Dublin songwriter Ciara Sidine’s debut album Shadow Road Shining is a fine example of a writer taking a genre, in this case Americana (a broad church I’ll admit), and adding some local colour. Here the colour is undoubtedly of a Celtic hue. Aided and abetted by a crew of Irish session players including Steve Wickham (Waterboys, violin) and Justin Carroll (Van Morrison, keyboards) her songs are for the most part warm and comforting, cosseted by Carroll’s Hammond organ while Wickham’s violin adds a folky tilt best heard on the lilting The Arms of Summer. The folk roots are well displayed again on Constellations High where she duets with Jack Lukeman on a maritime tale. The meat of the album however resides in the songs which delve into the American south with the Muscle Shoals sound appearing to be an influence typified by the slow burning keyboards and guitar playing of Connor Brady. Mercy Moon has an earthy feel with churning guitar and even a hint of Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie. Hollow the Breeze is less successful in its attempt to capture that southern feel but all is redeemed by Sweet Breath On A Lonesome Flame. Here Sidine succeeds admirably in marrying her folk side to a southern groove, a beautiful song.
Sweet Breath On A Lonesome Flame