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Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest

reviews Maid on the Shore by Niamh Boadle

I'm now going to embarrass Niamh (pronounced 'Neve') with my opening remarks because I remember a young girl who bounced around (literally) many of our Folkus workshops in the early days and drove us all mad with her endless energy! That lively youngster has now come of age and all that energy has been channelled into the form of a talented performer.

From the first track, the self-penned Forget-me-not, Niamh illustrates several talents including her song writing skills, guitar work and fine vocals. Throughout this album Niamh's Irish influences show. The lilting and the decoration of the voice is typical of the old style traditional Irish singers. There are a number of great traditional songs on this album including Dark Inishowen, Green Bushes, Creggan White Hare, Boys of Mullaghbawn (try saying that after a drink or three!) and the title track Maid on the Shore. All are well performed with her clear diction and in a relaxed vocal style. Her voice has matured since her last album and it shows.
Niamh also takes on songs from other song writers such as Anthony John Clarke's The Only Life Gloria Knows, and Kate Fagan's Roll You Sweet Rain which is particularly well arranged. Thankfully Niamh doesn't fall into the trap of putting on a false mid-Atlantic accent on any of the songs.

She even manages to include a song she wrote for her grandad Bill called Bill's Missed The Last Boat which lilts along as it tells its true tale. The only tune on the CD is Ice on the Water where Niamh demonstrates her excellent fiddle playing. She also plays bodhran, whistle and mandolin on some tracks. Paul Sartin provides extra accompaniment with piano and oboe on some of the tracks too making this a very complete album.

This is good stuff from Niamh showing that all those Folkus workshops and her Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle have stood her in good stead. She has the makings of a top notch professional folk artiste.

The album is available direct from the Wild Goose web site and from Proper Music distribution or from Niamh at her gigs.