To say that Sydney Mines native Allie Bennett has worked with pretty much every East Coast musician that you have ever heard of during the last forty-six years may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s actually not far from the truth. The fiddle, guitar, and bass player, who also sings, has toured Canada, the U.S., Britain, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria and has more than 150 album projects to his credit as a studio musician. Frequently called on to play the role of musical director and band-leader for events like the East Coast Music Awards, the Cape Breton Summertime Revue, The Rise & Follies of Cape Breton Island, and Howie’s Celtic Brew, Allie has won East Coast Music Awards for co-producing Dave Gunning’s A Tribute to John Allan Cameron and the prestigious Musician’s Achievement Award. Allie has released two albums of his own and operates a private music school teaching fiddle and guitar as well as continuing to work as a studio and touring musician. For the past ten years he has also been performing solo, singing and playing guitar, which is what he will be doing at the Festival this year.