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Mairead Carlin Loves The Connections Celtic Woman Makes

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject: Mairead Carlin Loves The Connections Celtic Woman Makes Reply with quote

Named Celtic Woman in order to represent the essence of a Celtic female performer, the group’s 2014 tour features, from left, vocalists Lynn Hilary, Susan McFadden and newest member Mairéad Carlin along with Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. Celtic Woman will perform in Sioux City Sunday.

Growing up in Northern Ireland, Máiread Carlin remembers nights by the fire with cups of tea, singing folk songs with her family.

Like her granny, Carlin loved to sing and took her first voice lesson at the age of 4.

There was always music in the Derry household. Traditional Irish tunes were infused with snippets of her older sister’s love of Oasis and The Cranberries while her dad played The Birds and Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny.

Carlin loved all-girl groups early on. “I think my first cassette I ever bought was … by the Spice Girls,” she said, calling from Arizona before a performance in the Tucson Music Hall.

As her musical tastes matured, she returned to her father’s choice of music from the 1960s and 1970s. Carlin looked up to Denny, the lead singer of a British folk-rock band.

“She was the most soulful singer I have ever heard in my life, just real cathartic singing,” Carlin said. “People told her she was a jazz singer, but she loved folk music. She had a pull in her heart and didn’t know which direction to go in.

“I just connected with her music and her soul in that way.”

Carlin has felt that pull. The talented 25-year-old struggled through a time of contention, trying to find her voice, before becoming the newest member of Celtic Woman late last year.

She joins three Irish women on stage – vocalists Susan McFadden and Lynn Hilary along with violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. They are set to perform at Sioux City’s Orpheum Theatre on April 27 as part of a 75-city concert tour, promoting the group’s latest CD/DVD “Emerald: Musical Gems.”

The new release spotlights reimagined performances of fan favorites including “Caladonia” and “Danny Boy.” Also featured are fresh interpretations of “Amazing Grace” and “You Raise Me Up.”

The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World Music Charts. The group's nine CDs and eight DVDs have become multi-platinum best-sellers, making Celtic Woman the only all-female group to achieve such success in the classical crossover-world music genres over the past decade.

The lineup of performers has changed since the group began a decade ago, but its signature sound remains the same, captivating crowds with a blend of ethereal vocals and cultural heritage.

While the original members of Celtic Woman made their debut on a PBS special in 2004, Carlin entered a competition called "BBC Talent." Out of 25,000 children, she was selected to play the lead role of Rose in the film production of “The Little Prince,” an opera by Rachel Portman.

That gave her the chance to move to London for a couple months when she was 16 and, ultimately, set her sights on returning to the city. Two years later, she began her classical studies at the Trinity College of Music.

She learned a lot and earned a degree but also discovered she didn’t want to pursue a career in classical music – at least not in the traditional sense.

“I always knew I wanted to be a performer,” Carlin said. “I just didn’t know what kind of performer I wanted to be.”

Conflicting critiques told her to sing one way, then another. For a time, she felt like she couldn’t sing anymore. Her genuine sound faded into the distance, becoming a murmur amid the noise.

“I didn’t know how to use my voice anymore because I was being told all these different things,” she said.

These days, she draws inspiration from the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who penned the words, “Sing yourself to where the singing comes from.”

And that’s just what she did.

She sang her way into Celtic Woman, a group known for spellbinding performances that combine the sound and sensibility of traditional Irish music with contemporary pop standards.

She had admired Celtic Woman since it began.

“Their music is right up my street,” Carlin said. “I was a fan, really.”

Through folk music, she returned to her roots and rediscovered the ability to sing in her own natural voice.

Eventually, she found that her talents and visions aligned with the essence of a Celtic female performer – the very thing that Celtic Woman strives to stand for.

“I love their honesty. I love how they connect with the audience,” she said. “There’s a big emphasis on telling a story. Through these songs, we’re continuing a legacy of all these folk songs and stories. I also loved the fact that they embraced each woman’s individuality. No two women in Celtic Woman are the same and, to me, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Ally Karsyn
Sioux City Journal
Always Remember All Things Are Possible With God !!
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