The Appalachian elements in her songs provide the balance to the misty and often mystical atmosphere of Scottish traditional music. That is why her latest offering “Sing” shines a musical light on every corner like a summer morning. Sing evokes a feeling that is at home with Reggae, Ska and Bluegrass. Her previous effort, A Thousand Curses Upon Love’ actually won the Celtic Album of the Year by Celtic Music Radio. According to her press release, Licko wanted to record an album that felt a little closer to home:
Jennifer sings Scots Gaelic dance & work songs from the perspective of the music’s adopted home in the Carolinas. Original songs in English that express her own folk music style compliment this new Celtic sound which could only have taken root from a North Carolina native who spent her childhood years Scottish dancing.
Sing opens with mouth music SEINN O CHURADAIL O/THOIR A NALL AILEAN THUGAM. Licko channels her inner priestess making the Gaelic vowels and consonants beautifully mesmerizing. You don’t have to understand the language to feel the passion in the music.
Light the Way is written and compose by Licko herself.
“I want a finer day
where the sun just lights
the way, and run…
See all that I can see,
Feeling wild and free..just run…
She sings the chorus with a child-like wonder, yet the acoustic alternative style keeps it real and grounded. FILL IU O is another Scottish tune with an Americana twist. THE TIDE has a reggae vibe. Puirt a beul lightens up RUIDHLIDH. It is a short track that dances around your mood.
Flying High is another original recording which is a love song. The Major 7 chords evokes warm sunny afternoons by the beach.EADARAIBH A HUINN O/’S IOMA RUD THA DHÌTH ORM follows. I think I first heard it performed by Scottish band Capercaillie if I am not mistaken. HE NA MILIBHIG gets a bluesy treatment and it is another standout track from the Sing.
SOME ROADS LEAD ON ( words & music by Bill McKay) is another English track owing its style to Irish hymns. I BHÌ À DA closes the album accompanied by the exquisite beat of a bodhran.
Sing is a unique vision.This proves that genres can be fused in the hands of an expert, and the end result is always something magical.