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With Paddy Keenan, Mairtin O'Connor, Cathal Heydenn and members of Dervish

MOJO Folk Album of 2004

BBC Music Web Site: one of the year's finest traditional albums. Reviewer: Jon Lusk

The Living Tradition: This is definitely the best vocal album I've heard this year.

Songlines: Incredible debut, and a potential Irish album of the year *****

Irishmusicreviews: She's a great singer and The Holland Handkerchief is well deserving of your attention.

Mary McPartlan has one of the great voices of Ireland. She sings with passion, with a natural, lilting clarity, rare innate register of tunefulness, strong and tender, kind to the song and the listener. For several decades her voice has been heard in clubs and theatres, at weddings and funerals, celebrating, consoling, inspiring; and many have asked: when are you going to record an album?

Now Now The Holland Handkerchief brings her singing out of the realm of the occasional, the private to the public domain of airplay, reviews and performance. Well known as a music producer in television and theatre, she will now become known as the great singer the she is, equal to the best anywhere.

Mary has gathered around her some of Ireland's finest musicians to contribute their talents to this classic album. World renowned prouder, P.J. Curtis has a track record many would die for, producing artists of the calibre of Altan, Sharon Shannon among many others.

Now Now the general public has 13 good reasons to endorse the claims of her friends. I It took some time but with this release a major new talent has arrived

Copperplate is very proud to have this title on our roster and to help it achieve its full potential will be supporting this release with a full-scale promotional mail out to media and retail. Feedback always welcome.

The Holland Handkerchief:

Rainy Night in Soho:

The Tide Full In:

The Ladybird:

  1. The Holland Handkerchief
  2. Rainy Night in Soho
  3. Johnny Lovely Johnny
  4. The Tide Full In
  5. Ladybird
  6. Lord Gregory
  7. John Riley
  8. Lovely Sailor Boy
  9. As I Roved Out/ Joe O'Dowd's Barndance
  10. Peat Bog Soldiers
  11. Saw You Running
  12. Aura Lee
  13. Slieve Gallion Braes

Press Reviews

Folk North West 05.05

There are some singers that leave you gasping for breath when you first hear them sing. I was listening to a radio programme a couple of months ago and on came a female artist with an astounding interpretation of Shane McGowan's composition, "Rainy Night in Soho". Such was her interpretation she instantly made the song her own and has knocked spots of the formidable Pogues original. The artist in question was Mary McPartlan and I just had to get hold of the album.

Well I soon discovered she's certainly not a one-song wonder. The CD is a great collection of thirteen mainly traditional (such as "The Holland Handkerchief", "As I roved out", "Peat Bog Soldiers" and "Johnny Lovely Johnny" and modern contemporary songs (Tim O'Brien's "John Riley", Thom Moore's great song, "Saw You Running" loving rearranged by McPartlan with the help of the brilliant Sligo musician Shamie O'Dowd (who as well as vocally accompanying her plays a range of guitars fiddles and harmonicas). There's also "Aura Lee", the tune of which crossed the Atlantic and somehow got thrown back as "Love Me Tender". To add to her versatile singing talents she has gathered around her some of Ireland's finest musicians and producer, P J Curtis.

Mary McPartlan has lived in Galway since the mid 1980s and her singing career began in the 1970s. She has been a well-known figure on the Irish folk scene but surprisingly, 'The Holland Handkerchief' is her first CD. One thing is sure it won't be her last. Mary has won some ecstatic reviews for this album and it's easy to see why. Quite simply, she is one the best vocal talents to emerge from a country that is renowned for its strength in depth of singing talent and easily bears favourable comparisons with the likes of Dolores Keane and Maura O'Connell.

Lewis Jones

Fairoaks Entertainments OnLine

"Brilliant new voice breaks onto the scene, abetted by Ireland's finest sidemen to produce a classic debut album".

Price: £13.99

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