Dream Records DRCD005
Tommy Fleming, Martin Hayes, Tola Custy, Tommy Keane
Producer Ted Ponsonby
1. Reasons to Leave
2. Play On
3. Goodbye Johnny Dear
4. Grosse Isle
5. Hand on my Heart
6. Dress of Green
8. Shadows of You
9. Ar Éireann ní Neosfainn Cí Hí
10. Once I Loved
11. Nora Lee
12. On the Banks of the Lee
13. Slán Abhaile
on underscored titles to hear MP3 sound samples
We are delighted to announce the release of
Dream Records : DRCD 005
other album has brought such an overwhelming audience response”, Mike Harding
BBC Radio 2.
Winner in www.LiveIreland.com's Livie's Awards
Newcomer of the Year--Kate Purcell
This Ennis-based singer completely enthralls with her first album, Shadows Of You. What a voice! And, she is a gifted writer. The whole package was on offer and what a deal! She is a major, major new talent who will only get more famous as more people hear her magic. It is on Dream Records. Find it. Wow!
Kate is a native of Feakle in east Clare; she now resides in Tulla with her husband and son. Anyone who has lived in these areas would inevitably be influenced by traditional music and on this album Kate is very much going back to her roots.
She also has a deep love of contemporary music, which blends blues, and American artists such as Jackson Browne, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor and more recently, Alison Krauss and Patty Loveless.
Kate started her musical career straight from school, playing around Clare for a while; she was offered a residency at the prestigious Dreamland Castle hotel, where she still performs.
have followed her decision to broaden her horizons and reach an international
Her first album, A Dream Unfolds met with great critical acclaim. It won her 2 awards from Irish Music Mag. 2 singles from the album were play listed by 2FM. Hot Press nominated Savannah as best single. You Never Said Goodbye spent 5 weeks in the Irish charts.
Following the success of the album she appeared on TV’s Kenny Live, PM Live, Open House, Limelight, Sib and Bernie Bo.
She performed all over Ireland alongside Jimmy McCarthy; Donal Lunny’s Coolfin and this April with Tommy Fleming on his national tour.
She has also performed with Lunasa in Hong Kong and has appeared at festivals as far afield as Clifden Arts Fest, Cork Folk Fest, The Rose of Tralee, Omagh Bluegrass, and Milwaukee Irish Fest.
Kate has been planning this album for three years and is joined by Tommy Fleming on Dan Seals beautiful, Lullaby. Also Clare fiddle sensation, Martin Hays on Goodbye Johnny Dear. The outstanding rendition of Mary Greene’s, Dress of Green.
Ted Ponsonby, long time sideman of Delores and Sean Keane, has produced the album.
Copperplate is very proud to have this title on our roster and hope to help it achieve its full potential will be supporting this release with a full-scale promotional mail out to media and retail.
is wonderful. Music of the heart, intuition, ability, understanding and beauty”.
LiveIreland.com August 02
Also available from Copperplate by Kate Purcell:
DRCD 003 A Dream Unfold
DRCD007 Independent Soul
Speaking of immediate contenders for Vocalist Of The Year honors, Ennis-based Kate Purcell is out with her newest album, "Shadows Of You". This is so good on so many levels, the words fail. First, as with the great ones, there is a fabulous voice. A beautiful soprano with the perfect mix of "femininity" and "strength". No, we're not saying those two concepts are mutually exclusive. We're just saying that this artist has the whole emotionally appealing approach going on in full. She co-wrote three of the tunes with writing partner, Mary FitzGerald. Kate arranged most of the traditional tunes, also. Now, most of you have not heard of Kate Purcell. We had not, either. Mores the shame to us, as she has appeared at Milwaukee's Irish Fest--so close to Chicago. How has she escaped our notice? Well, we've got her fixed in our radar now, and that's permanent.
Her voice. How to describe it? A little Mary Black with a dollop of Cara Dillon? Well, no, not really. It is Kate Purcell, and that is the whole picture. She is a brilliant writer, a tasteful arranger and co-producer with the excellent guitarist, Ted Ponsonby, doing production double duty.
You can tell who is really coming on among these rapidly emerging artists by the quality of the backup musicians and vocalists they draw to their projects. Three names will do nicely here. There is Tommy Fleming on harmony vocals--arguably Ireland's greatest male voice. Tommy Keane on pipes--arguably Ireland's greatest piper. Martin Hayes on fiddle--arguably Ireland's greatest fiddler. We also love Tola Custy's fiddle work on this and her own recently released album, "Three Sunsets", reviewed here in June.
It is not enough to have a great voice anymore. There are so many excellent voices out there in the tradition. There must also be a deep understanding. We hesitate to use the cliché, but you really do have to "pay your dues". When you hear a Purcell, you know you're onto someone who understands the music, loves it and has made it a part of her heart. There is depth here. We would have loved a couple more up-tempo numbers, but no matter. Each of the songs is complete to itself. Lots of different ambiences here.
This is wonderful. Music of heart, intuition, ability, understanding and beauty. "Shadows Of You" is worth whatever you need to do to find it, which is a far easier task in Ireland and Europe than in the States.It is on Dream Records. We suggest a Google or Yahoo search under "Kate Purcell". You'll get there. And, you will be very, very glad you did. Bill Margeson.Rating: Four Harps.
