Chester Playhouse Concert on Atlantic Airwaves this weekend | September 19th 2013

Mary Jane and Wendy played a concert at The Chester Playhouse and it’s is programmed for broadcast this weekend on Atlantic Airwaves. It was a terrific show! Tune in to listen on Atlantic Airwaves, Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. on CBC Radio 2 and at 5:05 p.m. on CBC Radio 1 throughout the Maritimes.

Seinn Nominated for two Music Nova Scotia Awards | September 6th 2013

Music fans and international guests will gather in Sydney, Cape Breton in November for Nova Scotia Music Week.

The Music Nova Scotia award nominations were announced today and Mary Jane and Wendy are nominated for Group Recording and Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year for their album Seinn.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Cape Breton to celebrate!

Folk Alley Sessions: Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac “Yellow Coat” | July 13th 2013

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac with Seph Peters (guitar) & Cathy Porter (percussion) perform “Yellow Coat” at the Folk Alliance International in Toronto, ON. February, 2013. Filmed and recorded by Beehive Productions for FolkAlley.com

[UK] The Living Tradition Review | July 6th 2013

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

Songs and tunes of Cape Breton | June 28th 2013

“There’s a saying in Gaelic that culture is passed on knee to knee, between generations,” says musician Mary Jane Lamond. “My grandparents were Gaelic speakers, so I was always interested in the language. I think I was first drawn to the literary tradition, which is a very oral tradition here on Cape Breton. Gaelic language, spending time with Gaelic speakers became a big part of my social life, and so did spending time with people who were interested in songs, both older songs and newer ones,” she says. “I think I really found my voice when I started singing in Gaelic.”

Wendy MacIsaac’s grandparents were Gaelic speakers also, “so although I don’t always understand every word Mary Jane sings, I understand, you know?” she says. “My first bit of music was step dancing,” she recalls. “My mom taught step dancing lessons — with Natalie MacMaster’s mom, actually — in communities on Cape Breton and I’d go out with them and just pick it up from being in the circle at those lessons.” When MacIsaac began to learn the fiddle, the rhythms and feeling of the music and language of Cape Breton were already in her. “I almost immediately started playing for dances, and when you play three hours a night several nights a week for dancers, you learn about tempos and you learn a lot of tunes!” She also plays those tunes at times on piano and mandolin.

Lamond and MacIsaac have been friends for almost two decades and have often worked on projects and appeared in concert together. Seinn, though, is the first time they’ve made a recording which focuses on their music as you might hear it of an evening’s concert that features the two. “We were both overdue to put out an album,” says MacIsaac, “so we decided it was time.”

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Lane Series, tickets on sale now for Nov. 22, 2013 | June 20th 2013

Beloved Cape Breton musicians, Wendy MacIsaac and Mary Jane Lamond are touring together to promote their new CD, Seinn (NPR Top 10 Americana/Folk albums of the year); and are performing at the University of Vermont. Below are the details:

Date: November 22, 2013
Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Cost: $25 adult/$15 advance student
Venue: UVM Recital Hall, The University of Vermont.
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In addition to being a world-class fiddler, piano player, and step dancer, Wendy is also a truly charming and engaging performer, full of stories and banter about her life and art. She’s been performing live in front of audiences since the age of five and has toured all over the world, both as a solo performer and with The Rankins, Ashley MacIsaac, and Beolach. Mary Jane is a superb singer and musicologist who has dedicated her musical career to the preservation of Scottish Gaelic songs and has garnered numerous JUNO and ECMA award nominations, critical acclaim, and a worldwide audience for her efforts. This is a powerful collaboration born of a long-time friendship and a shared love of Celtic music.

“Both Lamond and MacIsaac bring this music forth from deep in their souls, and they and their collaborators bring a great sense of fun and passion to it that comes across at every turn. Highly recommended.” — The Green Man Review