Over the last ten years, Cherish The Ladies have become one of the premier Irish traditional groups in the world, and their recordings are always among Green Linnet’s top sellers. New Day Dawning is a brilliant set of songs and tunes showcasing the band’s virtuosity and diversity. Highlighting the talents of Aoife Clancy on lead vocals, Donna Long on piano, vocal, and fiddle harmonies, and Mary Rafferty on accordion and whistle harmonies, New Day Dawning was a significant step forward for the group. Including band-leader Joanie Madden (flute, tin whistle, harmony vocals), Siobhan Egan (fiddle, bodhran, harmony whistle) and Mary Coogan (guitar, mandolin, banjo), the six women (plus two dancers) are all superb performers, boasting numerous All-Ireland and North-American championships as instrumentalists, singers, and dancers. Collectively, they are an unforgettable ensemble, performing with technical excellence, enthusiasm, and a spirited joyfulness.
While the set of tunes leading off the new album demonstrates the group’s instrumental versatility and virtuosity, the first of five songs, "Green Grow The Rushes Oh," takes Cherish into new territory. Clancy’s strong, beautiful, and true voice is enhanced with haunting flute and whistle harmonies, as well as three part vocal harmonies on the choruses. On the single Gaelic-language love-song, "A Neansai Mhile Gra’," the accompaniment swells from tender solo piano to thrilling full-band treatment, while the amazing vocal harmonies accompanying Clancy on "Broken Wings" (written by Dougie McLean) will surely set the standard for all future versions of that great song. On the eight instrumental cuts, stand-outs included the slow air "Lord Mayo," performed by pianist Long, "Ned Of The Hill," Madden’s flute tour de force, and a set of reels led off by fiddler Egan with her own original tune, "Rayleen’s Reel."