Combining tunes, songs & style (traditional & new) with dazzling modern horn lines, featuring fiddles, flutes, concertina, smallpipes,
vocals, step dance, a top-notch rhythm section and
a powerful 4-piece brass section in smart, joyous arrangements.
"The joyful and sophisticated sounds of Brass Lassie fully achieve what in my experience is a very rare feat of genre-blending - combining traditional Irish, Scottish and French music played and sung by a brilliant frontline with authoritative and tasteful jazz influenced arrangements from a great full horn section and some fabulous drums and bass. I enjoy every minute of their music!" -- Dáithí Sproule, of Altan
"It represents a great vision, the conception is brilliantly executed, and audiences are left wanting more."
-- Phil Nusbaum, Jazz88/KBEM-FM
"Brass Lassie, from Minneapolis/St. Paul, is a mini-orchestra of superb musicians led by Laura MacKenzie, comprising flutes, whistles, fiddles, pipes, and keyboards, with a seriously hot brass back-line and rhythm section,
plus step-dancing and multi-lingual vocals. Their extraordinary takes on Cape Breton dance tunes, Celtic jigs and reels, traditional ballads and waulking songs are not so much genre-crossing as genre-smashing. Swinging like there was no tomorrow, with jazz-inspired brass arrangements, Latin-flavoured Scottish dance tunes and a big band sound, their music is bold, joyous, highly infectious and probably unique...they’d be a gas on stage." ---Bob Walton, fROOTS (U.K.)
"Refreshing, wide-ranging and highly entertaining." -- Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine (Dublin)
"Brass Lassie Innovates in a Most Satisfying Way" (excerpts from Phil Nusbaum's thoughtful review; Full Review)
"In Scottish tradition, “Lassie” refers to females. But “Brass” Lassie? It’s a band moniker proclaiming a Scots-based music group featuring women musicians and brass in its instrumentation. In live shows and on this first recorded project, the brass lineup includes trumpet, French horn, trombone and bass trombone. Adding the brass to flutes, fiddle and concertina makes Brass Lassie sound different than any other Scottish or Irish band. In the process of delivering a unique musical synthesis, Brass Lassie maintains the high performance standards associated with the leader, Laura MacKenzie."
"Including the horns provides a type of firepower you don’t normally hear in Scottish or Irish music."
"Regardless of where Laura found inspiration, the CD represents a highlight in a lengthy musical career based on executing the highest standards of Irish and Scottish music."
"The players in Brass Lassie are all veterans of performance and recording. It really shows in the Brass Lassie recording and in performance as well. Every tune or song is delivered crisply. Everyone plays the right notes at the right time. It’s all done on cue, in perfect tune and in perfect time."
"Brass Lassie is the result of a life’s work in music. But one hesitates to say that with too much emphasis because Laura is far from done. But it is at least a strong watershed in the musical career of Laura MacKenzie. It represents a great vision, the conception is brilliantly executed, and audiences are left wanting more."
Jazz88/KBEM-FM Programmer; Folklorist
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota