Hot Press - Jackie Hayden (Oct 2008)

Sarah McQuaid
I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning
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Irish-American songwriter Sarah McQuaid’s follow-up to her much-vaunted debut album When Two Lovers Meet brings a sharp shift in focus with an intriguing collection of old-time Appalachian songs, a couple of originals, plus a stirring version of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode To Billie Joe’.

I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning was inspired by the death of McQuaid’s mother, prompting her to re-explore her childhood roots via such works as the title track, ‘East Virginia’ and the minstrel song ‘West Virginia Boys’. The instrumental ‘Shady Grove’ showcases her subtle guitar skills, and her enchanting take on ‘In The Pines’ will surprise those who might only know the song from Nirvana’s version. But the depth and warmth of McQuaid’s voice is best sampled on the a cappella ‘The Wagoner’s Lad’, while the hymn ‘Wondrous Love’ is truly spine-tingling. She’s written ‘Only An Emotion’ to say it’s ok to feel down, and ‘Last Song’ is a touching tribute to both her mother and her own daughter.

The package includes a generous illustrated booklet giving background info on the songs. So you get a touching album from a genuine artist, and history lessons to boot.