“Sometimes dreams do come true” is how Mary Duff describes the arrival of her much anticipated ISG Records debut, Changing Lanes (ISGRVEN003). It features original contributions from some of the world’s most renowned songsmiths (many of whom are members of The International Songwriters Guild) and sterling performances from top level musical talents on both sides of the Atlantic. This totally original album is wonderfully produced by Pete Ware and Steve Milne ending a seven year recording drought for Mary’s huge worldwide fan base. ISG’s signature cocktail of production locations in Ireland, UK and Nashville is again very apparent and proves magical.
The album’s opener Mr Noble, is a true story song penned by Kent Maxson and Garth Brooks (who supplies a brace for the collection). ”Beautiful…simply beautiful” is how the world’s most popular Country star describes Mary’s rendition of his co-write. Mary was the first European act to work with Garth way back in 1991.
Changing Lanes is an aural journey from Country to Urban Easy through to Adult Contemporary. In other words it changes lanes! The title track was written especially for the project by the much talked about young Irish rising star, Jordan Mogey and is given another coat of performance paint by the contribution of one of the world’s leading classical guitarists Pat Coldrick.
Another highlight is the duet ”I am a Woman” with ISG’s other female signing Kathy Crinion - an anthem extolling the complexities of the gender (a useful point of reference for many male listeners!).
You will find pleasant visits to traditional Country from “Can’t find a reason to stay” to the rockier “Askin' Too Damn Much” which features the harmonica wizardry of Don Baker who is no stranger to TV or Movie fans. Proof, as if we needed it, that Mary Duff can tick all vocal performance boxes.
All in all, this collection will make you smile and realise that Mary Duff has returned to disc with verve and fresh musical outlook restoring our faith in the notion of an album being a journey. From the story of Mr Noble, to the crescendo of the poignant orchestral ballad “Anymore”, Changing Lanes for sure indicates a bright clear road ahead. Welcome back Mary!