SEINN nominated for ECMA award! | January 15th 2013

Congratulations to Mary Jane & Wendy, their album Seinn is nominated for an ECMA award, for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year. We look forward to ECMW in Halifax, March 6-10, and congratulations to all the award nominees!

Rambles Reviews Seinn | January 7th 2013

I’ve seen Wendy MacIsaac perform in numerous capacities over the years — solo, as part of the band Beolach and in various pickup groups during the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton. But the first time I saw her, more than a decade ago, was as a member of Mary Jane Lamond’s backup band at a gig in New York City.

Despite MacIsaac’s various musical endeavors, she’s kept her musical partnership with Lamond strong — and thriving. That’s demonstrated handily with their latest release, Seinn, which was released jointly under both musicians’ names.

It’s a strong partnership still, and Lamond’s role doesn’t suffer from allowing MacIsaac to step forward and share the spotlight. The album is a tidy balance of Gaelic songs (Lamond) and fiddle sets (MacIsaac), and it’s pure pleasure from start to finish.

Lamond adds a bit of accordion to several tracks, and MacIsaac, besides fiddle, plays a little mandolin and piano. This is no duo effort, however; besides the two eponymous performers, the album draws on a large field of talented vocal and instrumental talent — much of it likewise from Cape Breton — including, but by no means limited to, Tim Edey, Patrick Gillis, Corrina Hewat, Fred Lavery, Ashley MacIsaac, Matt MacIsaac, Cathy-Ann MacPhee, David Milligan and Seph Peters. The tracks are a mix of traditional selections, original pieces and covers.

Lamond has a gorgeous voice and an unequaled mastery of the Gaelic tongue. MacIsaac has for years been one of Cape Breton’s strongest and most reliable fiddlers. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with — a long-standing blending of talents that has continued to grow, develop and strengthen through the years … and has never failed to satisfy.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles

About.com picks Seinn for their Best 12 World Music CDs of 2012 | December 30th 2012

2012 was a great year for world music, but really, almost every year is a good year when it comes to world music. About.com has put together their list of the Best 12 World Music CDs of 2012, and Mary Jane and Wendy’s Seinn is among their favourites:

“This spritely recording came to us from the fertile musical ground of Cape Breton Island, where traditional Celtic music has been kept alive for many generations. Among the torchbearers of the legacy are singer Mary Jane Lamond and fiddler Wendy MacIsaac, for whom this is the first collaboration, though the two have been friends and accomplices for years. Seinn is less about pushing any boundaries than it is highlighting the patina of an old sound (though some of the tracks do add some nontraditional percussion and arrangements, which is fun), but these musicians are strong and capable, and the music sounds better than ever.”

by Megan Romer, About.com

Seinn is a top pick for 2012 | December 30th 2012

George Olson from 89.5 KVMR 105.1FM “Music of the World” listed Mary Jane and Wendy’s Seinn in his list of DJ’s Top Picks 2012. See the complete list on their website, click here.

No Depression: Mary Jane & Wendy on Easy Ed’s top list | December 24th 2012

With over 100,000 new releases every year, Easy Ed of No Depression has no easy task as he writes about his favourite albums from this year. Ed is a much respected and very funny blogger, and we are thrilled and very grateful for Mary Jane & Wendy to top his list.

Visit Easy Ed’s blog on No Depression, here.

Victory Review for Seinn “absolutely magically, glowingly, dynamically wonderful front to back” | December 21st 2012

Ahh… Celtic Music. There is nothing quite like it. It can drive. It can sprout a smile on a statue. It can reduce the strongest among us to tears or set feet to tapping involuntarily. Originating primarily in the British Isles, (although there is a proud tradition in Galicia, Spain) it has found fertile musical soil in the Canadian Maritimes of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Artists from that part of the world are among the very finest anywhere, and include The Rankins, Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie McMaster, to mention only a few.

If you are not familiar with those names, well, you ought to be, regardless of your devotion to this particular style of music. “Seinn” is a collection of Celtic tunes, both traditional in and of the tradition, and is one of the finest I have ever heard, both in terms of musicianship and production.

The performances are absolutely magically, glowingly, dynamically wonderful front to back, and you can feel the energy that must have filled the studio during the recording sessions. Neither of these ladies are newcomers to this style of music, but there is no loss of energy in the rendition of these tunes. Instrumentation is simple: Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, piano and percussion, but there is lots of air around them and the balance is exquisite on every single song. Mary Jane Lamond’s vocals are heartfelt and clear as mountain water. (That matters when one cannot understand a word being sung, since all the vocals are in Gaelic.)

It is a cliché in the reviewing of albums, but this is a collection that simply must be heard to be appreciated. Preparing to write this review went from “well, I better get this out of the way,” to leaning back in my chair in awe-struck silence as each song unfurled it’s emotion and beauty for me. As a lover of Celtic Music myself, let me tell you: It doesn’t get better than this. Obtain! Obtain! Obtain!

by John C. McClure, Victory Review