Americana UK - Steve Wills

Sarah McQuaid
I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning

Beautiful Collection of Appalachian Folk Songs
Sarah McQuaid makes a return eleven years after the original release of her debut album "When Two Lovers Meet". While this debut was steeped in traditional Irish music, her follow up "I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning" sees her revisit some of the Southern Appalachian folk songs that she learned during her childhood. The album is lovingly dedicated to the memory of her mother who taught some of these songs to McQuaid but sadly passed away in 2004.

There is plenty of evidence of Sarah McQuaid’s exceptional guitar playing throughout the album, especially on the instrumental “Shady Grove/Cluck Old Hen”. Elsewhere on the album it is McQuaid’s rich warm voice that comes to the fore, namely on the two acapella tracks “Wondrous Love” and “The Wagoner’s Lad”. There are also very good versions of Leadbelly’s “In The Pines”, Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe” and the wondrously cheeky “West Virginia Boys”.

The CD comes with a wonderfully presented 24-page booklet which delves into the detailed histories and the backgrounds of the songs and is a fascinating read in itself.

There are two original tracks on the album which sit very nicely among the traditional songs. “Only An Emotion” is a lovely song about dealing with grief while realising that it is a natural way to feel and “Last Song” which is about the singing of songs before bedtime by mother to daughter, a tradition that has been passed on through the generations.

“I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning” is one of those rare things, a very lovely personal album but also an incredibly good introduction to Appalachian folk music. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer’s Rating: 9 out of 10