A new name (at least to me) on the scene and a worthy contender in the same vein as Maura O'Connell. Kate performs a mix of country and folk with a beautiful voice that is crystal clear and in addition, she's not a bad song-writer either.
Behind every good singer there's a good producer and Ted Ponsonby proves his worth with a nicely laid-back performance that allows the accompanying musicians room to breath.
The cast list reads like a who's who so we have amongst others Martin Hayes and Tola Custy (fiddles), and Tommy Keane (uilleann pipes). Rather than concentrate on lead lines from the instruments, Ted utilises the sounds as colourful decoration.
Another fine contribution comes from the distinctive voice of Tommy Fleming on Dan Seals 'Lullaby' proving an inspired piece of casting.
The recent meteoric rise of Eva Cassidy has highlighted the need for a soft focus towards the general public's perception of music here in the UK and now, with new artists such as Kate we will hopefully have a continuing trend. Pete Fyfe
The Reckoning Web Site
A superb guest list on a solo artist's album indicates one of two things. Either the artist in question knows where the bodies are buried or they are a musician of such talent that stars are falling over themselves to contribute. In Kate Purcell's case, thankfully, the latter is true.
What a guest list! Ted Ponsonby on guitars; Danny Byrt, percussion; Noel Barrett, bass; Padraic O'Broin, guitars; Tommy Keane, uilleann pipes/whistle; Martin Hayes, fiddle; Tola Custy, fiddle and Eddie Lynch, keyboards.
This is a polished set by a very polished performer. She lays out her stall in a well-chosen collection of traditional and contemporary songs. Amongst the latter are a number of songs that Kate has composed alongside her songwriting companion, Mary Fitzgerald - the yearning "Play On", the love-song "Hand On My Heart" and the song of loss "Shadows Of You".
Purcell occupies the same sort of high ground which Mary Black, Dolores Keane and Maura O'Connell gained. Her passion for excellence is obvious in the way she approaches a song such as "Ar Eireann Ni Neosfainn Ce Hi". She wears her deep respect for the tradition on her sleeve. And yet she makes the song her own for that moment when she sings it!
And it's this way of gently claiming a song that is at the heart of her success as a singer. Two songs stand out as examples of her command of the song. The first is Don Stiffe's emigration song "Grosse Isle" (which reminds Pay The Reckoning a little of that classic heart-breaker "Teddy O'Neill"). We'd not heard the song before, but after hearing Purcell quietly paint the tragic picture, we wondered if anyone else could do the song justice!
As far as Pay The Reckoning is concerned the high-point of the album is Purcell's duet with Martin Hayes on "Goodbye Johnny Dear". Hayes' fiddle is played with the delicacy of touch, the precision and the soul that is his trademark. Purcell dares to deliver the song at a slow pace which would daunt most singers - a mark of her confidence and competence. The song is one which many might believe to be hackneyed. However we can recall this sung as a parlour piece when we were growing up and a well of happy and sad memories flooded up thanks to Purcell's voice and Hayes' lonesome fiddle.
This collection is nothing short of sublime. We look forward to the moment it springboards Purcell into the popular consciousness!
The Cork Examiner
Born in Feakle, living in Tulla in the east Clare heartland Kate Purcell could hardly have avoided immersion in traditional music.
However, as she grew musically, her influences expanded to include bluegrass, country and what has become known as contemporary. That impressive range is well documented on this new album.
Mixed among this well-judged collection are three impressive song-writing collaborations with Mary Fitzgerald – Play On, Hand on Heart and the title track. These are from the well-trodden territory inhabited by writers such as Kieran Goss and Jimmy McCarthy. Fitzgerald and Purcell stand up well in such company and add an interesting female voice in what is largely a male dominated area. Other Irish writers get an airing. Mary Greene’s Dress of Green is a stunner.
You may think of Goodbye Johnny Dear as a hackneyed old come-all-ye with strong elements of Paddy caricature.
Here it is restored by a simple arrangement – Kate’s voice over a simple synth, with a fiddle line by east Clare neighbour, Martin Hayes. Ar Eireann Ni Neosfainn Ci Hi is given a similar simple setting, as is The Banks of the Lee, although, in the latter case, the overall effect is a little bland.
Producer Ted Ponsonby is responsible for the bulk of the arrangements, mostly restrained acoustic guitar set pieces. The general impression may be of easy listening, but Shadows of You is proof that easy listening does not necessarily imply superficiality. Pat Ahern.
Spring water clarity is Clare singer Kate Purcell’s calling card. Smiling Gods bestowed a larynx on her that lends itself to a 360 degree emotional range; a voice that rest as easily on a naked backbone as it does on the lushest of arrangements.
Second time out, Purcell has gained in confidence. She tackles a Dan Seals cover, Lullaby, in the able company of Tommy Fleming, their voices bouncing off one another effortlessly.
But Ted Ponsnby’s production values veer in the direction of soft focus at times, and listening to her confident handling of Ar Eireann Ni Neosfainn Ce Hi, one suspects she could stretch those vocals so much further with bolder results and a tad more gumption. The envelope just hasn’t been pushed hard enough – yet. Siobhan Long