Album Reviews

Judy Collins – Live In Ireland (Cleopatra Records)

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Judy Collins Live In IrelandJudy Collins is a true musical icon, delighting listeners all over the world for over 50 years. This album was recorded live on September 29, 2013 at Dromoland Castle for a PBS broadcast. As one would expect, it is laden with classic traditional Celtic ballads and a few contemporary ones, such as Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning” and Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle”. She is supported by an orchestra of world-class musicians that fit her perfectly.

I admit to a strong bias for Celtic music, and she opens with one of my all-time favorites, “Wild Mountain Thyme”. By the time she finished she owned me heart and soul. In fact I was stunned – she has never sounded so good. Her vocal presence and interpretation is masterful, the culmination of a great artist’s years of preparation. By the time she got to the immortal “Barbara Allen” I was transported. But when she sang “John Riley” I was overwhelmed. At its finish my eyes were cloudy with tears and I was muttering “Thank you, Judy, thank you!” 

This is her most flawless recording ever. Anyone who considers him or herself a lover of great, transcendent music, will add this to their collection with joy and reference.

– Robert Myers

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