Few singer/songwriters have had the opportunity to be steeped in such a diverse range of musical influences as Nathan Bishop MacDonald. Nathan was the primary songwriter and driving creative force behind the successful Canadian Celtic band, Celtae and currently performs his original Celtic songs with his sensational new band, Finlaggan.
Celtic music speaks deeply to Nathan’s roots and his upbringing in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He wrote Merchant Marine in honour of Canada's Merchant Navy veterans and the song was selected as the theme song for Paul Ciufo's CBC Radio Drama, "On Convoy" , was featured on traditional music compilations and has been covered by several other artists, cementing it in the canon of Canadian Celtic music.
While Nathan's folks ballads betray an innate and intimate understanding of traditional music, his toolbox isn't limited to that style. His musical education included private lessons on guitar and piano, school band, choirs, musical theater and even the pipes and drums band. Long before his Celtae days, he fronted alt rock group, Stevenson’s Cane (with Brian Talbot of Slowcoaster and Mike Richey). At the same time, Nathan was writing roots rock tunes, beatboxing and competing in freestyle rap battles.
Nathan distilled his diverse and eclectic influences into a distinct sound for his debut solo release "Lovers, Leavers and Believers". The album showcased his instrumental ability on guitar, bass, drums and keys and also featured excellent guest musicians including East Coast Music Award nominees Andrea Curry and Neil McDaniel, Ross Murray (Mighty Popo, Great Big Sea), Dave Cohen (Johnny Reid), Stuart Watkins (East Village Opera Company), Mike Richey, Marni Levitt, and more. Toronto's Now Magazine described the album as "Poignant, Whiskey-drenched country rock with urban and latin influences."
Nathan's song Without You, from that same album, was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and received honourable mention. This Nashville based competition is held annually and is the #1 contest of its kind.
Nathan is always involved in a variety of projects and in 2019 he has been busy collaborating on the songwriting for an exciting new musical theater project, playing solo folk rock shows and performing sold out concerts in soft seat theaters with Finlaggan.
Recording: "Lovers Leavers and Believers"
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