FolkWorld Live Review by Kathy-Ann Tan
What would you do if you were the lead singer of one of the top Irish trad music bands of today? You'd go solo, that's what you'd do. And this is precisely what Karan Casey, ex-lead singer of the successful Celtic band Solas, has done. And with three highly-acclaimed solo albums to her name- "Songlines", "The Winds Begin to Sing" (voted best folk album of 2001 by Irish Music Magazine) and "Distant Shore", and an alluring soprano voice to match, the woman has every right to be smiling. In her solo career so far, Karan has worked and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the folk industry, including Tim O'Brien, Karen Matheson (celebrated singer with the Scottish outfit Capercaillie) and John Spillane (Irish singer/songwriter formerly of the band Nomos).
On her current live tour, Karan is supported by three talented musicians- Robbie Overson on guitars, Paul Meehan on guitar and mandolin, Niall Vallely on concertina and low whistle (although on that particular evening I saw them play in Tübingen, the concertina and whistle were absent; in their place was a double bass). The minimal number of musicians kept the music fairly tight, and Karan sang mostly ballads during the two-hour long concert. I particularly enjoyed listening to "When Will We All Be Free", "Maguire & Patterson" (written by Robbie) and "Distant Shore". The instrumental solos were also good, although I felt the concertina and whistle were probably missed a little.
Reading the entries posted in some of the trad music newsgroups on the Internet, one finds appreciative comments from Karan Casey fans from the U.S.A. to Spain and Switzerland, so this lady must be doing something right! A big thumbs up too, of course, to Magnetic Music, for managing Karan's tour and putting together such a superb program of live performances this autumn!
For more information on the Karan Casey Band's tourdates and album releases, check out the website www.karancasey.com. For more information on other Magnetic Music artists and tourdates, click on www.magnetic-music.com.
Watch out for another live review in English about Karan Casey at an Irish Night, in this issue.
Photo Credit: Photo by Adolf 'gorhand' Goriup
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