Collaboration. That’s a word that immediately comes to mind upon listening to a wonderful new recording from Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac.
The two recording artists are no strangers to collaboration. As long-time friends they’ve been playing and touring together now on and off for nearly two decades.
“Much of that time I spent touring as part of Mary Jane’s band, but recently we’re doing it together as a pair, and that’s been exciting. It’s always a pleasure to share the stage with Mary Jane,” Wendy MacIsaac told The Oran on Friday.
Mary Jane and Wendy also collaborate on this CD with a number of musicians – some of whom make appearances with them as a band during their live shows as well as a number of musical guests and friends, including: Seph Peters (of Margaree), Cathy Porter, Brad Davidge, Geoff Arsenault, David Milligan, Corrina Hewat, Mairi Smith, Cathy-Ann MacPhee, Cathy MacGregor; Ed Woodsworth; Kim Dunn; Kevin Fox; Tim Edey; Ashley MacIsaac, Patrick Gillis, Matt MacIsaac, T with the Maggies, Fred Lavery and Mike Shepherd.
Much of the recording work was also done by Mike Shepherd at Lakewind Studios in Cape Breton.
The new CD opens (Yellow Coat) with Wendy and a lively set of traditional tunes and one composed by Kinnon Beaton along with some excellent string accompaniment from Seph Peters, formerly of Margaree.
A shared love of traditional music is something Mary Jane and Wendy have long held in common, and the new recording features a great balance of the traditional sounds while never fearing to try something new in composition or arrangement.
One of my favourite numbers is Angus Blaise – a selection of tunes composed by Wendy along with some of her traditional favourites. The set is named after her son, and it features contributions from her cousin, Ashley MacIsaac, and guitarist Patrick Gillis.
Another favourite is the Blue Mountain Lullaby featuring a composition from Glendale’s Jeff MacDonald and contributions from Mary Jane and T with the Maggies.
The recording will see worldwide distribution and should be a great showcase for additional touring for Mary Jane and Wendy.
Locally, Mary Jane and Wendy will be taking part in Celtic Colours this fall.
Their shows will include a CD release set for the Festival Club on October 7th at midnight, a show with Island Women, a show in Glendale, and they’ll also be sharing the stage with the legendary Chieftains on October 13th in Sydney.
In addition, Wendy will be taking part in teaching at the Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling.
Mary Jane and Wendy are also working on the possibility of doing a tour of Ireland and Scotland in January in addition to participating this fall in a Rejigged – another Celtic festival.
Seinn is available locally already in some of the local stores, and Wendy says she’s hoping to get to Inverness County soon to do some more distribution locally.
by John Gillis