L'annmoor - Súil - Sue Matthews & Lynn Saoirse
"Harpist Lynn Saoirse is based in County Waterford, jazz vocalist Sue Matthews in Maryland, USA, but under the collective name Súil the pair have performed everywhere from Buenos Aires to Amsterdam and parts in between.
For their debut album as a duo, they've assembled a stellar cast of backing musicians, including accordionist Mairtin O'Connor and fiddler Nollaig Casey among other trad and jazz luminaries.
Much of the material has clearly been selected with an eye to keeping the international punters happy; I don't know whether I really needed to hear another version of Bill Whelan's 'Lift The Wings' or Brendan Graham's 'Winter, Fire and Snow', although Matthews' rich, mature voice and Saoirse's sparkling harp certainly do a lot to enliven them. Two lovely songs by South Armagh-based singer/songwriter Briege Murphy stand out, as do Saoirse's excellent original 'On The Edge' and her delicate instrumental version of Van Morrison's 'Moondance'."
Sarah McQuaid - Irish Examiner, October 2006 | www.sarahmcquaid.com
"The duo Suil met in Connemara and performed together at the Clifden Arts Festival. Since then, they have appeared in such diverse locations as Buenos Aires and Amsterdam. If they appear near you in the future, be sure to get along. Meanwhile, indulge yourself with this marvelous album.
Opening with Briege Murphy's haunting The Sea, this duo will have the listener mesmerised from the initial chord to the final flourish.
Lynn Saoirse plays the Irish harp to perfection and enhances the vocals of Sue Matthews over a series of 13 songs ranging from the familiar to the brand new.
If I Gave My Heart to You from the pen of Jimmy Chi reminds us that it's not only traditional folk songs that are ideally suited to a good voice with primarily a harp accompaniment. This song is delivered in a beautiful simple arrangement augmented by the sonorous cello. Another contemporary writer on offer here is Anthony John Clarke (no mean performer in his own right), as is Bill Whelan with a lovely version of his Lift the Wings.
Lynn is a dab hand at composition herself as witnessed on Helen's Kitchen Waltz, opening with the harp and joined by fiddle, guitar, bass and accordion from the likes of Liz Kane and Mairtin O'Connor. The album would be good value just for The Sky Road, a song from Jimmy McCarthy that is magical to hear.
The album closes with just the two ladies again on the traditional song When My Love & I Parted."
by Nicky Rossiter | Rambles.NET |
20 January 2007