Cara Dillon – My 10 favorite musicians in 10 days.

It’s just terrible! I’m very late with my next instalment of my ten favourite musician’s posts. Unfortunately things have been really busy since Thursday. My sincerest apologies. I’d say it won’t happen again but it probably will.

Anyway, let’s get to my next musician. I couldn’t do this without mentioning the wonderful, the amazing, the inspirational, the sensational the angelic Cara Dillon! Ok. Angelic is a bit weird but hey. You know what I mean I’m sure. Cara Dillon is by far my favourite Irish singer. Friends have accused her of being too practised and over arranged but I love it! Every album has just got better and better but no album can be considered bad or even less than brilliant. They’ve all had something to make me stop and pause for a second. The latest album, Hill of thieves had me addicted for a week! The DVD that came out from a gig she did in Belfast had me equally transfixed. In fact, I think I liked the DVD even more than the CD. I was completely amazed by the accuracy, the musicianship and the skill of all of the musicians in her band. I also really enjoyed her interaction with them between songs. The extra clips of what happened before the concert were also very informative and gave a glimpse into Cara’s personality and the preparation that was undertaken.
Because I like songs from all of Cara’s albums, here’s a few of my favourites: Here’s a health from the album after the morning. I love the combination of piano in guitar in this. In the album Cara Dillon I like the song I am a youth inclined to ramble. It’s nice and quiet and as with a lot of the songs Cara Dillon sings, there’s a story in the words. In the album Sweet liberty, I love the song there were roses. This tells of a story of two friends. One Protestant and one catholic and how they were needlessly killed. One was killed probably because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the other was killed in retaliation. Like all of the violence relating to the troubles in the occupied six counties it could have been avoided. It’s a lovely tribute and she sings it very well. Finally, to my favourite album from Cara Dillon, Hill of thieves. I could list off all of the songs I love in this album but it would take too long. Equally picking just one song that really stands out is just as difficult. I’ll pick two of them. Firstly, track one on the album is called Hill of thieves. It’s a brilliant song. I love the arrangement and all of the backing instruments jell really well. I love the pipes in this as well. The arrangement is very simple but hugely effective One of the flute players from the Infamous bands Flook features heavily on this track with a theme that’s actually a tune that was on a very old Lunasa album if I’m not mistaken. Brilliant stuff! The next track that stands out is called Spencer the rover. Again, as is prominent on most of her albums but especially on this one, the instrumental backing is just brilliant. The combination of the Piano and guitar is incredible. I want to hear more of it. I love the way she sings this though. I don’t really like the male vocalist or more accurately, I don’t like the way he pronounces some of the words. It irritates me more than it logically should so if he ever reads this, I’m very sorry. It does however add a really nice level to it. Especially where the song tells of his great confusion, sighing and lamenting. It’s probably more emphasized and forceful than if Cara had sang it alone.

There’s just no disputing it. Cara has one of the best voices in the country. Her musical arrangements and her choice of songs definitely earn her a place on my favourites list. I’d love to play music in a group like that. I love tunes a lot more than songs but to be part of that kind of unified playing is exhilarating. It’s almost symbiotic for me. I get incredible thrills from playing with good musicians. Especially when we’re well practised. When you know the arrangement well you can play so much better than when you are in a session or something else like that because you know exactly where you stand in the sound.