P.O. Box 168
Round Pond, Maine 04564.
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 4/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Opening with seagulls squawking and waves crashing, Julia Lane promptly sets the tone and mood for her latest release, a vocal and instrumental depiction of and tribute to life on the Maine coast. Mingling nature's elements of earth, sky and water, with human reflections and spirit, Lane offers ten songs featuring a mixture of vocals and instrumentation, along with three solid instrumentals, on this gentle release.
Possessing a beautiful, high-pitched voice akin to Loreena McKennitt, Lane's vocals at times appear to eerily match the sounds emanating from her celtic harp, an instrument of which she is a master. However, this is not world music a la McKennitt. Along with Lane's vocals, the celtic harp is in the forefront on this release.
One of the more stirring cuts, "Moneghan," with vocals backed by celtic harp and woodwinds, is an achingly sweet and soaring tribute to a still-inhabited island off the coast of Maine.
"Something To Come Home To" is a touching testimonial to the basic human need of having family, friends, and a place to return to after journey's end. Lane sings:
"...It's a long hard road and some may leave you crying
But the thing that keeps you trying
Is having something to come home to"
Reflecting on the history of a now deserted structure in "The House On The Hill," she sees a different incarnation:
"...The barn is now gone and the fields are unmowed
The people are all gone away
And season on season of sunlight and snow
Have weathered the clapboards to gray
Talk in the town is of tearing it down, dividing the hillside apart
But waterfalls run and apple trees bloom
At the house on the hill in my heart"
In "The River," a testimony to the familial oneness of nature, she sings:
"...Down pour the rains to swell the rippling flood
Down through the hills carryng Earth's lifeblood
Feeding field and forest that line the winding shore
Flowing through the ages; a source of life and more..."
She concludes with:
"...Joining at last the ocean's wide embrace
Safe in her arms the river slows it's pace
High up in the heavens the moon so clear and bright
Celebrates the reunion and the waters share her light..."
This cut appropriately opens and closes with sounds of rushing water.
"Run Before The Wind," sounding like Dylan's "Forever Young" but slower in tempo and melody, is a tribute to Lane's father. Containing a brief but enchanting chorus, it depicts the rotation of the earth as both a lift and a gift in rising back up when life knocks you down:
"...And if the world turns you upside down
Remember, it keeps turning 'round..."
Celtic harp aficionados or those wishing to explore the music of that particular instrument further will especially enjoy this release. Lane's beautiful vocals and her heartfelt feelings and visions regarding the surroundings of the Maine coast are wonderful plusses.
Lane, on celtic harp and vocals, is backed by Fred Gosbee on viola, 12-string guitar, woodwinds, bass and vocals; Gary Clancy on guitar and percussion; and Doreen Conboy on cello. Oh yes, per the liner notes, the seagull, ocean and river sounds are rightfully credited to Mother Nature. Probably just another gig for her.
All songs written and composed by Julia Lane.
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