Cara Dillon announces winter tour dates

Cara Dillon

Cara Dillon, possessed of one of the most celebrated folk voices to have come out of Ireland, will be touring her Christmas show Upon A Winter’s Night for a third year running this December. The overwhelming success of previous tours has cemented this magical and memorable festive experience as a firm tradition.

Cara and her band will once again capture the mystery of Christmas with a collection of songs ancient and modern providing a welcome reminder that the festive season is about more than commercialism.

There is another side to Christmas – far away from Bing crooning, Noddy screaming and a world apart from ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Santa Baby’ – it’s a place where the story of Jesus’ birth is retold with genuine wonder and celebrated with the dignity, passion and beauty it deserves. Christmas is one of Cara’s passions as her live show and album prove.

Cara will be joined by her wonderful band who weave Celtic and folksy rhythms alongside reverent and atmospheric carols while Cara holds the darkness at bay with the renowned purity of her voice. Husband Sam Lakeman (piano, guitar) will be joined by Toby Shaer on fiddle and whistles, Ed Boyd on guitar and Luke Daniels on accordion.

With seventeen dates on sale in England, Ireland and Scotland there’s plenty of opportunity for people to catch this uplifting and moving concert, on a tour starting in her native Derry and ending at Suffolk’s celebrated Snape Maltings.

As modest and down to earth as they come, Cara admits to being taken aback by the success of her Christmas album Upon A Winter’s Night when it reached Number 1 in the Indie Album Charts not once, but twice in 2016.

Throughout an enviable career which has seen her explore opportunities to tread many different paths – from releasing folk crossover albums on indie label Rough Trade to recording a Disney soundtrack and collaborating with leading UK dance DJ/producers – Cara has always chosen to plant herself firmly within the landscape of her cultural heritage.

Holding a position at the very top of the Irish Folk genre, this extraordinary singer has been captivating audiences, winning awards and achieving exceptional acclaim for over twenty years. She has (according to Mojo magazine) “quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female voice”.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.caradillon.co.uk

‘The Wexford Carol’:

Tour Dates

30 November DERRY Millennium Forum 028 7126 4455 /https://www.millenniumforum.co.uk/

01 December DÚN LAOGHAIRE Pavilion Theatre 01 231 2929 / https://www.paviliontheatre.ie/events

02 December BELFAST The Ulster Hall 028 9033 4400 / https://www.ulsterhall.co.uk

06 December  SHEFFIELD Firth Hall https://www.wegottickets.com/event/437108

07 December GATESHEAD Sage 0191 443 461 / http://www.sagegateshead.com

08 December EDINBURGH The Queens Hall 0131 668 2019/ https://www.thequeenshall.net

09 December MANCHESTER Stoller Hall 0333 130 0967 / https://stollerhall.com/whats-on/

12 December BROMSGROVE Atrix 01527 577330/ https://www.artrix.co.uk/whats-on/

13 December MILTON KEYNES The Stables 01908 280800/ https://stables.org/

14 December LONDON Union Chapel – See Tickets 0871 220 0260/ https://www.unionchapel.org.uk/

15 December SOUTHAMPTON Turner Sims 023 8059 5151/ https://www.turnersims.co.uk/

16 December FROME Cheese & Grain 01373 455420/ http://www.cheeseandgrain.com/

18 December MAIDENHEAD Norden Farm Arts 01628 788997/ https://norden.farm/

19 December  BRISTOL St Georges Hall 0845 4024 001 / https://www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/

20 December BASINGSTOKE Haymarket Theatre 01256 844244/ http://www.anvilarts.org.uk

21 December CANTERBURY Gulbenkian Theatre 01227 769075/ https://thegulbenkian.co.uk

22 December SNAPE Maltings Concert Hall 01728 687110/ https://snapemaltings.co.uk/

 

LUKE DANIELS – Singing Ways To Feel More Junior (Gael Records GAEL017)

Singing WaysSinging Ways To Feel More Junior by Luke Daniels, is a wonderfully eclectic collection of a dozen songs, most of which are Daniels’ originals. It goes in many different directions (occasionally at the same time) and presents shades of folk, funk, blues, jazz and Americana, and while some of the tracks have slightly more edge than others, there is a definite sense of sweetness and brightness contained throughout.

