Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh’s New Album
Gradam Ceoil TG4 Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year 2011, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh’s new album, An Uair Bhig an Lae – The Small Hours is her second commercial solo offering. It consists of eleven songs, seven traditional and four new. The latter are ‘Gold Hills’ by Australian Kate Burke, ‘A Single Thread’ by Ger Wolfe, ‘Another Day’ by Tim O’Brien and a traditional song, ‘An Chiúrach Bhléinfhionn’ newly set by Gerry O’Beirne.
The traditional songs are ‘Bó na Leathadhairce’, ‘‘S Ar Maidin Moch is Mé ar mo Leabain Bhoig’ (Máire Bhuí Ní Laoghaire), ‘The Leaving of Limerick’, ‘Cois Abhann na Séad’, ‘The Bold Fenian Men’ (Peadar Kearney), and ‘An Clár Bog Déil’.
Though always pellucid, Nic Amhlaoibh adjusts the character of her voice according to the song form, from popular folk to gentle ballad to refined sean-nós (though only ‘An Clár Bog Déil’ is entirely solo voce). Notably in ‘‘S Ar Maidin Moch is Mé ar mo Leabain Bhoig’, about which she writes: ‘The version I have learned is taken from a recording of the great West Kerry sean-nós singer Seán de hÓra and I have tried to include some of his vocal and linguistic nuances in my own singing.’
Other musicians featured on the album are O’Beirne on guitar and u-bass, Michael Rooney on harp, Oisín McAuley on fiddle, Mick Kinsella on harmonica, James Blennerhasset on bass, Billy Mag Fhlionn on bodhrán, and Liam Flanagan on banjo.
Nic Amhlaoibh is presenting Geantraí na Nollag on TG4 this Christmas, and the show features The Dubliners, Imelda May, Karan Casey, Niall Vallely, Tony MacMahon, Steve Cooney, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Kieran Hanrahan and The Alan Kelly Gang.
Published on 20 December 2012