Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Private Label MOON2

The result of this formidable musical family’s long-time ambition to get together for performances and recording is this eponymous CD. As the lynch-pin of Altan, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh needs no introduction, and her nephew Ciarán has also carved a name for himself with the three-piece group Fidil, among others. In addition, four other family members are here, the youngest being Mairéad’s 13 year old daughter Nia (whose singing is assured and promising for the future). The only ‘non-Mooney’ is Manus Lunny on bouzouki and keyboards, who also engineered the album. On the CD sleeve, the notes pay tribute to the family patriarch, Francie (RIP), under whose musical influence they all grew up, and who plainly inspired all of them.

Much of the music you’ll hear here has been culled from past masters of the Donegal fiddle such as Con Cassidy, James Byrne and John Doherty, as well as from their own Gaoth Dobhair background, and as such is the sort of thing you can often hear in sessions in Donegal and beyond. However, you’ll be lucky to catch a session where you’ll hear it better played than it is on this album – their verve, enthusiasm and sheer musicality oozes out of every track. From The Moneymusk to Jennie’s Welcome To Charlie via the beautiful air, Geaftaí Bhaile Bhuí, this is great music played by musicians totally steeped in their tradition and well able to express it.

And there are four songs as well, mainly sung in unison by the ladies, and all very competently performed. I thought the style reminiscent of songs Mairéad has done with T With The Maggies, and that’s not a bad thing; or maybe it’s a Lunny thing (although I think it was Donal Lunny who was involved with that group).

All in all, a really enjoyable listen and well worth buying. A recording of Francie can be heard on the final track; he’d be very proud of his family.

John Waltham

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.