Thursday, April 24, 2008

now playing: Karan Casey: Ships in the Forest

On her new solo album, Ships in the Forest, Karan Casey offers songs of love, song of politics, songs of Irish history, and songs which touch on all of that together.

Irish music is marked by a select handful of very distinct female voices, Dolores Keane, Mary Black, Maura O’Connell, Susan McKeown, and Cathie Ryan among them. Casey stands in their company. Both her singing and her song choices on this project show a growing maturity and thoughtfulness added to what was already a strong set of musical choices, choices informed by her insights at moving back to her native Ireland after living in America for some time, and by watching her children explore the world as they grow. She takes on several of the big songs of the tradition, including Black is the Color, I Once Loved a Lass, and Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, and adds her own colors to them. She also takes on Robert Burns with Ae Fond Kiss, and in what may be the heart of the album, reinvents Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum as a song which encompasses both the sweep if Irish history and the uncertainties of contemporary political and moral choices. It’s a set of songs. Casey says, which she feels all her other work has been getting her ready to take on. “It is by no means for the faint hearted but I think it’s worth a long listen,” she adds. It is.

Casey was lead vocalist with the seminal Irish American band Solas

She also appeared on the dvd and CD of Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live

You may also wish to see
Exiles Return, duo album from John Doyle and Karan Casey
A bouquet of Irish albums for spring, among them Exiles Return
Refelctions on Connections: part of a series about Celtic Connections online 20220

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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