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Dear Irish Boy
Glas Records MEGCD02

Marianne Green is a young singer from County Down who has enlisted the help of Andy Irvine in her 44-minute debut album of mainly traditional songs. There is undoubted promise in her tender voice. The packaging is disappointing (hazy words, floaty dresses, no information on song sources, and no translations of the two Gaelic songs) yet I sense that Marianne has researched and interpreted the songs with care, and many of them are rarely heard. The album grows in strength and ends strongly with The Road To Dundee, The Wreck Of The Newcastle Fishermen and Carrickmannon Lake

The album is billed as Marianne Green with Andy Irvine. Andy’s name is in a smaller font size, but his involvement could scarcely be stronger. He is co-producer, he has arranged all the songs including the two written by Marianne, and he underpins them with his distinctive playing on bouzouki, mandolin and harmonica. Another heavy hitter is Colum Sands on concertina and double bass (the album was recorded at his studio in Rostrevor). I think it’s a pity when debut artists rely heavily on big names. I understand why it happens, in a crowded market, but it causes problems when trying to make a true assessment of talent. I hope that Marianne will find her own path to fulfil her promise.

Tony Hendry

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.