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Dai Jeffries of R2

reviews Won't You Come Away by Maggie Boyle

Listening to a new album from Maggie Boyle is rather like dipping into a box of chocolates blindfolded to find another delight. To carry the simile slightly too far, Won't You Come Away is a bumper selection.

Maggie is supported in the main by Paul Downes with guest appearances by Jon Boden, Dave McKeown, Steve Tilston and Dave Wood, and the production, as usual with Doug Bailey, is unfussy and places the music at the forefront. It's Maggie's eclectic choice of material that is the real delight, however. Here are traditional songs, mostly Irish, with 'Donal Og’ and 'The Green Linnet' standing out.

There are old favourites like 'Linden Lea' and Steve Ashley's 'Once In A While' and new songs like 'Liza & Henry', a modern take on 'There's A Hole In My Bucket' written by Maggie's son Joe. Most extraordinary is Nick Burbridge's 'Old Man's Retreat', a song of great bitterness and pain.

For me, there is one nougat in the chocolate box [I like nougat; I think you meant Turkish delight: confectionary Ed] and that is 'The Spinning Wheel'. The fact that Foster&Allen recorded it should be warning enough and it's a dreadful piece of Victorian sentimentality. Not enough to damn the whole album, though.