Radio Sweethearts is the second solo album from Sheila Noonan. The
daughter of Irish American bandleader Paddy Noonan, Sheila has appeared on
concert stages and package tours all across America.
She has one solo album, 1996's "I Just Want To Dance With You" already
behind her and Radio Sweethearts
charts her progress in the meantime. It is a
colossal advance on its predecessor as it sees her finding her feet and arriving at a
musical direction befitting her talents. Ms. Noonan's voice is clear, strong and
possesses a powerful sense of purpose. She avoids the soft option of either playing
the established Irish American cabaret slant or repeating the process already set in
stone by Mary Black, Maura O'Connell and Frances Black.
Sheila steers a course across a wide selection of Irish, Canadian and Scoffish
sources, finding songs that are eminently comfortable and which cry out for
exposure. She has judiciously chosen her material from the pages of Tommy Sands,
Dougie MacLean and J.P. Cormier.
What emanates from her performance on Radio Sweethearts is a genuine sense of enjoyment and youthful vitality. "The Island" and "Roseville Fair" bounce along sweetly and "The Music Of Healing" packs a deeply felt emotional punch beneath her honey sweet vocals, with subtle backings bathed in an acoustic folk/country/rock crossover colour adding extra flair and panache. This sounds like an album Sheila and her compadres had fun making and its youthful drive is sweetly contagious.
Radio Sweethearts finds Sheila Noonan's talent fulfilling its initial promise in a mature and accomplished fashion.
John O'Regan/Folk Roots Magazine
The Island • Radio Sweethearts • Everybody Loves A Lover • Music Of Healing • The Roseville Fair • Singing Land • Another Morning • Emigrant Eyes • The Heart • Ballad Of St. Anne's Reel