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Woman Of The House

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 27, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cherish the Ladies is one of the finest ensembles of Celtic musicians on either side of the Atlantic. The American-based group, winner of the Glasgow Celtic Connections Festival's "International Group of the Year" award, recorded Woman of the House in Scotland with many of their talented friends from the festival including Kate Rusby, Sharon Shannon, Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, Liz Kane and Laoise Kelly. The resulting combination of reels, jigs and heart-rending ballads is a glorious celebration of a thriving musical tradition.

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The all-female Irish-American ensemble, on their second release for the Rounder label, have fashioned an uncluttered, forward-looking yet tradition-based and unabashedly sentimental set. Recorded between Scotland, where producer Phil Cunningham resides, and the United States, with guest stints from Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon, British folk star Kate Rusby and Karen Matheson of the Scottish supergroup Capercaille, this may well be their personal best to date. Bandleader Joanie Madden's dulcet tone and precise yet lyrical phrasing on various flutes and whistles remain world-class and are clearly still evolving; very few players can remotely approach her degree of virtuosity. Sweet Thames Flow Softly, one of Ewan MacColl's most wistful love songs, is given an especially lovely interpretation. Fronted by lead singer Heidi Talbot's bittersweet vocal, it is youth-recollected-from-age personified. Of course, as so much Irish music is meant for dancing, there are several medleys of lively jigs and reels, performed with the unflagging rhythmic brio and melodic dispatch CTL fans have come to expect. And any crusty misogynist laboring under the delusion that no gathering of ladies could ever rock HIS house is in for an abrupt change of life! --Christina Roden
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder / UMGD
  • ASIN: B000ASDG7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Rounder Records presents Cherish the Ladies and their 10th album beginning in 1992 with the latest release "Woman of the House", featuring Joanie Madden (flute/alto flute/low&high whistles/harmony vocals), Mary Coogan (guitars/mandolin/banjo/banjitar/octave mandolin), Heidi Talbot (vocals), Roisin Dillon (fiddle), Mirella Murray (accordion)...with their special guest Sharon Shannon (accordion), Liz Kane (fiddle), Kate Rusby (vocals), Eddi Reader (vocals), Karen Matheson (vocals), Donna Long (piano/harmony vocals), Phil Cunningham (piano/keyboards), Laoise Kelly (harp), Triona Ni Dhomhnaill (piano), John Joe Kelly (bodhran), Phil Bowler (upright bass/bowed bass), James MacIntosh (drums/percussion), Ewan Vernal (bass on "Betsy Belle"), Donald Shaw (Wurlitzer on "Betsy Belle").

One can only soak up the Celtic vibes that spew the air of magical enchantment with this lineup of tunes and artists...all the selections traditional arranged by Cherish the Ladies..."BETSY BELLE AND MARY GRAY"..."CAROLAN'S FAVORITE JIG/THE RAKES OF CASHEL/HIGHLAND MARCH IN OSCAR & MALVINA"..."THE FAIRY QUEEN/THE GOOSEBERRY BUSH/PADDY KELLY'S/WOMAN OF THE HOUSE"..."THE GREEN FIELDS OF CANADA"..."THE OLD MAIDS OF GALWAY/THE SUNNY BANKS/THE FLOODED ROAD TO GLENTIES/FREE & EASY"..."FAIR AND TENDER LADIES"..."PADDY O'SNAP/ROBIN KELLEGHER/THE COVE OF CORK".

Some of the highlights are "THE JOLLY SEVEN/THE RASCAL ON THE HAYSTACK/BONKERS IN YONKERS" (composed by Joanie Madden)..."THE HILLS OF NEW ZELAND" (composed by Joanie Madden)..."FAIR AND TENDER LADIES" (arranged by Cherish the Ladies and Phil Cunningham)..."SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY" (words & music by Ewan Maccoll)...
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Format: Audio CD
This will undoubtedly go down as one of the best celtic albums of the year! Again, Joanie Madden and the girls masterly and artistically arrange an album consisting of just the right mix of reels, jigs, slip jigs, slow airs and ballads to keep everyone happy!

The gorgeous vocals featuring their lead singer Heidi Talbot (in my opinion one of the best voices in Celtic music today) are incredible! Listening to Heidi and English folk star Kate Rusby singing Bogie's Bonnie Belle puts you in heaven!

Fiona Ritchie of the Thistle and Shamrock compares their rendition of Fair and Tender Ladies where Heidi is joined by Karen Matheson (from Capercaillie) and Eddi Reader as on par with Trio; EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt and I agree! Their version is absolutely majestic!

Oh! But the music!!!! Let me just say that these women can play! It's just pure out and out traditional music at it's best. Joanie Madden on flute and whistles, Mary Coogan on guitars, Mirella Murray on Accordion, Roisin Dillon on Fiddle with special guest artists of the highest degree; Sharon Shannon on accordion, Liz Kane on fiddle and Laoise Kelly on harp all add to a joyous musical pot that makes for the best Irish stew!

Joanie's composition "The Hills of New Zealand" a georgous slow tune is just exquisite - that alone is worth buying the album for!!

To wrap it up - you can't go wrong buying this one and if you only buy one Celtic album this year make sure this is it!! I picked it up at a festival in Sebastopol, California and haven't stopped listening to it yet! It will surely go down in history as a Celtic Classic!
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Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 52:13 -- New to the Rounder Records label, Cherish the Ladies have a well-produced and highly-arranged selection of songs on "Woman of the House." The five women in the band also enlist the support of 14 artists in various guest instrumental and vocal capacities. Thus, the project creates many moods, and we listeners are richly rewarded. Cherish the Ladies is Joanie Madden (flute, whistles, harmony vocals), Heidi Talbot (lead vocals, bodhran), Mary Coogan (guitar, banjo, mandolin), Mirella Murray (accordion) and Roisin Dillon (fiddle). To accompany the splendid music, a 16-page CD booklet includes photos, lyrics and background notes about the songs.

Cherish the Ladies has been together for over twenty years, and their traditional Celtic music has built them a legion of fans. Their albums have been tightly crafted, with haunting vocals and striking instrumental accomplishment. The newest band member, Heidi Talbot has a magnetic voice that adds much to Cherish the Ladies' signature sound. Haunting contemporary Celtic accompaniment and vocal harmonies are another. Besides sung by Joanie Madden, the noteworthy harmonies are courtesy of Kate Rusby, Eddi Reader, Donna Long and Karen Matheson (of Capercaillie). Heidi, Karen and Eddi share the vocal spotlight on the oft-sung "Fair and Tender Ladies." Other key contributors are producer Phil Cunningham (piano, keys), Triona Ni Dhomhnaill (piano) and Donald Shaw (Wurlitzer organ).

With one foot firmly planted in tradition, this band also keeps one headed in the direction of the future. These innovative and forward thinkers demonstrate a playful spirit. The great reels at track one, as well as "The Hills of New Zealand" at track six were composed by Madden.
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