Sligo Live Festival Blog
“The intimacy of The Factory space was the perfect setting for the music of Marianne Greene and her band on their first visit to Sligo Live.
Danish born and based, she brings a freshness to Irish song that’s not often heard.

The source for her material is north of the border and she kicked off her hour-long set with a riveting version of Carrickmannon Lake with an intro on slide guitar and full of jazz style vocal phrasing. Her style is mindful at times of Cara Dillon but she brings a very individual mark to her material, which the 3 piece band compliments beautifully, bodhrán, guitars and accordion providing the most empathic of backdrops.(…….)” (c)  Oliver P. Sweeney 2012

Irish Music Magazine
“In November 2007 I first met Marianne Green at the Copenhagen Irish Festival. We got to talking and hearing her Northern accent I enquired where up North she hailed from. Her vocal inclinations suggested Omagh lineage. Imagine my surprise when she said that she was Copenhagen born and bred. Marianne is an Irish dance teacher leading Denmark’s only professional dance school with fellow dancer Julie Mork and a singer of mostly Northern Irish repertoire. Listening to Marianne’s debut album Dear Irish Boy brings some interesting thoughts into focus. Her voice is light and lyrical reminding of several notables – Maighread Ni Mhaonaigh, Eithne Ni hUllachain, Cara Dillon and Juliet Turner. It’s a pronounced Northern sounding voice and a young pure one attacking her repertoire with relish. The songs are the big ones – Banks of the Bann aka Willie Archer, Doffing Mistress, Bonny Portmore, Carrickmannon Lake all classics and reliable choices. There is an assured poise balancing the youthful energy with a reasoned maturity. For accompaniment she has none other than Andy Irvine in cahoots – his mandolin, bouzouki and harmonica rippling and trilling when needed and adding melodic foil to the quieter moments. Colum Sands and Gerry O’Conner also add their deft contributions and this combination of youth and experience works in an organic fashion framing the songs in subtle yet powerful arrangements There is a refreshing lack of ego present that makes the album even more momentous. This is a meeting of like minds – from different places but whose love of Northern songs makes for an aural experience that is more than a mere recording. Recorded in the Spring Records studio in Rostrevor County Down this is history in the making- (c) John O’Regan 2010

“In a world that is fast losing any sense of calm isn’t it nice to find an oasis of tranquillity in the shape and sound of Marianne Green. Based in Denmark, Green’s beautiful Northern Irish lilt will obviously draw comparisons to Cara Dillon for her almost waif-like inflection. But don’t be fooled by her charismatic charm for here is someone who knows how to convey lyrics with conviction ably accompanied by the gently tailored mandolin/bouzouki of Andy Irvine, Colum Sands on Double Bass and Gerry O’Connor’s fiddle. The album features predominantly traditional songs including “The Banks Of The Bann”, “The Road To Dundee” and the title track “Dear Irish Boy” with the exceptions being Martin O’Hare’s “Cian’s Song”, Green’s own traditional style “Wife’s Lamentation” and the upbeat “You Make Me Fly”. This recording is an impressive debut by an artist that has a lot going for her and although perhaps not ground-breaking will surely see her follow the same path as trod by the afore mentioned Dillon. ” – Pete Fyfe
“Marianne Green sings with a voice as gentle and delicate-sounding as Belleek porcelain.
But delicate doesn’t mean fragile. Green’s lovely voice is a strong presence on her first full-length recording, Dear Irish Boy.
Musically, Green came to this race with a stallion in her stable. Renowned Irish musician Andy Irvine not only produced the album and arranged the music, he supplied mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, bass bouzouki and harmonica to the tracks. Recording engineer Colum Sands provides double bass and concertina, and Gerry O’Conner adds violin.
Green just sings but, believe me, her voice is the focal point of each and every track.
The traditional songs here, drawn largely from the Co. Down region of Ulster, are “The Banks of the Bann,” “Ta Me Mo Shui,” “The Doffin Mistress,” “Bonny Portmore,” “Ar a Ghabhail Go Baile Atha Cliath Damh,” “The Dear Irish Boy,” “The Road to Dundee,” “The Wreck of the Newcastle Fishermen” and “Carrickmannon Lake.”
Green adds two songs of her own making, “You Make Me Fly” and “The Wife’s Lamentation,” as well as “Cian’s Song” by executive producer Martin O’Hare. The originals fit neatly into the overall sound of this album.
Dear Irish Boy is rare in its restraint. Far from the heavy production values that clutter so many contemporary Irish albums and lacking the trend to plug in the guitars and add a drum kit to the ensemble, this album is clear, pure and deeply rooted in Ulster” –Tom Knapp
This is a little gem of an independent release that’s sneaked out over the past few months and has proved a thoroughly charming and lasting listening experience ever since I managed to acquire a copy. But Marianne’s will be a new name to the vast majority of readers, I’m sure. She’s a captivating singer (and, we learn, a professional step-dancer and dance teacher); she has a pronounced Northern Irish accent, and yet it turns out she grew up in Denmark, the child of an Italian mother and a half-Danish, half-English father. I’m not sure whether she’s currently based in Northern Ireland, but Dear Irish Boy, her debut full-length CD (an EP was released back in 2004), was recorded at Colum Sands’ Spring Records studio in Rostrevor, Co. Down, and produced by Andy Irvine – whose aural presence extends way beyond that of backroom boy (for he’s Marianne’s principal accompanist, playing bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, bass-bouzouki and harmonica). And yet it’s Marianne’s own singing that remains in firmest focus, lilting enchantingly above the constancy and strength of Andy’s distinctively deft, imaginative and entirely responsive playing. The spirit of the music-making is refreshingly informal and unpretentious, and there’s evidently a very keen bond between the singer and her accompanist. In terms of character, Marianne’s is a light-textured voice, pure and delicate (perhaps the closest reference points in terms of timbre being Cara Dillon or Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh); she displays a telling maturity, seemingly effortless poise and total confidence of line.

