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(11 May 2003) Irish chanteuse Aoife Ni Fhearraigh (Aoife Ferry) has returned with the follow-up to her 1996 self-titled album. Her new album, entitled The Turning of the Tide is a gentle and beautifully conceived collection of fifteen songs ranging from the traditional to the contemporary.

Hailing from the same town as Enya and Máire Brennan/Clannad (Gweedore--County Donegal, Ireland), Aoife actually took singing lessons from Enya and Máire's mother, "Baba" Brennan. Gweedore is a "gaeltacht" area in Ireland where the Irish language and Irish culture still maintain a strong presence. Aoife began singing at a young age in the local church choir, St. Mary’s Derrybeg (where she is still a member). Encouraged be her parents to follow her musical interests, Aoife absorbed much of the traditional music of the area, gaining a great appreciation for it.

Aoife released her first album in 1991 Loinneog Cheoil (available on cassette only). The Irish label Gael Linn took notice and made it possible for Aoife to release her follow-up album Aoife in 1996. Produced by Máire Brennan and Denis Woods, Aoife was a lush and textured album of traditional Irish melodies.

Since the release of the album Aoife, she has toured and performed in Holland, Germany, Brittany, England and Ireland. Aoife has also recorded with many other artists (in Irish and English) such as Larry Hogan/Stuart Wilde, Liam Lawton, Manus Lunny, Tim Wheater, James Galway, and Phil Coulter. Upon hearing Aoife's crystalline and compelling voice, it becomes clear why she has been a such sought-after vocalist.

The Turning of the Tide is largely an album of covers including the traditional folk standard "Danny Boy" (featuring Phil Coulter on piano), The Birds "Turn Turn Turn," and a new version of Loreena McKennitt's "Bonny Portmore." Aoife is backed by fine instrumentalists including Ivan Gilliland (Guitar), Brendan Monaghan (Pipes and Whistles), John Fitzpatrick (Viola) and Neil Martin (Cello) throughout.

The end result is a fine album that will appeal to fans of Enya and Clannad as well as those who prefer a more folk/traditional style. We can only see good things in the future for Aoife.--Justin Elswick

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