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World Music CD Reviews North American

Mary Jane Lamond

By Paula Kirman
Published December 12, 2006


Raised in Ontario but now living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canadian Maritimer Mary Jane Lamond first made a name for herself in roots music 10 years ago when she teamed up with Ashley MacIsaac on “Sleepy Maggie.” Since then, Lamond’s built her career upon collecting the Gaelic songs of her ancestors and bringing them into the modern world, scooping up numerous award nominations and building a loyal fan base in the process. Her first new album of studio material since 1999, Storas (which translates to “A Treasure”) lives up to its title. Lamond takes a variety of Scottish Gaelic pieces that have become part of the musical tradition of Nova Scotia, and matches them with contemporary arrangements and instruments. Recorded entirely in Gaelic, the background of each song is explained in English, in the liner notes. The music never drowns out Lamond’s voice, remaining relatively soft and low-key for most of the album. The arrangements mostly consist of acoustic guitar and gentle percussion. This is definitely not the upbeat kitchen music that Maritime Canada is also known for. The accompanying DVD provides an extra treat for longtime fans.