(Harpy Music Harpy, 2006)

The duo Suil met in Connemara and performed together at the Clifden Arts Festival. Since then, they have appeared in such diverse locations as Buenos Aires and Amsterdam. If they appear near you in the future, be sure to get along. Meanwhile, indulge yourself with this marvelous album.

Opening with Briege Murphy's haunting "The Sea," this dup will have the listener mesmerised from the initial chord to the final flourish.

Lynn Saoirse plays the Irish harp to perfection and enhances the vocals of Sue Matthews over a series of 13 songs ranging from the familiar to the brand new.

"If I Gave My Heart to You" from the pen of Jimmy Chi reminds us that it's not only traditional folk songs that are ideally suited to a good voice with primarily a harp accompaniment. This song is delivered in a beautiful simple arrangement augmented by the sonorous cello. Another contemporary writer on offer here is Anthony John Clarke (no mean performer in his own right), as is Bill Whelan with a lovely version of his "Lift the Wings."

Lynn is a dab hand at composition herself as witnessed on "Helen's Kitchen Waltz," opening with the harp and joined by fiddle, guitar, bass and accordion from the likes of Liz Kane and Mairtin O'Connor. The album would be good value just for "The Sky Road," a song from Jimmy McCarthy that is magical to hear.

The album closes with just the two ladies again on the traditional song "When My Love & I Parted."

by Nicky Rossiter
20 January 2007