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Album Review

As a third-generation Canadian who champions Scottish Gaelic culture, Mary Jane Lammond is both a musician and a preservationist of sorts. Her music takes ancient Gaelic tunes and breathes life and modernity into them with reverent arrangements. "Storas," a haunting collection of 11 traditional songs, shines with not-so-traditional instrumentation and harmony. Although traditional Gaelic singers sang unaccompanied, Lamond's pure, soaring vocals weave between the layers of sound supplied by her acoustic band. She glides from milling songs to laments, to jaunty dance numbers with equal skill. Two of the album's most striking songs illustrate Scottish life during ancient and contemporary times. The lament "The Battle of Inverlochy" dates from 1645 and details a woman who has lost her father, husband, four brothers, and three sons with dramatic pacing and a cappella power. "It Is My Love the MacDonald Man" dates from the '50s and is a typical milling song accented with light percussion and a lively chorus. Lamond transcends time, borders, and language with this memorable CD.


Born: Nova Scotia, Canada

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Though her initial leap into fame came with the release of Ashley MacIssac's hit song, "Sleepy Maggie," on which she provided vocals in Scottish Gaelic, Mary Jane Lamond had been immersing herself in the music of her grandparents for quite some time. Her own first album, Bho ThirNana Craobh (From the Land of the Trees) was released in the same year (1994), and was the result of research that she had completed while earning a degree in Celtic studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish....
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Storas, Mary Jane Lamond
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