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Cara Dillon


Country of origin:

Ireland

Type of music generally:

Traditional and contemporary folk

Status:

Most recent release, Wanderer (2018)

See also:

Cara Dillon's site

Wikpedia's entry on Cara Dillon

Comparisons:

Susan McKeown, shades of Kate Bush

Covers/own material:

Mostly traditional, some co-written originals and covers

General comments:

Cara Dillon was the original lead singer with Oige and then joined Equation before going solo.

Recommended first album:

Sweet Liberty

Recordings:


Cara Dillon

Release info:

2001—Rough Trade—RTRADECD019

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals, arrangements

Guest artists:

Sam Lakeman—piano, harmonium, organ, arrangements
Justin Adams—electric guitar
Mary Dillon—backing vocals
Seth Lakeman—violin, viola; tenor guitar and mandolin (6); backing vocals (1)
Ben Nicholls—electric and upright bass
Roy Dodds—drums and percussion
Sean Lakeman—acoustic guitar (8, 10, 11)
Luke Daniels—button accordion
Dan Goddard—acoustic guitar (4)
John Reynolds—drums (1, 7)

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman; additional production by John Reynolds

Comments:

Nice English trad-folk album, but her voice isn't quite up to the material. (cdavis@tir.com)

Her voice is sweet, if a little light, and the arrangements are lovely. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Sweet Liberty

Release info:

2003—Rough Trade—RTRADECD123

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon

Guest artists include

John Reynolds—drums

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman; additional production by John Reynolds

Comments:

cara dillon's sweet liberty is a great record. her previous work has left me indifferent but this is the stuff. folksy and poppy and heartfelt. shades of kate in some of the songs too. especially "falling like a star." a less kooky, more gentle kate but a good one. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

After the Morning

Release info:

2006

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals

Guest artists include

Roy Dodds—percussion
Neil MacColl—guitar, mandolin
Ben Nicholls—upright bass
Sam Lakeman—various instruments
Simon Lea—drums

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman

Comments:

Follows where Sweet Liberty left off. Folk, pop, traditional, contemporary, bright, and moving. Cara's voice is still very sweet but has gotten much stronger than it was on her first album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Hill of Thieves

Release info:

2008/9

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals, whistle

Guest artists include

Sam Lakeman—guitar (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10); piano (3–5, 7, 9, 10); bodhran (8); percussion (tracks 1, 4, 8)
James O'Grady—Uilleann pipes (1, 2, 6, 8,); low whistle (7)
Ben Nicholls—double bass (1, 4, 5, 7, 10)
Zoe Conway—fiddle (2, 5, 8, 10)
Eamon Murray—bodhran (1, 2, 8, 10)
Brian Finnegan—whistle (1, 6)
Seth Lakeman—vocals, tenor guitar, fiddle (4)
John Smith—guitar (1, 8); mandola (6)
Sean Lakeman—guitar (1)
James Fagan—bouzouki-guitar (2, 8, 10)
Ed Boyd—guitar (8)

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman

Comments:

Another beautiful album. Mellower than her recent work. (JoAnn Whetsell)

A Thousand Hearts

Release info:

2014—Charcoal Records —0888430694828

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals

Guest artists:

Luke Daniels—accordion (1-4, 7, 8)
Ed Boyd—acoustic guitar (1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Sam Lakeman—acoustic guitar (1-5, 7, 8, 10, 11); piano (6, 9, 11); keyboard drones (7); keyboards (8)
Ben Nicholls—bass (1, 10); backing vocals (2); double bass (2, 3, 5, 8)
Eamon Murray—bodhrán (1, 4, 7, 8)
James Fagan—bouzouki (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10)
Andy Tween—low drum, sticks (1); percussion (2, 5)
Niall Murphy—fiddle (1-4, 7, 8)
Jarlath Henderson—whistle (1); Uilleann pipes (2-4, 7, 8); low whistle (5)
John Smith—dobro, backing vocals (2); banjo (2, 3, 10); acoustic guitar (2, 3, 5, 10, 11)
Aoife O'Donovan, Joseph from Winter Mountain, Martin from Winter Mountain, Timothy B. Schmit—backing vocals (2)
Rex Preston—mandolin (2, 5)

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman

Comments:

Not my favorite of her albums, but it is a nice listen, with songs about various aspects and stages of love. She does a lovely version of "Bright Morning Star" and she turns Shawn Colvin's "Shotgun Down the Avalanche" into an even folkier song with Celtic flair. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Upon a Winter's Night

