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Distant Shore

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Album Review

Having established herself as a marvelous traditional Irish singer, Karan Casey's decided to spread her wings and head into contemporary folk-pop. It's a good decision, as she proves to be just as adept and intimate a performer on modern material as the old songs. She's also an astute judge of songwriters, whether it's Billy Bragg's title track, a meditation on emigration, Tim O'Brien's "Another Day," or Ger Wolfe's excellent "The Curra Road." She keeps the feel loose throughout, almost like a session, but keeps herself front and center, never letting things stray too much out of focus. Her own singing is as understated as ever, letting less be a little more, giving a wonderful shine to something like "Distant Shore." There's also a very political element to her music, as she illustrates on "The Jute Mill Song" and her version of Ewan MacColl's "The Ballad of Tim Evans," an eloquent argument against the death penalty. Casey has matured, that much is obvious, and she's in the process of becoming a world-class interpreter of songs.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As a part of the Irish folk group Solas, Karan Casey has defined herself as one of Ireland's best, joining the distinguished ranks of fellow female singer/songwriters such as Clannad's Maire Brennan, Sharon Shannon, and Karen Matheson of Capercaillie. The Wall Street Journal's music writer Earle Hitchner praises her singing, harking that Casey's voice "is one of the true glories of Irish music today." Karan Casey grew up singing with her family while growing up in the southeastern side of Waterford...
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Distant Shore, Karan Casey
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