various artists,
65 Roses
(independent, 2009)

65 Roses is an album that you can buy as an excellent showcase of very good local Irish talent or you can do your bit for a cystic fibrosis charity -- either way or both, you will be the real winner.

According to the website for the Tracie Lawlor Trust for Cystic Fibrosis, based in Wexford, Ireland, the organization was founded in 2008 after the death of Tracie Lawlor, age 24, after a lifelong battle with the disease.

The album opens with an excellent song with the rather unusual title that also gives its name to the CD. This is song based on the tragic tale of a young Australian who had the disease but could never pronounce the name. Instead she referred to it as "65 Roses." The heart-rending tale is worth the cost of the album on its own.

The album ranges through a number of genres, but the quality is maintained on each. Tracie's aunt Nadine sings on one poignant track, the beautiful "Simple Love." "The Bluebird Sings" adds a country lilt. There are familiar songs, like "Waltzing for Dreamers," "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Caledonia." There are also a number of new and lesser-known tracks on offer. Tracie's uncle Eric -- "Only You," composed one of these.

In all you get 20 tracks for your money and each is a little gem in its own way.

This recording has been a cooperative effort that attracted a wide range of singers and performers and is a worthy tribute to a young girl who left this world all too early, but in her life she touched worlds as diverse as those of her pupils in the local technical college and that of composer Phil Coulter, who spoke movingly at her funeral. But this is not a maudlin album. It is life-affirming and reflects her love of music and its deep enjoyment.

The album is on sale not merely to raise funds for a deserving cause but also to maintain awareness of a deadly disease that takes young and vibrant victims.

[ visit the website for the Tracie Lawlor Trust ]

review by
Nicky Rossiter

7 November 2009

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