Don MacLellan – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #16

August 2013

Don MacLellan

Don MacLellan

For August, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features Pine Falls musician, Don MacLellan. He has been playing guitar since the age of fourteen, for forty-five years.

When he started, he liked folk and other roots styles of music. Several other genres have influenced his musical interests but lately he has been bitten by the bluegrass bug and he has been exploring this style of guitar playing.

MacLellan has always played acoustic guitars. He likes the open chord “C-A-G-E-D” system, using capos to navigate to desired keys and using familiar chord shapes.

He prefers to arrange the songs of his favourite songwriters and performers to suit his playing style as opposed to writing his own original material. He is self-taught and plays by ear, although he admits, “I’m not always sure what those phrases mean.”

MacLellan appreciates the opportunity to play with like-minded musicians. Although he insists “I don’t perform regularly enough,” he has entertained folks at weddings, benefit concerts, bars and events for seniors.

He likes to emulate performers such as JP Cormier, Joni Mitchell, Norman Blake, Gordon Lightfoot, Tony Rice, Nancy Griffith, Steve Goodman, and David Bromberg. He has taught his style of playing on the side, as well as on a volunteer basis at places such as Wings of Power. If asked, he will also repair and maintain guitars.

MacLellan is a councillor for Ward II with the town of Powerview-Pine Falls and, for the past three years, has helped establish and build the Winnipeg River Arts Council, serving as its President. He says, “I am proud of this rare opportunity to help entrench and promote the arts throughout our region, and it is an endeavour of which I am very proud.”

The Winnipeg River Arts Council encourages other local musicians to join WRAC as members. The arts council can promote your talents in the region, if you want to perform or give lessons.