Cathie Ryan,
Somewhere Along the Road
(Seanachie, 2001)

Cathie Ryan is a beautiful singer with a sure choice of material. Whether she is singing her own composition or interpreting a classic piece of traditional music, you are in for a rare treat.

The title track from Somewhere Along the Road is hauntingly combined with an air called "Jacob's Waltz," and the whole is even greater than the sum of the two. The album is worth buying for this track alone. But there are 10 more.

Among the songs coming from her own pen is one called "In My Tribe." This combines the Native American story and a very Celtic composition and it works to great effect. It is amazing to listen to a tale set in Monument Valley and to hear the rousing strings more accustomed to the Scottish Highlands. She also recounts for us another slice of history -- this time Irish -- with the tale of "Grace O'Malley," the pirate queen who could out-pirate any pirate of the Caribbean.

"Wave Upon the Shore" may be better known as performed by Christy Moore -- it comes from the pen of his brother Luka Bloom -- but Cathie has made it her own on this outing. She closes the album with "So Here's to You," a great song for closing any collection.

It is little wonder that this CD is a gem. You get fiddle playing from John McCusker, accompaniment from Phil Cunningham and harmony and backing vocals from Karine Polwart and Kate Rusby, all of whom are top-class performers in their own right. This is a beautiful collection, sung with immense feeling and intensity by Ryan.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 25 April 2004

[ visit the artist's website ]

Buy it from