Various Artists: Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy

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Various Artists: <em>Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy</em>

Stipe, Yorke and The National headline benefit for ex-Miracle Legion frontman

All-star tributes are too rarely bestowed upon those most in need of recognition.

Mark Mulcahy’s long overdue moment in the sun is a bittersweet one, as Ciao My Shining Star adapts the veteran singer/songwriter’s outstanding back catalog largely into a poignant memorial to his wife, Melissa, who died tragically last year.

With Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, Polaris) left to care for his three-year-old twin daughters alone, an impressive lineup of alt-rock luminaries joined forces for this diverse and frequently moving benefit album. Stepping up are A-List admirers Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe and The National, who frontload the compilation with intense, shadowy takes on Mulcahy’s comparatively warm, intimate originals. Appropriately, though, it’s the less-celebrated contributors who do the man’s songs the most justice—Vic Chesnutt’s “Little Man” and Frank Turner’s passionate “The Quiet One” stand out. Twenty-nine additional tracks, including contributions from A.C. Newman and Laura Veirs, are also available for purchase online.