Mary Jane Lamond

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Mary Jane Lamond
Born 1960
Kingston, Ontario
Genres Celtic folk
Occupation(s) Songwriter, performer, recording artist
Instruments Vocals, accordion
Years active 1995-present
Labels New Scotland Records, Pheromone Recordings
Associated acts Ashley MacIsaac, Wendy MacIsaac

Mary Jane Lamond (born 1960) is a Canadian Celtic folk musician who performs traditional Canadian Gaelic folk songs from Cape Breton Island. Born in Kingston, Ontario, she graduated from Westmount High School in Montreal and then the Celtic Studies program with a minor in Music at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.[1] Known for presenting traditional material within a contemporary soundscape, Lamond first gained widespread notice as vocalist on Ashley MacIsaac's 1995 hit single "Sleepy Maggie." She then had a solo Top 40 hit in Canada with "Horo Ghoid thu Nighean," the first single from her 1997 album Suas e!.[1]

Since 2000, Lamond has composed and produced tracks for film and participated in a number of charitable projects.[2][3][4] Her 2012 collaboration with fiddler Wendy MacIsaac, Seinn, was named one of the top 10 folk and americana albums of 2012 by National Public Radio in the United States.[5]


The youngest of five children, Lamond moved a number of times during her childhood, to a series of cities and towns in Ontario and Quebec. Her parents were both originally from Nova Scotia, however, and she often visited her father's parents in Cape Breton during her summer vacations. There she was first exposed to Celtic culture in general and to Gaelic music and the Gaelic language in particular.[6] She would later return to Nova Scotia to enroll in the Celtic Studies program at St. Francis Xavier University. The school housed 350 field recordings of traditional Scots-Gaelic songs in its library, with which Lamond spent a lot of time.[1]

While still a student, Lamond recorded an album of traditional material called Bho Thir Nan Craobh (From the Land of the Trees), which she released independently in 1994. Among the musicians on the album was fiddler Ashley MacIsaac.[7] MacIsaac had first seen Lamond perform in 1991 with a local band in Antigonish and was impressed with what he saw as her "punk attitude," even as she was singing Gaelic songs.[1] MacIsaac and Lamond collaborated again in 1995 on the song "Sleepy Maggie" for his album Hi How Are You Today?, which became a breakthrough recording for both of them.[6]

Lamond followed this up with a solo album in 1997 called Suas e! (which in English means, roughly, "Go for it!"). The album was nominated for a Juno Award and an East Coast Music award.[1]

Following Suas e!, she released Làn Dùil in 1999, which cultural magazine PopMatters said "should establish her as a major talent in Celtic and world music.[8] Orain Ghàidhlig, most of which was recorded live in North River, Cape Breton Island, followed in 2001.[1]

During the first decade of the 21st century, Lamond mostly put her solo recording career aside for a variety of other projects, including composition for film and stage, and working with a variety of cultural agencies. She has been active in the ongoing preservation and revitalization of the Scottish Gaelic culture in Cape Breton as a member of the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia, and as a teacher of Gaelic language and song workshops.[9][10]

Her most recent solo album to date is the 2005 recording Stòras, which means "a treasure" in English.[11] Also in 2005, she contributed the song "Mo Mhaeli Bheag Og" to the charity album Voyces United for UNHCR.[1]

Current work[edit]

In September 2012, Lamond and fiddler Wendy McIsaac released the album Seinn.[12] "Their guitar-and-fiddle matchup is beautifully balanced, behind butter-smooth vocals and timeless melodies," said a reviewer on NPR, which named the album as one of the year's top 10 folk and Americana albums.[5] In November 2013, Seinn won a Canadian Folk Music Award for traditional album of the year and a Music Nova Scotia award for traditional/roots recording of the year.[13][14]


  • Bho Thir Nan Craobh (1995) (English: From the Land of the Trees)
  • Suas e! (1997) (English: Go For It!)
  • Làn Dùil (1999) (English: Full of Hope)
  • Orain Ghàidhlig (2001) (English: Gaelic Songs)
  • Storas (2005) (English: A treasure)
  • Seinn (2012) with Wendy MacIsaac
Contributing artist

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • ECMA Award nomination – Female Artist (Bho Thir Nan Craobh)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Roots/Traditional Artist (Bho Thir Nan Craobh)
  • Much Music Award – Global Groove – Bog a’ Lochain (Suas e!)
  • ECMA Award – Single for Sleepy Maggie (hi how are you today?, Ashley MacIsaac)
  • JUNO Award nomination – Roots and Traditional Album: Solo (Suas e!)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Female Artist (Suas e!)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Album (Suas e!)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Video for Bog a’ Lochain (Suas e!)
  • Juno Nomination – Roots and Traditional Album: Solo (Làn Dùil)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Album (Làn Dùil)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Roots/Traditional Solo Artist (Làn Dùil)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Female Artist (Làn Dùil)
  • ECMA Award nomination – Entertainer of the Year
  • MIANS Award nomination – Female Artist
  • ECMA Award nomination – Female Artist (Òrain Ghàidhlig)
  • ECMA Award Roots/Traditional Solo Artist Of The Year Award
  • Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination – Traditional Singer
  • Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination – World Music Artist
  • ECMA Award Female Artist of the Year Award (Stòras)
  • ECMA Award Roots/Traditional Solo Artist of the Year Award
  • Women of Excellence Award Recipient
  • Appointed to Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council
  • Canadian Folk Music Award winner - Traditional Album (Seinn)
  • Canadian Folk Music Award nomination - Traditional Singer
  • Canadian Folk Music Award nomination - Ensemble
  • Music Nova Scotia Award winner - Traditional/Roots Recording (Seinn)
  • Music Nova Scotia Award nomination - Group Recording


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Mary Jane Lamond". Contemporary Musicians, 2002. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Full cast and crew for: A Sign and a Wish: Helen Creighton's Maritimes". Seattle, Washington:, Inc. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Às an Traigh - From the Shore. Mary Smith, Mary Jane Lamond, Julie Fowlis, Andy Mackinnon - St Kilda film project". Seachange. Toronto, Ontario: Cape Farewell Foundation. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Lamond among three appointed to Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council". Cape Breton Post. Sydney, Nova Scotia: TC Media. September 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Top 10 Folk & Americana Albums of 2012". NRP Music. Washington, DC: NPR. December 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Turbide, Diane. "Celtic Music Reels in New Fans". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto, Ontario: Historica-Dominion. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mary Jane Lamond - September 200 Artist of the Month". The Celtic Cafe. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Szeman, Imre. "Mary Jane Lamond: Làn Dùil". PopMatters. Evanston, Illinois: PopMatters Media Inc. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council". Halifax, Nova Scotia: Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Council in the News". Inverness, Nova Scotia: The Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ Cummings-Yeates, Rosalind. "Stòras -review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ Nickson, Chris. "Seinn - review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Canadian Folk Music Awards winners announced". Canadian Folk Music Awards. Ottawa, Ontario. November 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lisa Stitt (November 10, 2013). "Music Nova Scotia Music & Industry Award Winners 2013". Music Nova Scotia. Halifax Nova Scotia. 

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