Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ireland's music: Aoife Scott: Homebird

Aoife Scott opens her album Homebird with a song called Another Reason. It’s a song of hope and welcome and celebration, written by Scott and Andy Meaney for the birth of their niece Kitty.

It’s a song both gentle and lively at once. It begins a path into fine and varied storytelling through the tracks which follow.

Scott has a a warm and lovely voice, and well knows how to use the colours of it in the stories she chooses. Whatever sort of story she offers in a song, her love and respect for being a singer and sharing music come through clearly.

There is Ireland’s Hour of Need, in which the singer connects heroes from Ireland’s history to the present. It was written by Barry Kerr. On a somewhat related theme, Scott and Meaney wrote Fuel I Need. The idea there, Scott writes in the sleeve notes “is to know that your own strength and power will prevail,” as you turn anger in a better direction.

Irish Born, which Andy Meaney wrote, has a lively tune with a memorable sing along chorus. The words talk of experiences of the many Irish people who travel and live far from home.

There a gentle contemporary love song in Irish, Do Mhuirin O, and The Night Visiting Song from the tradition.

There a song from another tradition, too: a family tradition. Aoife is the daughter of Frances Black; her aunt is Mary Black; and many other Black family members are musicians too. It was her Granny Black who taught all of them how to sing, Scott says, but it was from her Nana Scott that she learned the sprightly song The Dublin Saunter. In Nana Scott’s honour and memory, she sings it here. Through her rendition you can see a lively atmosphere of a walk in Dublin on a spring day, and perhaps hear a bit of the love and joy Nana Scott shared in teaching the song to her granddaughter.

There are more tracks on the album; all of them are keepers and well worth your listening more than once. Scott brings things to a reflective close with a quiet take on a song by Briege Murphy called The Sea.

Ron Block (yes, that Ron Block, of Alison Krauss + Union Station) produced Homebird. He plays banjo on the album as well, along with Nashville compatriots Stuart Duncan on fiddle and Sierra Hull on mandolin. The contingent of Irish musicians in addition to Scott and Meaney includes Cathal O’Curran on bodhran, Floriane Blanke on harp, and Mary, Frances, Martin, and Michael Black along with next generation Black family members Roisin O, Danny O’Reilly, and Eoghan Scott on backing vocals.

You may also wish to see
Aoife Scott’s web site
Listening to Ireland:Patrick Season
About Aoife Scott’s album Carry the Day
Ireland’s music: Foxglove & Fuschia from Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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