Whether you’re a grandmother, mother, daughter – or all three – Rita MacNeil hopes to see women of all generations in the audience at her annual Mother’s Day gig Monday in Halifax.
“It’s a reflective time for a lot of people, thinking about their mothers,” she said Tuesday from her Big Pond home of why she enjoys celebrating the day honouring moms by singing her away across the Maritimes.
“I’m going to places that I really enjoy going to, and certainly Halifax is top of the list,” she said, adding Dalhousie University’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium “was one of the first concert halls I performed in many years ago.”
Performing songs from her 2006 release also gives MacNeil the chance to remember her own mother, who died of cancer in 1972. She sang Green Green Grass by Carly Putnam to her mother while she was in hospital, while tracks such as North to Alaska by Mike Phillips are poignant reminders of growing up in Cape Breton.
“She was a great believer in everything that I tried to do,” MacNeil said of her mom. “She was certainly a big inspiration in my life.”
MacNeil adds on her website when she was a child her parents often asked her to serenade them with their favourite songs. “I was often reluctant, but with a little coaxing I would oblige,” she writes. “I had to sing out of their view, so the hallway was a good place to go.”
She said she’ll also be singing fun tunes from her 2008 children’s album, Pocket Full of Dreams, making for a special concert appealing to all age groups. She and her four accompanying musicians “put a lot of heart into” the special show, MacNeil said.
Her Mother’s Day Concert Series kicks off in Summerside, P.E.I. this Saturday and wraps up in Liverpool next Tuesday.