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AOIFE SCOTT - Homebird 

AOIFE SCOTT - Homebird 
Private Label WENR002 

Homebird is the second album from Dublin born singer Aoife Scott, songwriter and daughter of Frances Black. It follows the success of her debut recording, Carry The Day, some years ago, which spawned the popular hit song, All Along The Wild Atlantic Way. I can remember when I first saw Aoife singing with her brother Eoghan and her mum Frances at a show in Limerick, being impressed with Aoife’s clear strong singing voice and also her contribution to Frances’ then album, How High The Moon. Some years on, Aoife Scott is now one of Ireland’s best new folk voices, quickly establishing herself at home and in the US.

While Carry The Day was an Irish recorded album with an eye to international audiences, Homebird, despite its sedentary title, paradoxically is a mostly American recorded album with a strong Irish musical flavour. Principal in the American quotient is the involvement of Ron Block, Stewart Duncan and Sierra Hull and its recording in Franklin Tennessee as well as Dublin. The presence of Alex Borwick from Australia and Irish players like James Blennerhassett along with her music and life partner Andrew Meaney (guitarist with Full Set) makes this a truly international affair. The cosmopolitan influence extends musically with soft acoustic Americana-type arrangements highlighting her wispy vocals that obviously recall familial leanings on Do Mhuirnín Ó, with the traditional Night Visiting Song and Noel Purcell’s winsome Dublin Saunter, a slice of old Dublin Vaudeville - all from the Black Family songbook.  She holds a spot for socially conscious song material that echoes her mother Frances, and this slant adds some welcome steel to the proceedings. Both Dominic Behan’s Building Up And Tearing England Down and Barry Kerr’s Ireland’s Hour Of Need serve this aspect and heighten her social edge. Her own Irish Born comes complete with a full-on modern bluegrass freak out ending, reflecting the Irish/American crossover explicitly.

From the evidence of Homebird, Aoife Scott is developing a sound style of her own and this album is a quantum leap towards its successful realisation.

John O’Regan


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine