Image © Celtic Collections 2003
(11 May 2003) Irish chanteuse Aoife Ni Fhearraigh
(Aoife Ferry) has
returned with the follow-up to her 1996 self-titled album.
Her new album, entitled The Turning of the Tide is a
gentle and beautifully conceived collection of fifteen
songs ranging from the traditional to the contemporary.
Hailing from the same town as Enya and Máire Brennan/Clannad
(Gweedore--County Donegal, Ireland), Aoife actually took
singing lessons from Enya and Máire's mother, "Baba"
Brennan. Gweedore is a "gaeltacht" area in Ireland where the
Irish language and Irish culture still maintain a strong presence.
Aoife began singing at a young age in the local church choir,
St. Mary’s Derrybeg (where she is still a member). Encouraged
be her parents to follow her musical interests, Aoife
absorbed much of the traditional music of the area,
gaining a great appreciation for it.
Aoife released her first album in 1991 Loinneog Cheoil
(available on cassette only). The Irish label Gael Linn
took notice and made it possible for Aoife to release her
follow-up album Aoife in 1996. Produced by Máire Brennan
and Denis Woods, Aoife was a lush and textured album of
traditional Irish melodies.
Since the release of the album Aoife, she has toured
and performed in Holland, Germany, Brittany, England and
Ireland. Aoife has also recorded with many other artists
(in Irish and English) such as Larry Hogan/Stuart Wilde,
Liam Lawton, Manus Lunny, Tim Wheater, James Galway, and
Phil Coulter. Upon hearing Aoife's crystalline and
compelling voice, it becomes clear why she has been a
such sought-after vocalist.
The Turning of the Tide is largely an album of covers
including the traditional folk standard "Danny Boy"
(featuring Phil Coulter on piano), The Birds "Turn Turn
Turn," and a new version of Loreena McKennitt's "Bonny
Portmore." Aoife is backed by fine instrumentalists
including Ivan Gilliland (Guitar), Brendan Monaghan
(Pipes and Whistles), John Fitzpatrick (Viola) and
Neil Martin (Cello) throughout.
The end result is a fine album that will appeal to
fans of Enya and Clannad as well as those who prefer
a more folk/traditional style. We can only see good
things in the future for Aoife.--Justin Elswick