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!