Copperplate Mail Order » Shop » Vocals Female » Niamh Dunne - Portraits
Loading Updating cart...

"All told, this is a quite sublime record, one that's been worth the wait". David Kidman The Living Tradition

" Hailing from County Limerick, Niamh Dunne has a beautifully warm, smoky voice ...she's also a classically trained violinist whose smooth fiddling is a perfect addition to Beoga's existing 4 piece lineup ", Hot Press.

" Niamh Dunne is a real find for Beoga " Irish Echo

' Gorgeous vocals 'Irish Music Magazine

Beoga songstress/violinist Niamh Dunne will launch her first solo album entitled "Portraits" on July 15th 2013. With master guitar player and producer Sean Og Graham, Niamh's first song album is mix of traditional songs and folk material, much of which has its roots in her hometown, Limerick.

The songs on this album have been selected to reflect the rich song tradition of Limerick, as well as some carefully chosen newly composed songs from some folk music's most prolific songwriters. Songs from Richard Thompson, John Spillane, Barry Kerr and Joe "Galway" Dolan are featured, each of them are highly respected songwriters.

The album looks inwards, capturing the essence of a singer who is deeply rooted in the traditional songs of Ireland and her native Limerick, but also has global reach, exploring folk music as a broader genre. This album is, in its spirit, a collection of stories of love and loss, of adventure of longing and reflection. These precious songs are matched with brilliant musicianship from Trevor Hutchinson, Cathal Hayden, Cathriona McKay, Kate Ellis, Eamon Murray and Barry Kerr.

She has been a member with the world renowned band Beoga for the last 8 years with whom she has toured extensively and recorded 3 CD, including the Grammy short listed ' The lncident ' in 2009 and the Irish Echoes number 1 album of 2011 'how to tune a fish". The Wall Street Journal describes them as " the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century".

Niamh has toured extensively on the worldwide stage, both home and abroad. Highlights have included Boston ICONS festival, Kansas City, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Tonder, Dranouter,Temple Bar Trad Fest, Germany's Irish Folk Festival tour, Penang World Music Festival in Malaysia, Irish Unplugged tour of Holland, Guinness Christmas Austria tour, Cambridge Folk Festival, the National Celtic Festival in Australia and Glasgow's Celtic Connections.

She began to play fiddle at the age of 4, and learned her music from her father, Mickey Dunne, the well known uilleann piper from Limerick who is part of a

rich cultural heritage of travelling musicians. She recorded a CD in 2005 with her Dad and sister, Brid, called Legacy, an album that celebrated the rich musical

heritage that has been in her family for generations. A well respected classical violinist, she twice received the high achievers award from the London Associated Board of Western Art Music, with whom she is a qualified teacher. Niamh regularly teaches in the Limerick School of Music. She is also a graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music in Limerick with first class honours.

Audio

Jimmy mo Mhile Stor:

Track Listing

  1. Ballyneety's Walls
  2. Beauty of Limerick
  3. Bonny Woodhall
  4. Eist do Bheal
  5. Strange Affair
  6. Shanagolden
  7. When Autumn Comes
  8. Cailin Rua
  9. Foxy Devil
  10. Jimmy mo Mhile Stor
  11. The Games People Play

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxmm-dzFqdE]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8ZDvPsnRO8]

Press Reviews

R2 Magazine ***

This is the first solo album by Niamh Dunne from County Limerick, who has spent the last eight years as singer and ?ddler of the band Beoga. Its eleven songs are a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, two in Irish, most of them with a Limerick connection, many of them not well known (to these ears anyway).

It all starts at a fair old lick on the traditional 'Ballyneety's Walls', driven along by Damien O'Kane's fluid banjo. Overall, the pace tends to be slower and more re?ective, though my particular favourite is the more upbeat 'When Autumn Comes' written by Barry Kerr-the only track where Niamh's punchy fiddle is brought to the fore. More like this would have been most welcome.

