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Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman
Bill Binkelman is a long-time icon in the industry.
Other reviews from Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman:
  Moorland Winds by Sarah Copus, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 9/28/2017
  The Road Home by Peter Calandra, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 9/22/2017
  When the Sea Lets Go by Vin Downes, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 9/22/2017
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
Moorland Winds
By Sarah Copus
Label: Galactic Playground Music
Released 4/21/2017
Moorland Winds tracks
1. Wind on the Moor
2. Rights of Man/ Off to California
3. Fields of Gold
4. Merrily Kiss the Quaker/ The Mist Covered Mountain
5. Foggy Dew
6. Gleannta'in Ghlas' Ghaoth Dobhair
7. Hut on Staffin Island/ Paddy's Trip to Scotland
8. Star of the County Down
9. Walking in the Air
10. Buttercup Spree/ Garret Barry's/ Clare Jig
11. Down by the Salley Gardens
12. Dawning of the Day
13. Harvest Home/ Boys of Bluehill
14. She Moved Through the Fair
SARAH COPUS - Moorland Winds
In reviewing Sarah Copus’ breakthrough album Moorland Winds, I could be subtle and write “a budding artist emerges,” but instead, I think I’ll go full tilt fan-boy and scream “A STAR IS BORN!” This superb recording features an assortment of Celtic vocal and instrumental tunes would be an ace in the hole in any artist’s discography. However, when one realizes that Sarah isn’t even 18 years old, one can only be astonished. Of course, she has been performing and recording with her folks, Pamela and Randy Copus (as 2002) for seven years, which in and of itself is also remarkable). Mom Pamela sits in on the album on whistle and father Randy on guitar, and the other guest artists include Nathan Kennedy on fiddle, Rick Holt on bodhran, and James Song on violin (on one track). All of these fine musicians contribute mightily to the quality of music on the album. However, this is truly Sarah’s coming out party as she handles all the vocals and harp. The songs are a mixture of vocal pieces featuring Sarah’s haunting, delicate singing and both uptempo instrumentals, i.e. jigs, reels, hornpipes, as well as some serene ones, i.e. airs. Other than her cover of Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” (which is given a soft amber-glow tinted with tender regret), all the songs are decidedly Celtic, many being traditional pieces, such as the opening “Wind on the Moor” or the closing “She Moved Through the Fair.” Sarah also composed a song, “Buttercup Spree” which segues into two traditional jigs (if you are unfamiliar with Celtic/Irish music recordings, many tracks actually contain two or three songs separated in the track title by a slash, e.g. the one I just mentioned which is “Buttercup Spree/Garrett Barry’s Jig/Clare Jig.”

Instead of the variance between moods and tempos causing a lack of cohesion, the opposite is true (and this is frequently the case with Irish/Celtic music recordings, to be honest). Moorland Winds is an excellent addition to the genre and any fan of this music should fall in love with the album. Yes, Sarah’s voice is still “growing” of course, meaning that as she gets older, she will likely develop more “pipes,” meaning she will be able to have a fuller voice, but she already has wonderful pitch, nuance, tone, and she sings with a maturity that is way beyond her years. Her harp playing talent is also staggeringly accomplished for someone her age. Throw in that she adroitly sings in both English and Celtic/Gaelic and, well, can you see why I say a star is born?

I could go on and on and detail some of my favorite tracks but that would merely polish the diamond. Sarah Copus is shining brightly on Moorland Winds (as she did on the most recent 2002 recording, Celtic Fairy Lullaby) and I fully expect that her light will only grow brighter and more resplendent with time. Which leads me to stating with no small measure of confidence that Sarah may become the next “big thing” in Celtic music. After all, the grand dames (and you know of whom I speak) in that genre must eventually give way to younger, more vibrant talent, right? Who better to assume the pinnacle/throne than this ultra-talented budding beauty? Aye, lads and lassies, the future is indeed bright for this young woman. And we will all be the better for it.
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 9/28/2017
 
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