CD Review – Mary Dillon “North”
Irish Folk Singer returns after 15 years and sounds like she’s never been away
Although she enjoyed some success when a member of legendary Irish Folk group Deanta in the 1990’s Cara Dillon’s sister Mary chose to leave the music industry to raise a family fifteen years ago and if NORTH is anything to go by; it’s been music’s loss.
By nature I’m no lover of traditional Folk music; so approached this album with a healthy amount of scepticism but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed it.
While I’m no expert in this field a couple of songs really stand out – on The Boatman Mary’s voice soars like the wind and the opening track When A Man’s In Love tickled me and had me coming back to it several times over the course of a few days.
One song I wasn’t familiar with is John Condon and this haunting song about a teenage boy in the trenches of WW1 set the hairs up on the back of my neck when I first heard it. A friend who sees himself as an expert in the field tells me that this something of a modern Folk Classic. If that is the case, Mary Dillon has sung the definitive version.
The production by Mary’s nephew Odhran Mullan is simple as he only uses the instruments to aid and enhance Mary’s delightful voice and the outcome is damn near perfection.
I presume the Paramilitary Front for the Liberation of Folk Music will hate me for saying so but; while a lot of the songs on NORTH are illuminating and thought provoking, the album reminds me a lot more of the Cranberries or the Corrs than Mary’s sister Cara Dillon; and as such makes for delightful ‘background’ music rather than challenging story telling.
#released 28th January 2013