The two best-known songs, Richard Thompson's 'Strange Affair' and Joe South's 'Games People Play', are nice enough but the performance offers nothing new. Niamh has a good though quite inexpressive voice and is supported here by a cast of musicians marshalled by Beoga's Sean Og Graham, to provide tasteful accompaniment. Throughout, it's all very well sung and played, making it easy to listen to though there's little to get the heart pumping. Ian Croft

www.irishcentral.com

The snail mailbag brings many treats to me in the form of new (or sometimes old) music contained in those disappearing artifacts known as CDs. I still like holding the covers or booklets describing the musical contents that artists or agents send my way for a listen. Some are greatly detailed revealing extensive research along with the necessary production elements and others simply give you the basic facts. And I'll share three wonderful CDs with you that came my way this summer.

The Limerick Lass, Niamh Dunne, first came to my awareness as part of the Northern-Ireland based band Beoga ('Lively') shortly after she joined the four original gentlemen who founded the already interesting and cutting edge double-accordion trad band (Damien McKee, Sean Og Graham, Eamon Murray and Liam Bradley) eight years ago.

Beoga was performing at the late-lamented ICONS festival at the Canton New England Irish Cultural Center outside of Boston. Dunne was diminutive in stature but not in voice on the occasion, and along with her fiddling she instantly made an impression as a stylish and sophisticated singer whose fiddle licks added great dimension to the band. Since 2005 she has been featured on three of their four CDs.

I had a chance to observe her further on her own around her familiar Limerick haunts near the University of Limerick singing songs in sessions, and it was clear that she was going to be a rising star inside and outside the Beoga firmament.

Classically trained as a violinist, she also has drawn into the Dunne family history as 'traveler musicians' (most notably Pecker Dunne who passed away last year), and her fiddling/piping father Mickey Dunne with whom she recorded Legacy in 2004 with another fiddling sister, Brid.

That grounding along with a confident flair for tackling 'good songs' in and outside the tradition has made her a singer to be reckoned with. So with great anticipation she finally released a solo CD called Portraits in Ireland to display her wares as a vocalist.

While living up north and touring around Europe with Beoga and around Ireland, Dunne keeps up the family tradition of traveling a good deal, so the notion came to her to emphasize her native Limerick in the song selections on the new recording.

Four of the 11 tracks are Limerick-inspired ('Ballyneety's Walls,' 'Beauty of Limerick,' 'Cailin Rua' and the oft-covered 'Shanagolden' from songwriter Sean McCarthy).

Add to those beautiful trad songs like 'Bonny Woodhall' and' Jimmy mo Mhile Stor' delivered in her lush voice with just enough musical accompaniment to appreciate the tender care that she and her producer and fellow Beoga bandmate Sean Og Graham apply to their craft.

What makes Dunne so appealing as a contemporary singer in the traditional idiom is her moxy and sensitivity while interpreting modern songs in the folk or popular vein also.

On the CD we have Richard Thompson's 'Strange Affair,' Barry Kerr's 'When Autumn Comes,' Joe Dolan's 'Foxy Devil,' and from the brilliant Irish language combo of John Spillane and Louis de Paor known as the Gaelic Hit Factory 'Eist do Bhéal,' voiced with a knowing sensibility.

As a further example Dunne, inspired by Tyrone fiddler Cathal Hayden, resurrects the old Rock and Roll gem 'Games People Play' penned by Joe South, whose message of intolerance still resonates today.

As you might expect, Dunne and Graham were able to recruit an outstanding array of musicians to tastefully accompany her solo singing CD that include Damien O'Kane, Eamon Murray, Trevor Hutchinson, Kate Ellis, Barry Kerr, Mickey Dunne, Noell McDonnell, Nicola Joyce, Cathal Hayden, Caitriona McKay and Richard Nelson.

Dunne adds her fiddle and multi-instrumentalist Graham contributes his talents on guitar, bouzouki, accordion, keys and banjo which you think would be enough, but according to the liner notes he has a walk-on part in 'Beauty of Limerick' as well.