Release info:

2016—Charcoal Records—CHARCD008

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals

Guest artists:

Sam Lakeman—bodhran (1); percussion (1, 2, 4); acoustic guitar (1-4, 8-11); synths (2); piano (3-6, 8-10)
Niall Murphy—fiddle (1-4, 10)
Luke Daniels—accordion (1, 3, 4, 10)
James Fagan—bouzouki (1-4, 10); vocals (1, 4)
Jarlath Henderson—Uilleann pipes (1, 4, 10); vocals (1, 4); flute (3); whistle (8)
Kathryn Roberts—vocals (1, 4)
Ben Nicholls—bass (2-4, 6, 8, 10, 11)
John Smith—acoustic guitar (3, 6)
Geoff Lakeman—vocals (4)
Mary Dillon—vocals (7)
Colm, Noah & Elizabeth Lakeman—vocals (11)

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman

Comments:

Beautiful collection that infuses Irish musical styles and instruments into traditional and original Christmas songs. The music tends toward the quieter, more serious side of Christmas, and the songs are mostly less-often-performed ones. The mix of a capella and instrumental tracks and new melodies on some of the traditionals (such as "The Holly and the Ivy") also contribute to the fresh sound. Thoroughly lovely. (JoAnn.Whetsell)

Wanderer

Release info:

2017—Charcoal Records—CHARCD009

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Cara Dillon—vocals

Guest artists:

Luke Daniels—accordion (1-4, 7, 8)
Ed Boyd—acoustic guitar (1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Sam Lakeman—acoustic guitar (1-5, 7, 8, 10, 11); piano (6, 9, 11); keyboard drones (7); keyboards (8)
Ben Nicholls—bass (1, 10); backing vocals (2); double bass (2, 3, 5, 8)
Eamon Murray—bodhrán (1, 4, 7, 8)
James Fagan—bouzouki (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10)
Andy Tween—low drum, sticks (1); percussion (2, 5)
Niall Murphy—fiddle (1-4, 7, 8)
Jarlath Henderson—whistle (1); Uilleann pipes (2-4, 7, 8); low whistle (5)
John Smith—dobro, backing vocals (2); banjo (2, 3, 10); acoustic guitar (2, 3, 5, 10, 11)
Aoife O'Donovan, Joseph from Winter Mountain, Martin from Winter Mountain, Timothy B. Schmit—backing vocals (2)
Rex Preston—mandolin (2, 5)

Produced by:

Sam Lakeman

Comments:

Such a beautiful album. It's quiet, mellow and just feels intimate and thoughtful. I really love this. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Cara Dillon released the live DVD The Redcastle Sessions in 2008. Her recordings appear on several compilation albums.

Songs only available on compilations include:

  • "The Other Side" for The Wildlife Album (2005)
  • a live recording of "She's Like the Swallow" on the Cambridge Folk Festival album Cool as Folk (2007)
  • "Corrina, Corrina" on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan: A Folk Tribute (2011)
Cara has also recorded several collaborations with other artists. These include:

  • a cover of The Beatles' "Wait" with her husband Sam Lakeman for Rubber Folk (2006)
  • "Ordinary Day" with Judge Jules and Katie Marne on Judgement Sundays: The True Sound of Ibiza: Mixed by Judge Jules (2006)
  • "A Wide, Wide River to Cross" with Geoff Lakeman, Seth Lakeman & Ben Nicholls on Geoff Lakeman's album After All These Years (2007)
  • the single "If I Prove False" with John Smith (2008)
  • "P Stands for Paddy" with Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain on their album Transatlantic Sessions—Series 3: Volume Two (2008)
  • "The Rose" with Tommy Fleming on his album Voice of Hope (2014)
  • "Craigie Hill" with Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain on their album Transatlantic Sessions—Series 6: Volume Two (2014)
  • "Bright Morning Star" with Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain on their album Transatlantic Sessions—Series 6: Volume Three (2014)
  • "My Dove" with Brian Byrne and RTÉ Concert Orchestra on Byrne's album of James Joyce poetry Goldenhair (2017)
  • "He's Young but He's Growing" with Ashley Hutchings on his album Street Cries (2017)
  • "Bonny Lass of Fyvie" with Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys on their album Pretty Peggy (2017)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2018-05-16 19:17:23.
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