Her lyrical, intimate delivery is exceedingly beguiling, and is a good indication of the intuitive manner in which she relates to the song texts, whether they be familiar (Bonny Portmore, The Doffin Mistress, The Banks Of The Bann) or not (Carrickmannon Lake, The Wreck Of The Newcastle Fishermen), while she’s equally persuasive whether singing in English (the majority) or Irish (just two of the dozen tracks). All credit to Colum’s engineering skills here too, for the recorded sound is at once totally clean and detailed and believable, with just the right degree of bloom to avoid disturbing the intrinsically minimal, pared-down nature of the arrangements. Although Andy takes the lion’s share of instrumental duties, Gerry O’Connor plays violin on Carrickmannon Lake and Colum himself adds some concertina or double bass on a couple of songs. Andy’s parts tend involve a degree of multitracking, but this is unobtrusively and sympathetically managed, as are the very modest enhancements to Marianne’s voice (in the form of vocal chordings or harmonies for effect, as on the title track and the delightful You Make Me Fly). The latter-mentioned is one of a pair of lovely little self-penned songs tucked in amongst what’s basically a traditional collection; Cian’s Song, written by the album’s executive producer Martin O’Hare, is the third odd-one-out in that respect, but this is also a considerable success in Marianne’s hands. I do, however, miss the chance to learn something of the songs’ origins, since there are no notes with the otherwise attractive and admirably economical and eco-friendly package (or indeed on Marianne’s website). But, that one matter of presentation aside, this beautiful record proves beyond all doubt that the quality of restraint in performance, both in expression and setting, is one of the most treasurable virtues any artist can possess.”- David Kidman
”Irländsk traditionell folk. Danskan Marianne Green har länge varit hemma i den irländska musiktraditionen. Förankringen visar sig tydligt på denna mogna albumdebut, som domineras av ett personligt urval traditionella sånger. Inspelningarna gjordes på Nordirland, och på plats är bland andra Andy Irvine (munspel, bouzouki, mandolin), känd profil inom området.Det hörs att Green har sitt hjärta i den här traditionen. Hon sjunger med stark och naturlig inlevelse, och hennes två egna kompositioner är faktiskt ännu ett strå vassare än de favoriter som hon här bär fram – man värms speciellt The wife’s lamentation. I övrigt öppnar tolkningarna rum för varma stämningar och en djup närvaro kring rötterna. Två av styckena frambärs på gaeliska. Allt låter rent, avskalat, närmast naket, och Marianne Green har en underbar röst. Albumet visar hur passion kan slå ut perfektion.” – Gert-Ove Fridlund
Et årtis kærlighed til den irske musik udmynter sig nu i Greens debutalbum bestående af fortolkninger af mindre kendte irske traditionals og to nykomponerede numre. I samarbejde med hendes faste irske samarbejdspartner, Martin O’Hare, kommer Greens klare, uskyldsrene stemme til fint udtryk i det akustiske lydbillede. – Marcus Winther-John
“…………Green singt Balladen und Songs aus Nordirland, vor allem aus dem County Down. „The Banks of the Bann“ eröffnet den musikalischen Reigen im wahrsten Sinn des Wortes mit Irvines gefühlvollem Spiel und Greens glasklarem Gesang. Beim traurigen „Tá Mé `Mo Shui“ besticht Green mit ihrer wundervollen Sopranstimme zum Spiel auf der Bouzouki während das zweite irische Lied „Ar a Ghabhail go Baile átha Cliath Damh“ vom Klang der Mandoline rhythmisch angetrieben wird. Martin O’Hare schrieb den wunderschönen „Cian’s Song“ mit Colum Sands an der Concertina.
Irvine wechselt die Instrumente oft während der Songs oder bespielt mehrere Spuren, dennoch bleiben seine Arrangements aufs Essentielle beschränkt. Beim traditionellen Titelsong beweist Green, dass ihre Stimme auch in den tiefen Lagen perfekt rüberkommt. Greens rhythmischer Song „The Wife’s Lamentation“ besticht mit tollem Zusammenspiel von Harmonika, Mandoline und Bouzouki und das romantische „The Road to Dundee“ konzentriert sich wieder auf Greens wundervolle Stimme. Zum Abschluss begleitet Gerry O’Connor Green bei „Carrickmannon Lake“ mit seinem gefühlvollen Violinen Spiel.
Marianne Green besteht auf ihrem Debütalbum den Vergleich mit etablierten irischen Sängerinnen. Ihre Stimme ist sehr gut ausgebildet und die Musiker sind erstklassig. Schade, dass die Steppdance Lehrerin nicht davon profitiert hat um einige mitreißende Tunes einzubauen, die zwischen den Balladen Stimmung machen. ”
Adolf ‘gorhand’ Goriup

”…………It’s minimalist stuff, with arrangements pared to the bone, but the intricacy of Irvine’s playing on a largely traditional set, including a couple of Irish language songs, constantly provides any necessary colour and shade, and Green’s Winningly informal vocal style – giving fresh life to the likes of Banks of the Bann, Doffin Mistress and The Road to Dundee – does the rest. An unassuming, quiet little treasure” – Colin Irwin

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  • By Irish Music Magazine on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

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