Regrettably, Beoga forays over to America are too infrequent to expose both their many talents and those of Ms. Dunne, but do yourself a favor and reach out for their CDs at www.copperplatemailorder.com.Paul Keating.

The Living Tradition 97

Limerick's Niamh Dunne is already renowned for her accomplishments on fiddle; a classically trained violinist, shes also, for the past eight years, been a key member of the award-winning band Beoga, with whom she's recorded three CDs. Prior to which, Niamh's only available recording had been Legacy, a joint album with her father Mickey (the famed Limerick piper) and her sister Brid.

Now, at last, Niamh has finally got around to releasing a proper solo album that fully capitalises on her deep love of song (although she does get to play the fiddle too).

lt's a beguiling mix of traditional and contemporary material which seems to get that tricky balance just right and very naturally too. The depth of her feeling for her native region and its heritage is apparent right from the outset on Ballyneety's Walls, which tells of Limerick's victory during the Siege Of Limerick in 1690, which is aptly followed by the yearning ballad Beauty Of Limerick; later on the album we find another Limerick standout, Cailin Rua.

Niamh's wonderful, warm singing voice is ideally focused by the excellent recording and receives a perfectly judged degree of instrumental support from a small pool of musicians that includes Sean Og Graham (guitars), father Mickey (Uilleann pipes), Trevor Hutchinson (bass), Kate Ellis (cello), Barry Kerr (low whistles) and Eamon Murray (bodhran, percussion), while backing vocals come courtesy of Noelle McDonnell and Nicola Joyce. Other musicians put in isolated appearances to great effect: there's Richard Nelson's dobro adding poignancy to Joe Dolan's Foxy Devil, Cathal Hayden's sensitive fiddle on The Games People Play (a song which Niamh makes her own by taking a more reflective stance than most), Catriona McKay's harp on Callin Rua and Damien O'Kane's banjo on the spirited opener.

But this is so much Niamh's own personal collection, unerringly conveying the essence of her interpretive flair and her gorgeous singing. Every single track is a highlight in its own right, and the listener feels privileged to be in Niamh's intimate company for this all-toobrieftimespan. While her version of Richard Thompson's Strange Affair can hold up is well to competition, it's also been a revelation to discover new songs through Niamh's advocacy - here I'm thinking especially of Sean McCarthy's Shanagolden (another song with a Limerick connection, incidentally) and the beautiful traditional song Jimmy Mo Mhile Stor (Niamh's treatment of which is crowned by Sean Og Graham's impeccable flowing guitar solo). All told, this is a quite sublime record, one that's been worth the wait. David Kidman

www.tradconnect.com

Niamh Dunne is best known for her work with the group Beoga. Over the last decade they have been at the forefront of traditional music with a number of highly regarded albums. As a group they were not afraid to incorporate other genres' into their music with a resultant jazz and bluesy feel giving it a "wonderful bouncy Irish sound" as they describe it themselves. As always, production values were high and for this release Beoga stalwart Seán Óg Graham is again responsible for production and mixing. Niamh has also brought on board an impressive array of other support musicians including Eamon Murray, Damien O' Kane, Cathal Hayden, Barry Kerr and Trevor Hutchinson. Another notable feature of the album is the fact that Niamh has brought her song selection back to the city of Limerick with a number of tracks sourced locally.

The opening Ballyneety's Walls tells of Limerick's victory during the Siege of Limerick in 1690 and the second track is called The Beauty of Limerick which is a song of "love and great yearning" about an Irish man many miles from his home. The guitar and accordion of Seán Óg underpins many of the tracks. Arrangements are exceptionally good giving a modern feel to some great song selections. In addition to the traditional songs she includes some that are more recent including the ever beautiful Shanagolden by Sean McCarthy and Strange Affair by the legendary Richard Thompson. These sit very comfortably alongside the more traditional Irish material. The arrangements never stretch Niamh's voice and she steers clear of the jigs and reels, keeping a clear focus on the job at hand. This allows her to take the limelight as an artist with a true interpretative spirit and voice when it comes to traditional song. Other songs include an Andy Irvine inspired Bonny Woodhall from the songbook of Sam Henry, John Spillanes's Éist do Bhéal and the more modern The Games People Play. Overall it is an impressive debut album with some great songs that have been part of Niamh's repertoire over the years. The arrangements and accompaniment lift the material and give it a thoroughly modern feel. Tony Lawless

Irish Music Magazine.

