Janet DowdJanet Dowd
Album: Sailing Away
Label: Blue Cow
Tracks: 11

One of the things I like about the comparatively quiet to the start of the year is that it gives me the opportunity to play catch up with releases that seemed to escape the review pile at the time. Just such a release is "Sailing Away" the latest from Janet Dowd, her follow up to her solo debut "300 Miles"

Like it's predecessor, "Sailing Away" is a celebration of folksongs and styles from both sides of the Atlantic. Similarly, the supporting musicians share that mix of culture, including amongst their number Nashville fiddle player, Eamonn McLoughlin and Beoga's Sean Og Graham.

One of the key themes of the album is migration and movement, predominantly through story songs, which personalise those journeys, both physical and emotional, but without a doubt, it's a song that calls many home, "Danny Boy" and Dowd's interpretation of it, that is the real star of the album.

That said, "Sailing Away" isn't just a celebration of old songs, Dowd pens a number of songs for the album and they sit well alongside the more familiar. I can see "Leaving The Blasket" rapidly becoming absorbed into other people's sets as a traditional song. The song itself describing the final journey of the last residents of Great Blasket Island.

I may be a tad late with the review, but this album certainly hasn't escaped airplay on my radio show and "Sailing Away" is an album that I can easily recommend that you take time to check out.

Neil King

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