Album Review - Elle Marie O' Dwyer / Where The Allow Waters Flow

It is evident when you read the biography of Elle Marie O' Dwyer that traditional song has played a major part in her life. From her younger days in Freemont Cork she was fortunate enough to receive tuition from many well known traditional singers, including Deirdre Scanlan from Limerick and Lena Bean Uí Shé of Cork city. They conveyed to her their traditional and unique styles of singing and encouraged her to feel comfortable and "at home" with her own interpretation of the tradition and its songs. Finding your own particular style with which you are comfortable and at ease takes time and experience and arrives without fanfare. This album shows that Elle is well on her way and she takes on some beautiful songs and delivers some heartfelt renditions. The accompaniment is also tastefully appropriate and never too overpowering.

Song choice is important to Elle with many of the tracks coming from the Cork, Kerry and Limerick areas. The title track of the album "Where the Allow Waters Flow" is a good example. The Allow is the river that flows through Freemount, her home, and the song also won her all-Ireland honours in 2009 in the Scór cultural competition. There are some great tracks here including the title track as well as an unaccompanied The Blackbird of Sweet Avondale and Sweet Kingwilliams Town. These provide a great opportunity to hear traditional songs delivered with great clarity and interpretation. The album closes out with another local song by the late Gerry McMahon called My Own Newcastle West and the the well known The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee, a song that has accompanied many a car journey to Dublin on All Ireland day.

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