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Daybreak: Fáinne an Lae

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Album Review

If a listener approaches Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh's new album expecting to hear traditional interpretations of Celtic folk songs, he or she will probably be disappointed. If, on the other hand, a listener approaches Daybreak: Fáinne an Lae as contemporary folk that borrows a thing or two from tradition, he or she will find it quite enjoyable. Part of the problem in how to interpret her music is that even her name, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, hints at tradition, as does the album's title. And it doesn't help that she sings a number of old folk songs in her native tongue, again hinting at a commitment to traditionalism. But whatever language Amhlaoibh sings, and whether the songs come from ancient sources or Richard Thompson, the songs that grace Daybreak are easygoing and gentle contemporary folk in the style of Kate Rusby (not Anne Briggs). The opener, "Western Highway," for instance, would be perfectly at home on a number of NPR programs. Daybreak allows Amhlaoibh to take center stage and, along with her pleasing vocals, show off her prowess on both the flute and whistle. Fans of her previous work with Danú will welcome her debut on Compass. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Daybreak: Fáinne an Lae, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh
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