Her 2001 CD This Road Tonight, coproduced with David Mosher, is a good introduction to Donohoe's recorded work. It kicks off with two songs about travel. The title track reveals her own meandering thoughts as she drives through darkening farms and fields to get to her next gig. She plans her songs; she watches a storm. In "Jack of All Trades," Donohoe remembers a cross-country train trip and the quick, intense friendships that form as the land rolls past and disintegrate at the final station stop. The record is peppered with traditional Irish tunes beautifully realized with guest appearances by some of Michigan's finest musicians. "Murder of Crows" starts off with about thirty seconds of actual crow cawing it momentarily alarmed my dog and moves into slow and fast instrumental sections featuring fiddle, pennywhistle, mandolin, percussion, and a couple of guys doing Tuvan-style throat singing. It's a great track, as is "Howling at the Moon" about that primal urge that slumbers in many of us, dogs, nuns, and fishermen alike, until wakened by a massive Michigan lake and a blood-red lunar body.
Kitty Donohoe performs at the Ark on Thursday, December 14.
[Review published December 2006]