'The Morning Tree' self-titled album – tradition bound with innovation(October 28, 2014)
The abiding strength in the roots of folk music, from whichever shores it originates, is its unfailing ability to engender bands that move within the tradition to expand its reach and discover new places to explore. The essence endures but their voyaging within its parameters is wide varied and thankfully lacking in pointless restriction. The latest band to come to our ears that squarely that fits the description is The Morning Tree, who are Consuelo Nerea Breschi, Matteo Podda and Eoghan O’Shaughnessy - an Italian/Irish mix that offers all the combination of passion and freedom that one would expect.
Their self-titled debut album ‘The Morning Tree’ reveals songs that demonstrate their self-determination to wander widely through the realms of Irish folk with tangible respect for tradition combined with a sense of liberty from constraint and a determined desire to innovate. Their treatment of the pastoral Irish song ‘Lough Erne Shore’ leads you into their approach through Consuelo’s haunting vocals over an intricate stringed lattice. The allure continues, through their outstanding take on ‘Do You Love an Apple?’ (also known as ‘Still I Love Him’) with its proof that love makes almost anything acceptable, to the melancholy and deeply moving vocals of ‘The Emigrant’s Farewell’. The tapestry of tunes on offer include the elegant ‘Gabháil Ghabhlán Gaoithe’ the jaunty couplet‘Rakish Paddy-The Cameronian’ and the stately ‘Pearl’s Marches’ – taken together a tantalising weave of strings that will easily hold you rapt.
The Morning Tree are Consuelo Nerea Breschi (vocals, fiddle, bodhrán) Eoghan O'Shaughnessy (vocals, guitar, fiddle) and Matteo Podda (guitar, bouzouki). You can find them and their album here: morningtreemusic.wordpress.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll