New Day Dawning

Cherish the Ladies
Green Linnet

WVA Program 96

Cherish the Ladies,
New Day Dawning
(Green Linnet)

It is a new day for Cherish the Ladies, and a very bright new day indeed, thanks in large part to their new vocal-ist, Aoife Clancy. Clancy, whose talent has been relatively hidden within the famous Clancy family aggregation, brings an exciting new vocal presence, and shifts the emphasis of this recording more towards vocals than past Cherish the Ladies albums. Not that there aren't plenty of great instrumentals. Joanie Madden's flute is gorgeous and moving on the great air "Ned of the Hill (Eamon an chnoic)". The tune sets are exciting and varied, with some especially jaunty box playing by Mary Rafferty on the barn dance and reel set "The New Broom." There's fine fiddling indeed by Siobhan Egan, especially on her gorgeous compo-sition, "Rayleen's Reel," and Mary Coog-an and Donna Long are far more than solid rhythm players. Even so, the songs are what grabs this listener. Tradition-alists will love the one song in Gaelic, "A Neansai mhile gra'," which Aoife found on an early Clannad album, and her lovely rendition of the Robert Burns classic, "'Green Grow the Rashes Oh." For me, the highlight of the album is Dougie MacLean's "Broken Wings," which Cherish the Ladies give a contem-porary, yet roots based, performance that is goosebump raising. Their arrangement included an instrumental section that is as beautiful and powerful as the song. To these ears, this is the best Cherish the Ladies album yet.

In the Walnut Valley Festival list of artists: