Alan Morley of UK Folk Music
reviews Maid on the Shore by Niamh BoadleThis is a brilliant album by Niamh ( pronounced Neeve ) released on the WildGoose lable. It’s hard to believe that she is just twenty one years old as she displays the skills and accomplishments of a very experienced performer. She has an arrestingly clear voice which allows you to hear every word she delivers with a soft lilt with a hint of Kate Rusby.
In addition, she is a classically trained guitarist and violinist. As if that’s not enough, Niamh is also an Irish Step Dancer and involved with Star & Shadow rapper sword dancers. There should be a law against possessing all that talent at such a young age 😉
As for the CD, it’s a well thought out mix of Traditional items and her self penned songs with as you would expect, some tasty guitar and fiddle playing included too.
The first track ‘Forget-me-not’, written by Niamh has a jazz feel to it with confident guitar and vocals underpinning an excellent lyric based on a newspaper clipping from August 1884 in the Preston Chronicle. It’s a great way to pick up inspiration for song writing and this track raises your expectation for the rest of the album.
Track two is a cracking unaccompanied version of the tradition song ‘Dark Inishowen‘ and really showcases the confidence and maturity of Boadle as she injects feeling and texture into the performance.
I’m really tempted to review each of the remaining eleven tracks because each offering is of high quality vocally, musically with impressive arrangements and sympathetic mixing and recording. The title track ‘Maid On The Shore‘ was featured as the opening song on my UK Folk Music Radio Show for May 2015. I selected the song purely because it’s the title track of the album but I would have been more than happy if I had picked something at random to include in the show, they are superb.
To sum up….
I have rarely heard and enjoyed an album so much for a long, long time. My usual yardstick is whether or not, I could listen an album all the way through ( I get get so many sent in ).
This album ‘Maid on The Shore‘ is a delight and certainly merits repeated listens to explore the musicality and depth of the lyrics. Go and buy it, go and see Niamh Boadle. She is one to watch……