Marla Fibish & Jimmy Crowley - The Morning Star

By Mandolin Cafe
May 1, 2011 - 5:45 pm

Marla Fibish & Jimmy Crowley - The Morning Star

Marla Fibish & Jimmy Crowley - The Morning Star

The Morning Star is a new mandolin-family recording of Irish music by the Bay Area's Marla Fibish and Ireland's prominent instrumentalist (and vocalist) Jimmy Crowley.

The recording is made up entirely of instrumental duets performed on mandolin, mandola, mandocello, bouzouki and dordán (a big bass bouzouki).

"The project was hatched over an evening of playing tunes together at my house in Oakland, CA on one of Jimmy's infrequent trips through the Bay Area in November, 2009," said Marla Fibish.

"We had such a good time playing together, and so enjoyed the sound of our instruments together, we decided to make a recording. The idea was to completely indulge our shared love for mandolin-family instruments and create what we think is a truly unique project – all instrumental (a departure for Jimmy), all double-strung instruments, all Irish music. We included a wide array of types of tunes, as well as just a few of our own compositions.

"It was recorded in three days in April 2010, on Jimmy's next visit to the bay. He brought his bouzouki, his dordán and his mandolin. We borrowed a mandocello.

"It is a true collaboration — each of us bringing tunes that we have long held dear, each of us bringing ideas for arranging and presenting the music, each of us getting surprised by the results of our collaboration."

The Humours of Bandon/A Fig For a Kiss/The Dusty Miller
The Morning Star/ Trip to Cullenstown/Good Morning To Your Nightcap
Eleanor Plunkett
Farewell to Whisky/Jenny Lind/Parnell's March
Jenny and the Weaver
The Rocky Road To Dublin/Comb Your Hair and Curl It/The New Mown Meadow
Sliabh Geal gCua Na Féile
The Adelphian Waltz/The Gneeveguilla
The Saucy Polka
The Dunedin Jig/Honeymoon Island

For students of Irish music, Fibish will on the staff of this year's Mandolin Symposium, held June 26 - July 1 at the University of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California.

Additional information:
Purchase: From Elderly
Purchase: From
Marla Fibish
Jimmy Crowley


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Reader Comments

Jill McAuley
May 01, 2011 06:27 PM
I've raved about this recording in the "Celtic etc etc..." but I'll do it again here - get this if you don't have it already! I think the word "gem" was used to refer to it on the homepage and that's about hit the nail on the head for me. Lovely stuff altogether!

May 02, 2011 09:16 PM
I provided sound for their performance at the 5th Avenue Taproom here in Tallahassee. They were both marvelous performers. Jimmy is a storyteller and a sensitive songwriter, and Marla is the bomb(shell) on mando. I got to hang out a bit afterwards with them, and Marla allowed me to play her father's mando. It was absolutely wonderful, and the CD is so fine. Highly recommended!
Loretta Callahan
May 16, 2011 06:49 PM
When I first heard "Three Mile Stone", my ears literally jumped for joy! "The Morning Star" CD is another great mile stone for this very talented bunch. Marla has become one of my favorite mandolin players .... ever. If you love Celtic music, you'll love Marla Fibish and Jimmy Crowley.
May 17, 2011 07:58 AM
The production work on both recordings is equally excellent. Marla either has the BEST sounding A2 I've ever heard, or the production was just right, or both. This should be requisite listening to all those A model nay sayers out there.

Especially on "Morning Star" where things could get a bit tedious with all double-strung instruments, the arrangements are inventive and the choice of material is first rate. I have cetainly enjoyed featuring both discs on my Celtic radio show.
May 18, 2011 05:35 PM
Marla and two other great players (Dave Cory and Lewis Santer) will be playing next Tuesday (May 24) at Julie's Tea Garden in Alameda CA from 7-9 PM. Come on down. See the "Great Upcoming Irish Show" thread under the "Celtic" category.
May 18, 2011 05:39 PM
Zookster -- the recording was done at Jim Nunnaly's studio in Crockett, CA. Jim is an excelent guitarist who plays with John Reischman and the Jaybirds and in the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, among other bands. He won a Grammy for his engineering/producing work on a tribute album of Bill Monroe's music ("True Life Blues").
Loretta Callahan
May 28, 2011 07:24 PM
Just got my "Morning Star" CD. It's remarkable! Every tune is wonderful.
June 01, 2011 02:44 PM
It's a great album. I like this even better than Three Mile Stone. From the impressive to the beautiful, it's all there.
June 02, 2011 03:58 PM
Thank you all for the lovely comments on the CD - I am very gratified!!
I must comment to zookster that my instrument is an A, not an A2. It is a gorgeous sounding instrument, and Jim Nunally's great work in the studio captures a very true rendering of its least the way i hear it in my mind's ear. He is a man to be trusted with mandolins, and many greats do, as Ed calls out in his post!
Kay Kirkpatrick
June 05, 2011 09:59 AM
A big thanks to Marla,Jimmy, and Jim N for sharing their vision and skill with us on this fabulous CD. I feel quite lucky to get to study with Marla in Portal. Can't wait.