Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Balladeer Historian Humanitarian Friend

Tonight, I figured that I'd post a couple of videos of my friend Mary Courtney, the frontwoman of the Bronx-based band Morning Star. Besides having a heartrendingly lovely voice, Mary has a keen sense of history and culture... she often precedes songs with a quick description, placing them into their culture context.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising Mary playing The Foggy Dew, which exhorts the young men of Ireland to fight against English occupation, rather than to enlist in the English army to fight in World War One:

One of Mary's most celebrated performances was her duet with Larry Kirwan in Black 47's immigration ballad Living in America, which uses the tune to The Foggy Dew:

Here's Mary's take on Peter Sarstedt's Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?, which perfectly showcases Mary's clear, sweet voice:

I like to call Mary the star of the county Bronx. Besides her musical gifts and her knack for educating people about history through song, she is constantly playing benefit gigs for various worthy causes (the post-Sandy period saw a huge outpouring of support by local artists). It's been my pleasure and my privilege to know her all these years. Please give her other songs a listen, she's really wonderful.

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