Kitty Donohoe

This Road Tonight

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Michigan's Kitty Donohoe is an intriguing songwriter. Although she has a firm traditional base, with a strong Celtic feel, her innate pop sensibilities give her wonderfully intelligent songs a kind of airy freedom, and her tunes seem to float over their traditional textures with a sharp contemporary wisdom. It's not an easy trick to pull off, and a lesser writer (and singer, for Donohoe has a gorgeous voice) would flounder in the middle ground, not traditional enough for the folk world and not pop enough for the general listener. Donohoe's considerable talent makes such distinctions meaningless. Is This Road Tonight (her third release on her own Roheen label) a Celtic record? No, but her Irish roots are everywhere apparent, with fiddles, uillean pipes and penny whistles giving these tracks a kind of timeless backdrop. And Donohoe builds out from there, crafting wise, perfectly arranged songs that seem to fall effortlessly into memorable, haunting melodies. Among the many highlights are the opener, "No One on This Road," "Do What You Love," "Jack of All Trades," and "Howling at the Moon," but This Road Tonight is all of a piece, a clear sonic tapestry that sounds vaguely Celtic, although in the end it is a solid pop statement, with that wonderful voice and these amazing songs taking center stage.

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