Sing Out! - Tom Druckenmiller

March 2009 

Album review – I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning. “A gentle and magical recording that I will return to time and again.”

Sarah McQuaid
I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning

Sarah McQuaid is certainly a cosmopolitan woman. She was born in Madrid, raised in Chicago, studied in Strasbourg, and lived for many years in Ireland before relocating to Cornwall in 2007. She is a master of the DADGAD guitar, and has written an acclaimed tutorial on the style. Her first CD, released 11 years ago, is a collection of traditional Irish music. I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning, the long awaited follow-up, is a return to her Appalachian roots. The recording, which features Sarah’s sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice, is reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts.

Producer Gerry O’Beirne joins in on guitar, tiple and ukulele, along with Rosie Shipley and Máire Breatnach, fiddle; Liam Bradley, percussion and vocals; and Trevor Hutchinson on double bass.

I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning opens with the tune that lends the title to the CD. ‘The Chickens They Are Crowing’ was learned from the singing of Peggy Seeger. It’s important to note that the liner notes are quite well researched, and crammed with wonderful stories of her first exposure to this special music. Up next is ‘West Virginia Boys’, all done up with swing percussion from Liam, which accompanies Sarah’s smoky vocals. Quite a different rendition, but it works. The listener is treated to Sarah’s distinctive guitar style with ‘Shady Grove/Cluck Old Hen.’ Gerry offers harp-like accompaniment on the 12-string guitar and tiple.

Most of the recording is comprised of traditional tunes, but Sarah offers two fine original songs. Both ‘Only An Emotion’ and ‘Last Song’ are dedicated to her mother, Jane Addams Guthrie, who introduced the young Sarah to the beauty of folk music and died in 2004. We can all feel fortunate that Sarah McQuaid took these early songs to heart, for she has produced a gentle and magical recording that I will return to time and again.