December 3, 2020
Not an album, but certainly a musical endeavor worth noting: A few months ago, I wrote about the concert Irish singer Cara Dillon and her husband Sam Lakeman livestreamed via YouTube and Facebook. Evidently, the reaction was so positive that the couple decided to have another go, and on Oct. 15, they presented “Live at Cooper Hall 2.”
Once again, Dillon and Lakeman have put together a masterful performance. Dillon, possessed of a voice of marvelous clarity, supported by Lakeman’s prodigiously empathetic guitar and piano accompaniment, shows a command of the new and old: songs from the heart of tradition – including “Verdant Braes of Screen” (with one of the best melodies around) as well as “The Shores of Lough Bran,” “As I Roved Out,” “The Maid of Culmore,” and (from America) “Bright Morning Star” – and from contemporary sources, like Dougie MacLean’s “Garden Valley” and Shaun Davey’s “Dubhdara,” part of his innovative “Granuaile” suite.
Both concerts are available on demand via YouTube, and can be accessed via her website, caradillon.co.uk. Donations are, of course, welcome.