Lucy MacNeil recalls music as always being at the centre of her childhood home in Sydney Mines where family, neighbours and visiting musicians would often gather—the rhythm of everyone’s feet tapping with the music would lull her to sleep on many nights. The only girl in a family of five boys, Lucy may be described as the heart of The Barra MacNeils, the family band in which she sings (English and Gaelic), plays fiddle, harp and bodhran, and step dances. Her crystalline vocals are immediately identifiable with the group’s distinct sound. In a career spanning more than 30 years, The Barra’s have released 17 recordings and made fans of Cape Breton’s traditional music around the world. Lucy was one of the Festival’s Artist in Residence in 2015 and performs at Celtic Colours this year with guitar and bouzouki player Robert Durando and her brother Boyd, in addition to a special concert with the Barra MacNeils and family.