‘Westward’ by Éilís Kennedy - attracts, engages and holds(February 28, 2017)
If a blend of tradition and contemporary songs delivered by a voice that’s both delicately fragile and powerfully insistent is your desire. The solution is easy, ‘Westward’ by Éilís Kennedy. It’s a collection that attracts, engages and holds - and believe me, there will not be one moment of wandering attention and 'replay' will become your new best friend.
From the first, her interpretation of ‘John O’ Dreams’ is as seductive as you could wish, rarely does a song pull you so quickly into an album. The progress takes in songs from her own heritage, including ‘An tU’ll’ and ‘Pe in eirinn I’ in beautifully delivered Gaelic language - and no, you don’t have to understand a word, just relish the sound. Among the collection, the album features two self-penned songs, the upbeat ‘Highway Mack’ about an encounter with a ‘man of the road’ on the Pacific Coast Highway and ‘The Flannel Red’ a haunting tale about her great grandfather and a talisman used to ensure safety at sea.
Contributing to ‘Westward’ by Éilís Kennedy are William Coulter (guitar) Barry Phillips (cello) Martin Brunsden (bass) Jesse Autumn (harp) Kevin Burke (fiddle) John Weed (fiddle) Adam Hendey (bouzouki) Arla de Salvio (cello) Edwin Huizinga (violin) Marie Fielding (fiddle) Damien Mullane (accordion) and Shelley Phillips (English horn, harp).
Review: Tim Carroll