Morning Star


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The New York-area-based Morning Star proves itself one of America's best exponents of Irish music on Gra (Irish for "love"), which finds singer/guitarist Mary Courtney, tin-whistle player Margie Mulvihill and fiddler John Reynolds joined by guest accordionist John Nolan. Equally adept at modern and traditional music, the group combines technical skill with an ability to convey a good deal of emotion and excitement. Listening to this album, you might occasionally wish that Morning Star had more than one vocalist -- Courtney's first rate, but harmonies would be nice at times. It's hard to find anything else to criticize, though. Reynolds, Courtney and Nolan play up a storm (let's hope the latter joins the group permanently); instrumentally, this release is on a par with the work of much better known groups such as the Chieftains.