of friends who sent their best wishes — Rita MacNeil (who was scheduled to perform but was home ill), Natalie MacMaster, Men of the Deeps and even Prime Minister Paul Martin, all acknowledging Cameron's contributions to the culture of the country.

In a novel tribute, many of the original cast of the Singalong Jubilee program reunited to perform a handful of tunes, still sounding fine. Cameron often performed on the show, and later hosted his own national TV show.

One of the highlights was a terrific set by Stuart Cameron, who took centre stage to sing Wind in the Willows, making the song completely contemporary, then seamlessly shifting into a Gaelic nugget, wholly inherited from his father.

Whooped and clapped
As the music unfolded, John Allan sat just a few rows ahead of me. Through the evening, he whooped and clapped and hissed out his signature "yesss" when the spirit of the music caught hold. As the Singalong Jubilee crew sang through Four Marys, Cameron stood and lovingly conducted the group from his chair, unable to share the stage yet bursting inside to be up there with them.

The Barra MacNeils polished up a couple of John Allan tunes, then kicked into a spirited instrumental set before the whole cast reconvened onstage for a grand finale.

The tribute evening raised some funds for the ailing entertainer, but was more a grand thank-you to an artist whose natural verve and charisma opened doors around the world to propagate the priceless music of Cape Breton Island.

smacdonald@hfxnews.ca


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 May 05 - 10:42 AM

John Allen Cameron is the epitome of the word folksinger in the best sense of that good nomenclature. He came to Chicago to do a concert through the Come For To Sing organization and Emily Friedman--back in the 80s (or was it the 70s still?) and many of us still recall it vividly. I saw him masterfully hold the huge audience at the Winnipeg Folk Festival the two years I also performed there. What a great talent.

I am so sorry to hear that he is ill. Be sure to give him my heartiest greetings. I'm glad that "his night" went so well.

A photo or two of John Allen at the 1978 Winnipeg Fest hanging out with Tom Jackson and Paul Mills can be seen in my forty years of folk scene photos site at

http://rudegnu.com/art_thieme.html

When prompted, you will need to enter the word, mudcat, (lower case) as both the user name and password. That'll get you in. (There are some photos of Ian Robb, Johnny Carignan, Margaret Cristal, Stan Rogers, Grit Laskin etc. there as well.)

All the best,

Art Thieme
Peru, Illinois


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: Barry T
Date: 21 May 05 - 06:38 PM

When I think of John Allan I smile and recall the first time I saw him perform. It was '69 or '70 at the Lobster Festival in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. John Allan performed at the harness racing track on a platform just inside the infield rail and across the track from the grandstand.

Unfortunately, the start of his performance coincided with the warm-up laps of the harness racers. As he sang there were hoofs pounding by and great gobs of mud being flung up at him by the ponies. I recall him trying unsuccessfully to suppress his own laughter while attempting to sing.

Certainly not the highlight of his career, but it was indeed memorable moment!


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: GUEST,Noreen Barwise
Date: 30 May 05 - 07:48 AM

I would like to have been at the Cohn to witness the fitting tribute to John Allan. I too saw him at the Summerside event and was entertained from the get go. He has been to our house a few times when he performed in Fredericton and we have a treasured home video of John Allan and his son Stuart performing in our kitchen. I assisted with the promotion of Joan Kennedy's early career and when we went to Toronto on tour, John Allan made us welcome and brought friends to Joan's show. He is a true supporter of Maritime performers and can be very proud of the results many of them have enjoyed.


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: GUEST,Susan Jackson Charters (nee Baker)
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 09:51 AM

Over 25 years ago I left my dear country and pursued a career change (from music to law) to work and raise a family in the US. Finally, last week I jumped on a plane and made the loooong anticipated trip to NS, the Cape, PEI and NB to breath the Canadian air and soak up it's unique and majestic panoramas. For 6 days, I toured over 1600 miles to the music of my long-ago, literal heart throb, John Allen, whose music coursed through my veins and awoke the depths of my soul as I recalled his songs I had listened to for hours at a time so long ago, just like it was yesterday. I stopped long enough to search for any local pub to get food and a local performer. To my suprise, I fell upon The Triangle to hear Dave McIsaac. During his break he helped revive long faded memories as we reminisced about the late '70's when I had the honor of doing back-up vocals for John Allen for TV specials and Parliment Hill performances, etc. and realized we may well have met before at that time. While I send him my prayers daily now, after hearing the news of his personal battle, I am so thrilled to know he is thriving in plenty of love and admiration.


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for those memories, Susan!

Yes, John Allan is an inspiration to all!


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM

I miss him a lot.....


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: MAG
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 01:15 AM

Art, I remember that concert; at the OTSFM, wasn't it?

Great, great artist.


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 07:45 AM

Some 'Catters might be glad to find this John Allen Cameron LP:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JOHN-ALLAN-CAMERON-MINSTREL-OF-CRANBERRY-LANE-Rare-NOVA-SCOTIA-Folk-SIGNED-/190790284444?pt=Music_on_Vin


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: meself
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 09:56 AM

Although I would question the 'rare' ....


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 11:29 AM

I would question the "rare" of many online auction listings. My reason for posting to this thread is for friends/admirers who wish to have the album.


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 10:52 PM

John Allen's first album has recently been re-released on CD.
Here Comes John Allen Cameron


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: Elmore
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 05:53 PM

I'd prefer "Here Comes John Allen Cameron." Saw and enjoyed him 2 or 3 times long ago. Wish I'd seen him perform more often. A talented and versatile artist.


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: ollaimh
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:58 PM

john allan cameron was a wonderfull man. i met him at to folk festivals, and he was friendly kind and fun. and he played great 12 string guitar and sang a wonderfull selection of songs


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Subject: RE: Review: John Allen Cameron
From: gnu
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 01:33 PM

Saw him several times. Always a treat.


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