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Edmonton musicians pay tribute to Fleetwood Mac

Five Edmonton musicians are living by the mantra “Go Your Own Way” in more ways than one.
Mac Daddy
Award-winning singer/songwriter Brent McAthey will perform at the Woodstock Hotel in Turner Valley Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.

Five Edmonton musicians are living by the mantra “Go Your Own Way” in more ways than one. Former cover band Head Over Heels, consisting of Mark Donaghy, Laurie Slater, David Bowden, Crystal Goodfellow and David Gaitan Galvez, took their love of Fleetwood Mac to the next level three years ago by becoming Mac Daddy, a band that pays tribute to the Grammy Award winning British-American rock band. Mac Daddy is making the Black Diamond Hotel and Bar its next stop on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. to play favourites like The Chain, Don’t Stop and Little Lies through Okotoks’ Rock-A-Billy Entertainment. “There’s something about Fleetwood Mac that definitely has a very wide appeal,” said Donaghy. “It definitely has stood the test of time. The biggest albums came out about 40 years ago and it’s amazing to still see so many people coming out to shows.” The idea of transitioning to a tribute band in Fleetwood Mac’s honour came while performing cover songs as Head Over Heels, said Donaghy. “We were looking to doing some promo shots for the band and looking at different photos online and kept coming up with Fleetwood Mac,” he said. “We thought we had the same lineup with two female singers, drums, bass and guitar and we thought we should try a tribute band. We decided to develop that and see what would happen.” As a cover band, Head Over Heels performed a couple of Fleetwood Mac’s more popular songs, but transitioning to a full-on tribute band required a lot more digging, said Donaghy. “We started to learn songs and get into it,” he said. “The songs are such well-written, good songs that were really fun to perform.” Donaghy plays the part of guitar player Lindsey Buckingham, who is one of the main songwriters and singers of the band. “I’m a child of the ’70s so I was maybe a little bit too young to catch it the first time around but definitely I’ve been a fan all my life,” he said. “There’s some really strong emotional connections a lot of people have to the music due to strong lyrics about relationships and stuff that everybody can relate to.” One of Donaghy’s favourite hits is Go Your Own Way, a song that he describes as high-energy and emotional. “There was a lot of relationship writing between Lindsey and Stevie Nicks, especially on the Rumours album,” he said. “They had a pretty rocky relationship – break ups and getting back together and they wrote about it in their songs and sang to each other in the band even when they were going through those kind of issues.” Fleetwood Mac was formed in London in 1967 and in its fame sold 100 million records worldwide as one of the world’s bestselling bands. Their fans are still around, said Donaghy. “We’re almost overwhelmed by how much people enjoy the music and how much people come out and really want to see Fleetwood Mac,” he said. “For some of them it’s reliving some of the times when they were growing up.” Much of the Fleetwood Mac experience is centred around the Rumours album and the band’s golden years, said Donaghy. It also brings to life the band even before Buckingham and Nicks joined. “It was more of a blues rock band so we do a little bit of that, just basically a song or two from there,” he said. “We cover the whole span of the band. We do a few ’80s hits that they’ve had. Stevie Nicks had a bit of a solo career, too, so we do that. We have the freedom to be able to do whatever we want.” Donaghy said Mac Daddy not only offers a musical experience, but an educational one as well. “We definitely talk about the band and the history,” he said. “We might introduce a song and give a little bit of background about it. It gives continuity to the show and we recognize that the hardcore fans are going to know everything about the band but there will probably be lots of people there that maybe don’t know about the early years and that kind of thing.” Tickets to see Mac Daddy perform cost $35 and are available at Okotoks Sobeys and the Black Diamond Hotel and Bar.