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Mike Norris of Folk London

reviews Won't You Come Away by Maggie Boyle

Maggie Boyle's musical roots were nourished in the musically vibrant London Irish community of the 1960s and 1970s. Coming therefore from a culture and tradition that has produced such magnificent singers as Margaret Barry, Freddy McKay, Oliver Mulligan and many many more, Maggie has much to live up to. This she does in no uncertain manner with this album which is of exceptional quality.

This is Maggie's 3rd solo album and her 17th if you include collaborations and she is has reached a pinnacle in terms of performance. Allied to her beautiful voice is the interpretation of a mature singer with great respect for the tradition of which she is a standard bearer.

This album is a mix of carefully chosen traditional and contemporary songs some of them written by friends and one by son Joe Tilston. This latter is an amusing take on the old childrens song 'There's a Hole in the Bucket'. My favourite though from the contemporary songs is Mick Ryan's superb 'Christmas in No Man's Land'. Maggie's rendition is as poignant as it gets.

It's actually quite difficult for me to pick out particular songs from this album because the standard throughout is first class. But to mention a couple - the first song, Moorlough Mary, which I have never heard before, is accompanied by a lovely guitar solo from Paul Downes called The Streams of Bawden and this sets the reflective and melodic tone for the whole set. Maggie learnt two of the traditional songs 'Donal Og' and 'The Green Linnet' from Oliver Mulligan who of course is still a much loved and respected singer on the London folk scene. Maggie's treatment is delightful and these were highlights for me.

As if her lovely voice wasn't enough Maggie has also recruited a number of high quality musicians to accompany and add to this album. Great acoustic guitarist Paul Downes, better known for his fine work with Mick Ryan, virtuoso guitarist and former partner Steve Tilston, Jon Boden and clarinettist Dave McKeown provide the ideal backdrop to Maggies fine singing.

As you've probably gathered I really rate this album and can recommend it to you.