Years ago when I was a little girl (okay, not that long ago but still years and years ago), my dad (who feels his Irish blood very deeply) took me to a concert at the Lobero Theater here in Santa Barbara. It was called “A Woman’s Heart” and it was a concert celebrating female Irish singers and musicians. There were several headliners, women who had dominated the folk scene in Ireland for many years. But there was a newbie too, a young singer who was just starting out. She was much younger than the other women in the concert, and she sang with a certain reserve knowing that she was new and yet to prove herself while the women beside her had spent years establishing themselves as some of Ireland’s most loved voices. But now, years later, that reserved singer is one of Ireland (and the UK’s) most beloved voices. She is the established folk singer and she dominates the music scene. Her name is Cara Dillon.
That name means basically nothing in America, which breaks my heart. Her name should be shouted from rooftops. She has an angelic voice, the purest and loveliest voice you can ever here. Her music—written and arranged with her pianist/producer/husband/father of her three children—is the perfect balance of traditional Irish folk singing with a modern appeal. Her album always features covers of some of the most treasured Irish folk songs, like “She Moved Through the Fair” and “Black Is The Color” but she also writes new songs with her husband and producer Sam Lakeman.
At the concert oh-so many years ago, my dad bought me her first album, and ever since then I have bought all of her albums—now ffive total. Her music is the only music I still buy in CD form. Mostly because I order it straight from the UK so I don’t have to wait for iTunes to release her latest album in the US. (Don’t you hate the lag time between releases in the UK and releases in the US? *cough* BBC Sherlock…) And now, for her latest album released May 16, I am waiting for the precious CD to cross the Atlantic Ocean and most of the lower 48 to make its way to me and I am SO excited.
Earlier this year Emily wrote about Nickel Creek, her favorite band that reunited this year to tour and release its own new album. She talked about how Nickel Creek is the music of her childhood, the music of her soul. It’s a band that’s part of her. Well, Cara Dillon is my Nickel Creek, so to speak. (Rhyme unintended.) She is the music of my childhood, the music of my relationship with my father, my most favorite singer ever, the best singer in my opinion, and a part of me that I can never lose. I am so excited to listen to her new album A Thousand Hearts, and I desperately wish she would tour in the US so I could see her in concert again. *cough, cough, wink, wink*