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Private Label MUNA002

Many readers know Muireann as the former Danú singer and whistle player from West Kerry. On this release, she shows her commitment to the traditions that shaped her. It highlights her pristine voice, with nuanced dynamics and without distracting affectations. That grand voice is at the front of the mix, but she also plays (rather adroitly) flute and whistle.

This CD had me at the brilliant opening number, the wistful Bríd Óg Ni Mháille, followed by a set of slides. There is a mix of traditional songs and more recent compositions, such as Gerry O’Beirne’s Where Foxglove and Archie Fisher’s The Final Trawl. While the CD tends toward the quiet and thoughtful, there is an assortment of textures in the song settings. There is the noble harp and pipes of I Courted A Soldier, the tenderly sparse An Sciobairín, or the languid swaying of Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier. A dandy crew is assembled on the CD, including folks like Seamus Begley, Pauline Scanlon and John McSherry (and her dad and husband in cameo appearances).

This is an intimate release. For Muireann, this period of her life has been a chance to get back to a place of strong roots. And that feeling transcends this release. What she has created is not just a sound. It is a space. It is a quiet Sunday afternoon among friends, at a cozy cottage concert, with a gentle rain as a chorus.

Ivan Emke

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.