Mary_Courtney_85 MaryPoster200w

Hi-res photo for print

Photo for web

Hi-res photo for print


Poster 11 x 17 PDF

Flyer 8.5 x 11 PDF

Mary's Solo Stage plan as a PDF

Morning Star's Stage plan as a PDF


Mary Courtney is so much more than the most striking interpreter of songs on the Irish-American music scene. She is also its conscience, a fearless beacon for feminism and progressive political causes.  Whether working solo, with her band Morning Star or guesting with Black 47 on such classics as Livin in America she never leaves a room without both moving and galvanizing the audience.  Larry Kirwan, Irish author, musician, & broadcaster


Live from the 33rd County, by Mary Courtney and Morning Star, is the type of CD that transports you to a small pub in the wilds of Ireland or, in this moment, An Beal Bocht Café, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York City, which is almost the same. There is a quality to Mary’s voice, like the amber fire of a good whiskey, which settles into your soul and your bones. Add to that the talented virtuosos John Redman, on Button box, and Donie Ryan, on tenor banjo, along with Mary’s own immense talent on guitar and bodhrán, and it is a music lover’s own heaven on earth. There are 11 tracks on this CD and not a sour note in the lot. I did have a moment of pause when I saw a few of my favorites on the list. They have been overdone and poorly done at times. On this CD, they have been done and done to perfection. “Four Green Fields” is hands-down my favourite song of all times. In my heart and soul, Tommy Makem, the author, sang it best. I have heard female singers make a valiant attempt, carrying it to octaves that make dogs whimper and glass shatter. So, I cringed and then I went to it first, a litmus test, if you will. Maith thú, Mary Courtney, mo chara, you did Tommy proud. I now have a new favourite version of that beloved song. “Down By the Glenside (The Bold Fenian Men), written by Peadar Kearney and performed so beautifully by the Clancy Brothers, has been wrought even more haunting and beautiful by Mary’s dulcet tones. I find myself whistling and singing snippets of “Green and Red of Mayo” by The Saw Doctors, as I go about my day. I have always loved the Saw Doctors version but now I have a new favourite version, as well. I have new favourites now, as well. Songs that have been loaded into the jukebox in my heart and will always be just a nudge away from playing. These now include “Roses from the Heart,” written by Dave McGilton and Christina Henri, which commemorates the experiences of the Irish convict women sent to Australia. Mary made it her own, poignant and true. “As I Stand On This Land” stirs the rebel blood in my soul. “Mandela” speaks of those who sacrificed. It makes the hairs stand up and the soul tremble. Bit Devine, The Wild Geese


First of all, what a singer she is!  Her powerful vocals are direct, allowing the beauty of the melodies and the emotion of the lyrics to come through; however her voice is also distinctive, making her stand out both from a sincerity point of view as well as a technical one.  Frankly, she has a voice that is difficult to ignore I’d almost forgotten what a dynamic instrument banjo is. Ryan brings that special melodic drive I’ve not heard for quite a while, as he pushes the tunes along with gusto, enthusiasm, and a lot of talent. As you listen, it’s no wonder Redmond has 4 All-Ireland titles under his belt.  All this is built on Courtney’s excellent guitar accompaniment. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how a small group such as this can have such a ‘big’ sound, one that is so involving and welcoming.  Mary Courtney and Morning Star has risen to the top of my list of must-see musicians.  When you listen to Live from the 33rd County you’ll understand why. Jamie O’Brien, Putting on Airs, Irish Edition, Jan 2013


Every once in a while, a live musical experience exceeds even the highest expectations and leaves its audience in a state of permanent thrall…when you walk out still mouthing the word “Wow.” The performance by Mary Courtney & Morning Star did just that when they played for the Philadelphia Ceili Group at the Irish Center in Mt. Airy on March 9th.  All three—singer and guitar player Mary Courtney, button accordionist John Redmond and tenor banjo player Donie Ryan—are well-known and highly regarded musicians in their home base of New York, but it’s long past time that they became household names to music lovers everywhere. Though they’re residents of the Bronx these days, their Irish roots are strong and proudly displayed, with Mary hailing from Castlegregory in County Kerry, John from Ballindaggin (it means “townland of the stronghold”) in County Wexford and Donie from Lorrha, County Tipperary. Together they’re a force of talent, accomplishment and musical knowledge that is showcased by the tunes they play, and illuminated by the heavenly voice of Mary Courtney when she sings. Lori Lander Murphy / Irish Philadelphia


The track choice on the album has a wealth of songs designed to connect with the imagery of the homeland they departed. Mary intersperses these classics with songs of social conscience. The likes of Danny Hannon’s soulful Mandela ,which he wrote after traveling to the Yankee Stadium in New York to be inspired by the man himself, is performed with an emotive passion and this same passion stirs through the Tommy Makem penned Four Green Fields. The bodhrán adds a haunting pulse to As I Stand On This Land where the vocal becomes moody and pensive and the lyrics dig to the very core of the intensity of song that seems firmly embedded in Courtney’s character. The box and banjo of Morning Star create a voluminous sound as they plough into The Flowing Star set. Yet it’s the rousing lift in Sheila Coyles that brings their instrumental expertise to the fore as they swiftly flow into The Floggin’ and end with a highly excitable version of Sporting Paddy.   Eileen McCabe Irish Music Magazine March 2013