12 Tracks, 51 Minutes
Marion is a sort of Renaissance woman of the arts in Ireland, being a talented singer and songwriter, but also a playwright with work staged internationally. This is the first time that I have experienced her musical output and I must declare that it is impressive with eleven of the twelve tracks coming from her own pen. An album of all new music is a major undertaking because the listener has to buy a lot on trust and a name. In this instance the trust is rewarded with some excellent tracks that will entertain but also in some ways educate as all good music should.
Black and White Lives is a case in point with heartfelt lyrics beautifully allied to the musical accompaniment. The song will enchant the listener as it reminds us of the reality of life. Marion mines the Irish past to bring events and people to life in an incomparable fashion. Oiche na Gaoithe brings us back almost two centuries to recall The Big Wind, a hurricane that devastated parts of Ireland in 1839. She incorporates the legends of mermaids and the Northern Lights into a haunting song. On the beautiful Song for Anna she brings to vivid life the work of a little known character from our history. The lady in question is Anna Parnell a great Irish activist whose life was completely overshadowed by her “better known” brother Charles Stewart Parnell. It is great to find this hidden gem of history in a diamond of a song. Her offerings here range through Irish history as well as her personal family history with songs about friends and relations including the titular Broadstone Belle celebrating her mother which is performed with a beautiful verve that can only come when one sings a song close to heart. She follows this with The Reaper a song she dedicates to her grandfather and her daughter Cathy, the latter plays fiddle to great effect on the album. The only song not composed by Marion is a beautiful My Last Song which was written by as we are told in the notes the late Mick Fitzgerald and is one of the stand out tracks in performance and production. Once again this is an album that is worth checking out, you will not be disappointed.