Mary Black, The Night Is On Our Side (3ú Records/Blix Street)

The Night Is On Our Side is the latest single to be released from Mary’s recent album, Stories From The Steeples– her first studio recording in six years. In a career spanning over twenty-five years, Mary’s success has been attributable to her discerning taste when it comes to choosing material, and not least her ability to get under the skin of a song and tease out its innermost sentiments; Stories From The Steeples offers reaffirmation that this artistry shows no sign of diminishing.

Ever willing to support burgeoning, Irish song writing talent, this latest single comes from the pen of the young Dublin songwriter, Danny O’Reilly. It’s a carefree, pop-tinged number, with lyrics that tend to lean on the brighter side of life. Lead by a breezy arrangement of guitars and piano, the song is underpinned by a string section that adds warmth and class.

And then there’s Mary’s voice- a precision instrument of beauty that the passing years only seem have furnished with yet more grace and compassion. Mike Wilson

Mary’s record company, have given, folking.com exclusive permission, to stream the latest single as part of this feature below… Click on the play button to listen to the track!

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AT FIRST LIGHT – Idir

AT FIRST LIGHT IdirThe Uilleann pipes played an integral part in my passion for Irish music and much of that has stemmed from the masterful John McSherry who (it seems) has been around forever. OK, maybe not forever but enough to have contributed to some of my all time favourite CDs. A project that has run throughout McSherry’s career At First Light features the talents of Donal O’Connor (fiddle & keyboards), Francis McIlduff (bodhran, Uilleann pipes & whistles etc) and special guest Ciara McCrickard (vocals & fiddle). At times, we in the ‘folk’ world can appear blasé in our attitude towards musicians of this calibre after all there are enough of them around but if we’re honest we should count ourselves a lucky musical genre to boast such riches and that is what we have here, an abundance of riches. The opening set of tunes “The Magnificent Six” performed at a moderate tempo is an example to all aspiring ‘folk’ musicians that speed isn’t everything in order to achieve appreciation and in particular the final tune of the set McIlduff’s “Tara” capturing his Jack Russell’s character will make you think you know the dog intimately. The addition of McCrickard’s vocals is a pleasant surprise breaking up the instrumental pieces and is particularly effective on the recently much covered (Kate Rusby & Jim Moray) “Courting Is A Pleasure”. In conclusion it has to be said that not every track stands out and indeed may appear somewhat pedestrian to those who like their sets with a bit more fire but if you do require that ‘fix’ check out “The Pipers Of Rougery/The Hag At The Spinning Wheel” where you can’t fault the technical ability of all concerned.

PETE FYFE

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


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