Morning Star,
Away Ye Go Now!
(self-produced, 2001)

The liner notes accompanying Away Ye Go Now! claim Morning Star is moving in a new direction. I don't know what the old direction might have been, but the new one works for me.

Once an all-girl band, Morning Star is now half and half: Mary Courtney on vocals, guitar and bodhran, Margie Mulvihill on tin whistle, John Nolan on accordion and John Reynolds on fiddle, viola, mandolin and vocals. Recording engineer Gabriel Donohue adds djembe, bouzouki and keyboards on several tracks.

There are no tricks or gimmicks here. This is a solid traditional album, and Morning Star has made it work. Instrumentals are nicely arranged and well-played, and Courtney has a good voice for the vocal selections. "I Will Stand On This Land" is particularly good.

The album lacks much in the way of liner notes, so if you hope to learn anything about the band or its music, you'll have to look elsewhere. But, biographical reticence aside, the band has good music to offer and deserves to be heard.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 10 November 2001