Limerick born singer and fiddler, Niamh Dunne has made a reputation as a formidable force on the Irish music scene. Bright eyed and bushy tailed her bubbly personality has woven itself into the Beoga psyche befitting their eclectic approach.The question is how would she cope and fare outside the band confines working as a solo artist.

Niamh's first solo album Portraits is a highly woven affair with evocative arrangements and a song bag that frames her origins and cuts a swathe through classic ballads and newer compositions. The singing is strong and distinctive and the local ballad cache includes a rousing Ballyneety's Walls and a recasting of Beauty of Limerick with some ambient soundscapes cradled with a simple narrative. Similarly Shannagolden and Cailin Rua reveal her balladic strengths and Bonny Woodhall breathes anew with a female voice. Barry Kerr, John Spillane, Joe Dolan provide the contemporary material and Dick Gaughan's setting of Joe South's Games People Play adds a fitting climax.

Musically the backings are rich and careful never upsetting the vocal authority but throwing some delicious side roads into Americana and Ambient routes as well.

Portraits finds Niamh Dunne treading the without a net syndrome admirably gaining a stylistic footing that satisfies her talents. John O'Regan

NIAMH DUNNE

Portraits

Private Label ND001

Limerick's Niamh Dunne is already renowned for her accomplishments on fiddle; a classically trained violinist, she's also, for the past eight years, been a key member of the award-winning band Beoga, with whom she's recorded three CDs. Prior to which, Niamh's only available recording had been Legacy, a joint album with her father Mickey (the famed Limerick piper) and her sister Brid.

Now, at last, Niamh has finally got around to releasing a proper solo album that fully capitalises on her deep love of song (although she does get to play the fiddle too). It's a beguiling mix of traditional and contemporary material which seems to get that tricky balance just right and very naturally too. The depth of her feeling for her native region and its heritage is apparent right from the outset on Ballyneety's Walls, which tells of Limerick's victory during the Siege Of Limerick in 1690, which is aptly followed by the yearning ballad Beauty Of Limerick; later on the album we find another Limerick standout, Cáilín Rua.

Niamh's wonderful, warm singing voice is ideally focused by the excellent recording and receives a perfectly judged degree of instrumental support from a small pool of musicians that includes Seán Óg Graham (guitars), father Mickey (Uilleann pipes), Trevor Hutchinson (bass), Kate Ellis (cello), Barry Kerr (low whistles) and Ramon Murray (bodhrán, percussion), while backing vocals come courtesy of Noelie McDonnell and Nicola Joyce. Other musicians put in isolated appearances to great effect: there's Richard Nelson's dobro adding poignancy to Joe Dolan's Foxy Devil, Cathal Hayden's sensitive fiddle on The Games People Play (a song which Niamh makes her own by taking a more reflective stance than most), Catriona McKay's harp on Cáilín Rua and Damien O'Kane's banjo on the spirited opener.

But this is so much Niamh's own personal collection, unerringly conveying the essence of her interpretive flair and her gorgeous singing. Every single track is a highlight in its own right, and the listener feels privileged to be in Niamh's intimate company for this all-too-brief timespan. While her version of Richard Thompson's Strange Affair can hold up well to competition, it's also been a revelation to discover new songs through Niamh's advocacy — here I'm thinking especially of Seán McCarthy's Shanagolden (another song with a Limerick connection, incidentally) and the beautiful traditional song Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór (Niamh's treatment of which is crowned by Seán Óg Graham's impeccable flowing guitar solo). All told, this is a quite sublime record, one that's been worth the wait. David Kidman

Price: £13.99

Loading Updating cart...

People who bought this item also bought


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *