"Kind Providence" by Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne - CD Review

Niamh Parsons has established her reputation as a singer of the highest standard over many years, and with Graham Dunne she has found the perfect partnership; someone who can provide a sympathetic backdrop to a wide range of material, chosen with great care. Their new CD “Kind Providence” provides a feast of delights and a masterclass in the concept of “less is more”.

She collects songs from everywhere , and the opening track “Across The Blue Mountain” is a ballad she first heard in 1996.  The sparse accompaniment allows full expression to the studied vocal, yet is full of nuance and subtlety.  “The Road to La Coruna”, from the pen of Maurice McGrath, has a haunting melody that suggests a bygone age, though it was written in recent years.

Niamh’s voice has developed into a marvellous vehicle for emotive interpretation, and the CD allows full rein to a range of expression. But there are many hidden delights in the marvellous accompaniment from Graham Dunne, who is widely acknowledged as a fine guitarist across a range of styles.  He builds on this by judicious use of keyboards and studio technology which is always attuned to the material and the nuances of Niamh’s interpretation.

There are some fine acapella performances, notably “When Fortune Turns Her Wheel” and “After Aughrim’s Great Disaster”.

Graham gets a chance to showcase his virtuosity on “The Monaghan Jig” as a solo instrumental piece.  The closing track “Carrickfergus” features Elena Aklekseeva on piano and proves that Niamh and Graham can take a well-known song and create new magic at will.

This is a marvellous CD from two masters of their craft.

 

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