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Farthest Wave

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Audio CD, April 26, 2005
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$10.05 $3.35

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. What's Closest to the Heart 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rough and Rocky 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Wild Flowers 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Follow the Heron 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Farthest Wave 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. What Will You Do, Love? Duet with Sean Keane 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Dance the Baby (slip jig set) 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. As the Evening Declines 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Be Like the Sea 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Peata Beag do Mhathar 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Gabhaim Molta Brighde 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Home Sweet Home 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B00008OE0Z
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,535 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


In many ways, Ryan personifies Irish-America, a far-flung tribe who love their country yet were born into what their immigrant forebears perceived as exile. Generations later, they still cherish the music, literature and history of their ancestral homeland. Ryan's eloquent soprano keens and soars as her context shifts between ancient peat fires, long ago Appalachian spring-times and the bittersweet romanticism of a modern singer-songwriter. Her heartbreaking duet with Galway native Sean Keane, "What Will You Do, Love?", describes the plight of a loving couple facing separation. On the final track, she breathes new life into "Home Sweet Home?", a ballad which has long and unfairly been consigned to the chestnut barrel. Accompanied by a parlor piano, squeeze-box and a lonely-sounding whistle, frosted with delicately ironic vocal dissonances, the song speaks eloquently of those who feel displaced, even on their own doorsteps. Producer/fiddler John McCusker and team are perfectly in synch with the bandleader¹s haunting vocals. --Christina Roden

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Her voice on these songs will stir your heart and soul.
Anthony Wages
While each of her "solo" effort CDs continues to top my list of favorite music, this one is the cream of the crop.
B. White
Cathie Ryan can not sing a song without making it beautiful.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David T. Steere, Jr. on May 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If there is a more engrossing and beautiful album out this year, I'd be amazed. No naval-gazing song writing, no fascination with unhappiness. Cathie Ryan has an Irish/American voice to die for - perfectly suited for her own lovely compositions and for doing full justice to traditional songs from Ireland, Scotland and England. After two great records as lead singer with Cherish the Ladies, she has just come out with her fourth solo cd. THE FARTHEST WAVE is the second produced by the great John McCusker and both are beautifully buoyed by the many talents of the Rusby clan-John is the husband of the peerless Kate Rusby-and all those at the aptly named Pure Records in Yorkshire. Cathie seems unable to utter anything but the most lovely phrasing when she sings. That would be enough to please any listener. But, here she has forces aplenty assisting her. The guitar work is matchless throughout-especially John Doyle's and Kris Drever's. The multi-instrumental John McCusker brings that beautiful work he's displayed to such great effect on all of Kate Rusby's cds: fiddle, whistles, and cittern. He's also written a great jig and a smashing reel for this collection. Phil Cunningham's accordion has a personality all its own and appears throughout. Backing vocals are splendid-especially Karine Polwart's. The songs are so good that it's difficult to pick favorites-I won't try. Notable, however, is the traditional ROUGH AND ROCKY which Cathie heard originally on Emmylou Harris's great early album, BLUE KENTUCKY GIRL.Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By B. White on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the extended instrumental introduction to the opening song, "What's Closest to the Heart", to the four-part harmony of the final number, "Home Sweet Home", you will be transported by the music on this CD. While each of her "solo" effort CDs continues to top my list of favorite music, this one is the cream of the crop. As always, her singing is distinctive, and expressive; a perfect fit for each song. The arrangements and instrumental work are flawless. It would be difficult to match the number of "goosebump" moments produced by this album. You may want to listen to this CD in the car on the way to or from work, but you might miss some of the beautiful, intricate instrumentation. You may be tempted to listen to it as background music, but you will miss the touching lyrics. No, the best way to listen to this music is in quiet, with someone you love, and a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and let yourselves be completely taken in by the experience.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James Heckman on June 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am new to Cathie Ryan's music, and bought this CD after hearing her perform some of it live recently. I am not new to Celtic music, however, and have a decent collection of particularly female Celtic artists (some of whom I like more than others). It is against this background of experience, and admittedly passion for the beauty of this kind of music, that I make these comments. This CD is indeed a jewel, clearly an album of striking beauty that I (uncustomarily) listen to all the way through. I would describe the overall tone as sort of elegantly beautiful, a mature and very classy work by Cathie and a group of superb professionals. Which is not to say it's stuffy or ethereal or all of one sound (some of the songs are fast and spirited, some slower). It is just extremely well-executed work consisting of very tuneful Celtic music in the folk idiom. Cathie's voice is one of sheer ability--it's just cleanly beautiful and totally competent in every musical place on this album. Luxurious. The musicianship is equally superb, very tasteful, and rich while not overdone. The overall sound and style of the songs I would describe as more contemporary than traditional, a balance that suits my taste. As mentioned above, the whole album is a pleasure to listen to, but some of the songs are of the kind that put you into that affective space of hypnotic beauty--the kind that obviously carve out their own place in the musical world, and that you hope to find on every album you buy, and sometimes do. You know where they are in your collection. I can't resist naming three of these on this CD: The title song "The Farthest Wave", "As the Evening Declines", and "Be Like the Sea". To sum up, this is a gorgeous piece of work by a truly top talent that I believe will be extraordinarily enjoyable to anyone who likes this genre of music, and very likely to many who think they don't. One seldom gets their hands on a CD of this sheer quality.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Like the sea, the sea, wild and free
We'll swim out past the longing so deep

Down below these waves in the deepest depth
There are echoes sounding true as your breath
The still, small voice in you, the endless open blue
Be like the sea"

Lively music with the delicate nature of a field of flowers is encased in heartfelt lyrics as Irish American Cathie Ryan's voice causes your mind to drift off to places you'd rather be.

The Celtic songs remain in a soul-calming mood throughout in order to set a relaxing mood. Her songs truly speak for themselves through her thoughtful and emotive lyrics.

"What will you do, love, when I am going
With white sails flowing, the seas beyond?
What will you do, love, when waves divide us
And friends may chide us for being fond?
Though waves divide us, and friends be chiding
In faith abiding I'll still be true
And I'll pray for you on the stormy ocean
In deep devotion, that's what I'll do"

Music to play when your heart wants to be held. Cathie Ryan's voice is soothing and nurturing, leading you to a place of peace.

~The Rebecca Review
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