Reviewer: Paul Freeman, Pop Cultures Classic, San Jose Mercury News
The internationally acclaimed Celtic violinist’s heartfelt playing truly makes his instrument sing. And, oh, what stories his violin has to tell! Described as “a musical journey through the Scottish highlands,” the new album takes listeners through the gamut of emotions, prompting much hand-clapping and foot-stomping along the way. Joy abounds, courtesy of such numbers as “Beer Foam.” But there are deeply touching moments as well, as on the powerfully poignant “True Lover’s Lament.” There’s a teardrop in every movement of the bow. This is a virtuoso who understands the beauty of nuance. Extraordinarily expressive, Laval proves to be a spellbinder from the album’s opening notes to the last.
Reviewer: Linda Kendall-Fields, classical violinist, Asheville
For the past week I have immersed myself in your astounding CD!! I loved every minute of it and found myself taken in more deeply each time I listened. Your amazing technique and tone are matched by incredible harmonic and rhythmic creativity. And I love how the whole thing hangs together as one piece. Hold your applause 'til the very end! The Scottish selections remind me in some ways of my favorite group, “Väsen”, and the Quebecois tunes are brilliant (nice footwork, by the way!) Congratulations, Jamie. Wow!!
Reviewer: Tom Keller, Folk World Reviews, Germany
"Murmurs and Drones" is an elaborated piece of work, not an accidental sequence of tunes and sets, but one entity where every tune has its place. Three years in the making, "Murmurs and Drones" is the quintessential work of a classical trained violinist who became a devoted Celtic fiddler: a narrative of occasionally epic dimensions, the fiddle tunes put into a grand framework.
Reviewer: Elina Lev, Russian virtuoso violinist/Associate concertmaster, Charlotte Symphony
I just listened to your entire CD while on the way to Banner Elk...what an amazing experience! You sound truly outstanding!! I'll somehow find 27th hour in a day to practice those fiddle tunes so I can play for you later in the month. Just wanted to tell you you sounded great! :-)