Irish Music Magazine - Andy Ryan

Sarah McQuaid
When Two Lovers Meet

Sarah is well known as a music journalist, and author (The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book). Now is it a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, always a dangerous move in the music business? How has she made the switch from pen to plectrum?

Sarah is joined by trad luminaries Trevor Hutchinson, Gerry O’Beirne, John McSherry and Niamh Parsons – some backing band eh?

There are ten tracks, with eight songs including Táim Cortha Ó Bheith Im’ Aonar Im’ Luí as well as more widely known songs in English (Sprig of Thyme, When a Man’s in Love and The Parting Glass).

She brings to the recording a gentle voice and soothing guitar style, perhaps too laid-back on the dance tunes (maybe they would have been better capoed up the neck about three frets – they are bright but they don’t really sparkle, the low tuning is the problem, not her style).

However, most of the CD is devoted to songs, and boy, hasn’t Sarah got a good voice – rich, deep, mature. Shown at its best on the jazz-influenced Johnny Lad, great movement between octaves and stylish use of breathing add a sexy dynamic.

One for a romantic evening in, listen to it with a hot whiskey and a peat fire – heaven!