Origin: Pictou County, Nova Scotia
Her boldness to mix driving mainstream beats with traditional fiddle licks has created an audaciously intriguing and alluring album. Whether it is her haunting bluegrass folk vocals or her catchy re-inventions of melodies, Fleur Mainville joyously rewrites the book on what fiddle music can be.
If the sound of the fiddle stirs the blood and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, you’ll find it hard to stay in your seat when fiddling sensation Fleur Mainville takes the stage. Mainville’s infectious music blend of electrifying traditional celtic folk and rock is engaging and best of all, appeals to fans of all ages.
Since first appearing on the music scene over 20 years ago, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the energy Mainville brings to every show with her dynamite stage presence. In the fall of 2009, Fleur Mainville’s newest recording, My Rare One, was released to rave reviews. It contains dynamic and vibrant sounds of the fiddle along with Mainville’s sweet voice on lead vocals for a number of songs. Mixed with musical ingredients of electric and acoustic guitar, powerhouse bass grooves, pulsating percussion and vocal harmonies make My Rare One one of the rarest treasures found this year on the east coast.
Mainville began playing the violin at the age of 5. Her love of music at such a young age led her to study classical violin for 10 years under the instruction of Peter Dunn of Halifax Nova Scotia. She continued her passion for classical music by also taking piano and voice training and participated in the Junior and Senior High School Bands, playing both the flute and percussion. She also followed her heart by learning traditional fiddle celtic music. Mainville expanded her instrument repertoire by joining the Heatherbell Girls Pipes and Drums band where she was a touring member and at a young age represented the group by traveling to Ontario to play for the Queen of England. She also had the honor of playing in the United States representing Nova Scotia’s traditional style of music.
By age 14 she began playing at local pubs within Pictou County with local talents such as John Spyder MacDonald and Dave Gunning. She quickly became a favourite and began playing for fiddle matinees for “standing room only” audiences. She spiraled onto the east coast music scene with the celtic rock band MacKeel and with the release of MacKeel’s debut CD Plaid, the group was nominated for two East Coast Music Awards and in 1996 Plaid was given the title by Sam the Record Man as the highest independent selling CD in the Maritimes. Joining the management team of Jones’ and Co. in 1998, they received an A&M record deal with Turtle Music Records. MacKeel is still credited with taking Celtic music to the next level. Their performances included sharing the stage with such artists as The Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, The Irish Descendents, Rawlin’s Cross, Natalie MacMaster, Leahy, Seven Nations, The Tragically Hip, Crash Test Dummies, Ashley MacIsaac, Glass Tiger, The Rankin Family, Mary Jane Lamond, Clandestine and The Barra MacNeil’s to name a few. In 2002 the band parted ways and Fleur Mainville began her solo career. She released her debut independent CD Finding Treasures; in 2006 It’s About Time and in 2008 a Christmas recording appropriately titled, Fleurries, featured some of her favourite traditional Christmas songs with some of her favourite Pictou County musicians.
Mainville was nominated for the Rock Star Award in 2008, and 2009 & 2010, the Pictou County Ambassador Award by the Pictou County Tourist Association. She was also a featured performer in showcases and the finale performance of the 2008 Nova Scotia Music Week Gala Awards Show with George Canyon and Dave Gunning.
Mainville’s original tunes are now being used by HBO and by other fiddlers from all over. Whole On It, from the new album My Rare One will be featured on the summer 2010 release of Atlantic Standards Kitchen Party Compilation CD, distributed by Warner Music.
Mainville adds her own theme to the traditional jigs, reels and songs. With 4 CD recordings under her belt, she shows no signs of slowing down and is one of the most influential fiddlers on the east coast.