Ashley MacIsaac – Hi(™) How Are You Today? Special Edition

This is a bit of a cool find, a 10th anniversary re-release of this Canuck classic. I already own this album (don’t we all, eh Canucks?), and I even wrote a brief blurb on it in 2015:

Ashley MacIsaac – Hi How Are You Today?

Controversial fiddler (it was fun typing that!) hits it big by combining east coast celtic roots and pop-rock. This hit Canada just right in the mid-90s. You’ll know Sleepy Maggie, and probably others if you were anywhere near this CD at the time. I give him a cool cred nod for his cover of Bob Snider’s What An Idiot He Is. Saw him on this tour – he had a cold and blew his nose on the crowd (nice one, Ashley). Still a very listenable record in 2015.

Yup. I still agree. Many, many cool tracks on this one, This was one of those albums when I was in college, it was everywhere.

The full album is here, of course, and there’s still so much to love about it:

Beaton’s Delight Strathspey / Sleepy Maggie / Rusty D-con-STRUCK-tion / The Devil In The Kitchen / MacDougall’s Pride / Spoonboy / What An Idiot He Is / Sophia’s Pipes / Sad Wedding Day / Wing-Stock / Hills Of Glenorchy / Brenda Stubbert.

And since I wasn’t apparently bothered to tell you this in that first blurb, this is from Wiki:

The album was produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda and Peter Prilesnik. Guest musicians on the album included Mary Jane Lamond, Gordie Johnson, Graeme Kirkland, Ian Blurton, Chin Injeti, Gordie Sampson, Chris Brown and the bands Jale and Quartetto Gelato.

So what makes this a special edition? Four extra versions of Sleepy Maggie! Because we all need that.

First up is The Sandman Mix, which turns it into a Morcheeba-like trip-hop version, though it retains its tempo whereas I can’t help but feel that most artists in the genre would slow it down. Still, this is a cool listen.

Next it’s The Deep Sleep Mix, definitely at a slower pace, more relaxed and dream, with wee bits of electronics tossed in and a cool synth line too. Dance-y!

Then we get The BKS Chameleon Boom Mix 1, which ramps up the speed beyond what’s required, but that’s because we’re going clubbing, baby! Instead of full lyrics, they just looped the one line and made it into a 4 bar loop that last a while, then the bass line rides along under the fiddle bit… holy techno, Batman.

Lastly, it’s The BKS Chameleon Boom Mix 2 is also a techno dance track, but the throbbing beat lies underneath rattling guitar and a very loud, haunting fiddle sample. By the time the vocals come in, it’s full swing club mayhem. Lots of little bits in the breakdown, huge bass. Whoa.

In Sum:

The album remains fantastic. The bonus tracks… well… Did I need this? No. But for $1, curiosity won me over.

And I’ve now heard way more Sleepy Maggie than any one person needs to hear in one sitting. But these are the loving lengths to which I’ll go to bring you news from the front lines, Dear Readers.  Give ‘er!


Posted on February 9, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Cool! You agree with yourself!

    Unfortunately all this is, is the album with the Sleep Maggie single tacked on. If Ashley has die hard fans, they already own it.


    • Pretty hard not to agree with myself on this one. Man, we played this one a lot back in the day, eh?

      I had a peek at Discogs, the songle is $1.25… Ah well. Does the different cover art count? 😉


  2. Nice purchase. I love this album (or at least I did for the first year or so after it was released…I should revisit it soon) but those bonus tracks seem like a one-listen-and-forget-about-them addition. Will you keep both versions or pass along the original to someone who doesn’t own it? I have at least one other Ashley MacIsaac album in my collection but lost track of his career. Any idea if he’s still active?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rich! He is still active (as Mike rightly pointed out). The bonus tracks are interesting, but I’m so used to the album version that they just seem a bit weird.

      I hadn’t thought about whether I’d keep both… must ponder!


  3. He is. He releases new albums regularly and the last was 2016.

    As I said to Aaron those bonus tracks are just the CD single tacked on to the end. Too bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a nice group of guest musicians!


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