The album opens with ‘Penny In The Slot’; it’s catchy, it’s fun and it bizarrely borrows from the 2003 ‘Fast Food Song’; incorporating the less-than-immortal line “McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut” into its lyric. Just as bizarrely, however, it works. While This Americana vibe is continued into the album’s second track (‘Only Love I’ll Leave To You’), it is the steady, danceable rhythms of ‘The House That Jack Built’ which introduce us to the album’s funkier elements. These grooves are very enjoyable, and are followed up by the beautifully delivered, (if comparatively melancholic) title track.

Following this number we are once again guided down the well-travelled Americana route through the quirkiness of the uplifting mandolin-led ‘Let’s Not Waste Another Day’ and ‘Strange Power’, before we get to the bluesy Presidential piss-take; ‘Elizabeth Trump And Sons’, one of two topically tinged numbers on the disc; with ‘Better The Devil You Know’ featuring on the album’s last quarter. Indeed, even at this late stage, we continue to hear new approaches and new experiments; the eerie but engaging soundbites which introduce ‘What Becomes Of Gilgamesh’ or the closing number, (Stevie Wonder cover) ‘Don’t You Worry About A Thing’, which boasts another tremendous vocal take, and proves the perfect conclusion to an interesting, enjoyable, if at times off the wall journey through this collection of “new songs for grown-ups.”

Christopher James Sheridan

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.lukedanielsmusic.com

‘The House That Jack Built’ – official video:

CARA DILLON – Upon A Winter’s Night (Charcoal CHARCCD008)

upon a winter's nightIn the absence this year of a new Kate Rusby festive collection for folk fans to warm their chilly cockles, Cara Dillon, aided and abetted by husband, musical partner and producer Sam Lakeman, steps up to the seasonal plate for her first Christmas offering, Upon A Winter’s Night, an 11-string stockingsworth of traditional nuggets, hymns and originals.

It’s one of the latter, the title track, written by Sam and Noah Lakeman, that kicks things off, a jaunty Nativity scene setter that also features Uilleann pipes, Luke Daniels on accordion and Kathryn Roberts on backing vocals. There’s three other originals, Cara and Sam providing the piano backed ‘Standing By My Christmas Tree’ with its interpolation of ‘Silent Night’ and bells-pealing keyboard notes as well as the simply arranged lullaby closer ‘Mother Mary’, he on acoustic guitar and she joined on vocals in the final refrains by a family affair of Colm, Noah and Elizabeth Lakeman. The third is Sam’s own instrumental contribution, a lively woodland romp with ‘The Huntsman’, again featuring Jarlath Henderson on Uilleann pipes and Daniels on accordion alongside fiddle from Niall Murphy and James Fagan’s bouzouki with Ben Nicholls providing stalwart bass.

The other numbers are the couple’s arrangements of, by and large, very familiar seasonal tunes, first up, introduced by Murphy’s fiddle sounding like a hunting horn, being a traditional folk-sounding reading of ‘The Wexford Carol’ that gathers to fulsome fiddle finale. Rather less known, based on a traditional Polish carol, ‘Infant Holy, Infant Lowly’ is another lowing lullaby and introduces John Smith on guitar. Considerably better known is the evergreen ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, here taken at a swayalong tempo on the back of fiddle, pipes and accordion and featuring guest viocals from both Roberts and Sam’s father, Geoff.

By contrast, while often given a rousing chorus flourish, here ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ is an altogether more contemplative affair etched out by just her voice and Sam’s piano, a fine companion piece to the wholly a capella ‘O Holy Night’, Adolphe Adams’ 19th century setting and translation of a French poem (Midnight Christians) on which she duets with older sister Mary, their version joining a list that includes Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Bing Crosby and, more recently, Ellie Goulding.

This is, in turn, followed by another breath of fresh winter air with ‘Mary Bore A Son To God’, one of the earliest known Irish language carols and sung here in the original Gaelic (‘Rug Muire Mac Do Dhia’),a slightly softer reading than that previously done by Horslips with Henderson’s Wilson taking the fiddle parts.

Finally, once whisperingly recorded by Bono, there’s another traditional Irish carol, ‘The Darkest Midnight’, which taken from the Kilmore Carols collection of South Wexford (albeit a trimmed down version) is again arranged for just her voice and Sam’s acoustic guitar and piano, another lovely grace note to a collection that very much has its mind set on celebrating the real meaning of Christmas. A touch more contemplative than Rusby’s South Yorkshire offerings perhaps, but likely to prove an equally enduring bauble on folk’s festive fir.

Mike Davies

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.caradillon.co.uk