[UK] The Living Tradition Review

The Nova Scotian’s links with their Scottish and particularly their Gaelic heritages have always been strong, and this sparkling CD shows that there is no danger of that connection being broken.

Mary Jane Lamond has a warm and rich singing voice with some of the clearest diction you could home to find. Although she was a student of Celtic Studies, her approach to her matieral is not that of a dusty academic, but rather that of a storyteller who is passionate about the material she sings, and who wants to get that story over to her listeners. This she easily and effortlessly achieves as her voice not only carriers all the subtleties of the tunes, but also gets to the core spirit of the message.

Wendy MacIsaac is a fiddle and mandolin player and pianist of distinction, who (like so many from that airy) can combine all this with step-dancing, too. Her playing is as clear and crisp as the frost on a Cape Breton winter’s morning, but with a warmth and depth of subtlety. She can turn her hand to hard driving reels just as much as to hauntingly lyrical slow airs.

Here, the two friends combine seamlessly, along with a vast array of guest musicians, to give a fusion of arrangements and presentation which shows their appreciation of each others’ approach to their music. The full Gaelic song texts are printed in the liner notes, and the whole production standards are of the highest quality, making this an essential purchase.

by Gordon Potter, The Living Tradition