Heloise Love,
Song for the Mira
(self-produced, 2005)

A young lady born in San Diego to a French mother and a father with Welsh and Scottish roots was raised in a household listening to Herb Alpert and the Irish Rovers, among many others. With her sisters she sang harmony and between them they played multiple instruments from guitar to trumpet, with autoharp in there, too.

From those roots, Heloise Love has grown into an accomplished performer with an obvious love of great folk music. We are the beneficiaries of that heritage on this wonderful album of new and traditional songs.

Opening with "Star of the County Down" -- well, it is interesting to see the Irish content without the Irish blood. My one criticism for Heloise is a bit pedantic, but I hope she accepts it in the light it is given. As a non-native she makes a great "fist of this song," but please remember, McCann and Bann are pronounced to rhyme with man.

Now, having gotten that out of my system I cannot recommend this CD too highly.

"Dream Angus" is a beautiful song beautifully performed. A new track here is "Holding Me," which takes the words of an old Irish prayer and makes a wonderful love song. Heloise lets her spirit move her on a rendition of "Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry," a song so often neglected in the modern era, on record at last.

Her take on Kate Wolf's "Across the Great Divide" is top class and sung with the feeling such a track deserves. My favourite offering on this album is "Somebody." The words, music and arrangement are just perfect as, of course, is the performance. I particularly applaud the fiddle accompaniment.

"Wild Mountain Thyme" is one of those songs that every performer tries. Some do a good version, some do less than perfect, Heloise Love does it the justice it deserves and is a revelation in performance that you must hear. Sometimes it is the rendition of the familiar that provides the yardstick to determine the quality of the performer. Love more than measures up.

One of the monumental compositions of the past few decades must be "Where Are You Tonight" from the pen of Andy M. Stewart (I presume the M is to distinguish him from the Scottish comic singer of "Donald & His Trousers"). Heloise does it justice here.

She rounds off a great release with the title song and will leave any true music lover delighted in having experienced this album.

by Nicky Rossiter
11 February 2006

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