Author Archives: John McCart

Jackie Oates – The Joy of Living

Folk and Tumble

‘The Joy of Living’ by Jackie Oates is indeed a joy from first note to last. This is the seventh album from the English folk singer, who’s probably best known for her work as a member of the folk collective The Imagined Village. The album emerged from a mix of joyful and difficult personal circumstances. […]

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Camille O’Sullivan live in Belfast

Folk and Tumble

Eastside Arts Festival Big Top Saturday 11th August 2018 Is there something about performing in tents in Belfast which appeals to Camille O’Sullivan? In May this year, she played the Custom House Square Marquee as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Further back, many still have fond memories of an outstanding night in the […]

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Gretchen Peters – Dancing With The Beast

Folk and Tumble

This is a proper record. In every sense. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters released ‘Dancing With The Beast’ in late May. It follows on from ‘Blackbirds’, which was rightly hailed as an outstanding recording. ‘Dancing With The Beast’ equals or maybe even surpasses her previous work. It isn’t a bundle of laughs or full of catchy […]

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Matt McGinn – The End Of The Common Man

Folk and Tumble

At the risk of being accused of pretentiousness, is there a touch of the Paddy Kavanagh developing in Matt McGinn, the rural Irish artist commenting on both local and world events and finding them interlinked. Kavanagh’s March Ditch reflections on a local boundary dispute while Nation States carve up Europe might not be out of […]

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Mary Gauthier – Rifles and Rosary Beads

Folk and Tumble

This is very interesting work. Mary Gauthier is rightly regarded as one of the major contemporary singer-songwriters. Don’t take my word for it, Bob Dylan, who knows a thing or two about the subject, rates her as a serious operator. Songs such as ‘I Drink’ and ‘Mercy Now are timeless masterpieces with not a spare […]

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Imelda May live in Belfast

Folk and Tumble

Waterfront Hall, Belfast 20th December 2017 A speedy return to the city and venue, last played here May of this year. Nice work having the sold-out signs up a couple of weeks ago. Imelda May is at least one Ms May whose popularity hasn’t declined over the last year. A short warm-up set from Mick […]

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Cara Dillon live in Belfast

Folk and Tumble

Ulster Hall, Belfast Sunday 17th December 2017 “It’s coming on Christmas”, Joni Mitchell once said. Cara Dillon brought her ‘Upon A Winter’s Night’ show to Belfast at the end of a fourteen-night tour. It’s a Christmas show as was clear even upon entering the hall. The stage was set with four white Christmas trees, a […]

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Cara Dillon – Wanderer

Folk and Tumble

You can take the woman out of Dungiven but… Wanderer is the most recent offering in the now substantial catalogue and career of Cara Dillon. Overall it’s a very fine piece of work, great singing, sparse but very effective musical accompaniment, clean clear production and understated but suitable presentation. Cara chooses to sing ten songs, […]

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Paul Brady live at the Ulster Hall

Folk and Tumble

The Ulster Hall, Belfast Thursday 23rd November 2017 As Bob Dylan once allegedly advised, Paul Brady is one of those artists worth getting out of bed for… Paul Brady and his five-piece band played a ripping show to an almost full Ulster Hall on a cold Belfast November evening. Looking relaxed, confident, and appearing to […]

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