Danny Boy & Ballads
Dai Woosnam Reviews, UK
WHAT a voice! There is something of the ethereal side of Joni Mitchell- say, one-third? - added to two thirds of the deep-rooted integrity of Jean Redpath.
The masterstroke with this album (apart from surrounding herself with very talented
musicians, especially Eugene Rea) is the decision to add one or two familiar ballads. Oh no, not another “Danny Boy” I thought, on seeing the playlist. Can’t we have a moratorium on recording it? But how wrong I was. Second time in recent weeks I have heard this old gem of a song well delivered. This time indeed, more than just “well”. A most moving musical arrangement, with some dramatic, soaring whistle. And she sang it so very thoughtfully: like she had just written it herself. Quite SUBLIMELY put across, in fact.
She chooses not to sing the “political” third verse (that Fred E Weatherly never wrote anyway!) and sings the song with great sincerity and wondrous breath control. It just breasts the tape marginally ahead of her version of Alistair McGillivray’s lyrical tribute to Cape Breton’s most famous river “The Mira”; and the traditional “Buachaill on Eirne”. There is no liner (lyric) booklet with this album. But that’s no loss: such is her beautiful diction, it is not needed.
An impressive album from a singer with real gravitas.