Walnut Valley Occasional, December, 1998
Cherish the Ladies, Threads of Time
BMG Entertainment, 13 selections
While Irish music was confined to steerage on the ill-fated ship Titanic. this collection of traditional and band member originals that comprise Cherish the Ladies new CD, Threads of Time, would have fit right in with 15' class and even have the uppity aristocracy loosening up and making room on the lifeboats.
This fine band of first generation Irish-American musicians is comprised of Joanie Madden on flutes and whistles, Mary Coogan on guitar, banjo and mandolin, Mary Rafferty on accordion and whistle, Donna Long on keyboards, fiddle and harmony vocals, Siobhan Egan on fiddle, whistle and bodhran and hailing, from County Tipperary, Ireland, Aoife Clancy performing lead vocals, guitar and bodhran.
Each cut is masterfully performed and reflects the group's chemistry for arrangement, even boldly and masterfully putting music to two works by W.B. Yeats. The sisterlike vocal harmonies especially stand out on the a capella version of "The Bonny Light I horseman." My personal favorite is the first part of track seventh an instrumental march called 'The Battle of Aughrim" which highlights the solid. effective, yet subtle guitar work of Mary Coogan complementing the haunting. richly flowing flute of award winning Joanie Madden.
This group is a must see to really appreciate the high energy that went into this recording. The recording is a must have for anyone who considers themselves a "Celthead.' The overall mix is warm and ambient so do not expect the powerfully driven excitement that is Cherish the Ladies live performance. I do not think a recording system has been invented that could contain the constant peak level of musical and personal excitement that is Cherish the Ladies.