Debut Tour of Australia
New Album – Same Cloth Or Not
Lisa O’Neill’s new album Same Cloth Or Not has been included in the short list for Irish Album of the Year 2013 (The Meteor Choice Music Prize). Lisa is the only female amid the ten nominations. The overall winner will be selected by a judging panel at the Live Awards Event in Dublin on Feb 27.
Start with the voice. Sprite-like, but an old soul singing. The kind of voice that might sit as easily on a Carter Family recording as it would an avant-folk crank artifact. It’s a tender and expressive instrument, but possesses a Midlands Irish flintiness. More to the point, it suits the subject matter and songs. Her approach is unrushed, naturalistic, straight-talking.
O’Neill first found her musical legs supporting David Gray in the USA in 2009 and subsequently recording her first solo record Has An Album. With the endorsement of folk-singing legend Peggy Seeger, O’Neill soon found herself touring with Glen Hansard for the first time and she will be Glen’s special guest on his forthcoming tour of Australia (see below).
O’Neill grew up in Ballyhaise in the midlands. “No Train To Cavan” from the new album describes the age-old predicament of the dreamer becalmed in rural terrain. A line like ‘There’s no train where I come from’ speaks volumes in its simplicity.
“There’s a lot of imagery on this album to do with things I imagined when I was younger,” she says. “I was very much a dreamer, and I did feel guilty about that. My mind would wander… I’d big plans for tree houses, for building little worlds that were nicer and calmer than the world of people and the energy around me. Very airy-fairy, but I thought that’s the way all kids were thinking, they just weren’t discussing it with me. I started writing songs very young but I was hiding them from people, I was embarrassed. It wasn’t cool. I’d do it in a sneaky way, but I had to get it out.”
So Lisa moved to Dublin at the age of eighteen, enrolling in Ballyfermot’s College of Further Education, where she found her tribe.
Same Cloth or Not was released February 7 2014 and is distributed by Planet/MGM
Here’s a live rendition from O’Neill of “No Train To Cavan”.
Gaynor Crawford presents Lisa O’Neill’s debut Australian Tour, on which Lisa will be accompanied by Mossy Nolan bouzouki, guitar, and Aoife O’Sullivan violin/viola and backing vocals.
Wednesday March 05 The Thornbury Theatre – Melbourne VIC
With Lunasa Bookings: www.thethornburytheatre.com 03 9484 9831
Thursday March 06 The Light House Theatre – Warrnambool VIC Bookings: www.lighthousetheatre.com.au 03 5559 4999
Friday March 07- March 10 Port Fairy Folk Festival Port Fairy VIC Bookings: www.portfairyfolkfestival.com
Friday March 14 Melbourne Recital Centre – Melbourne VIC
With Glen Hansard Bookings: http://ow.ly/skoBo 03 9699 3333
Saturday March 15 Meeniyan Town Hall – South Gippsland VIC
Bookings: www.lyrebirdartscouncil.com.au 03 5664 9239
Sunday March 16 The Metro Sydney – Sydney NSW
With Damien Dempsey Bookings: www.metrotheatre.com.au 02 9550 3666
Tuesday March 18 Petersham Bowling Club – Sydney NSW
Enquiries: www.thepbc.org.au 02 9550 3666 or 0424 741 886
Thursday March 20 Sydney Opera House – Sydney NSW With Glen Hansard Bookings: www.sydneyoperahouse.com 02 9250 7777
“But it’s O’Neill’s delivery of her own powerful lyrics that makes the hair stand on the neck. If wise woman Biddy Early sang, this is how you’d have wanted her to sound. O’Neill is real. Her songs poetry. Her gift, of the ages. It’s possible she’s the most important artist out of Ireland for decades.” THE HERALD
“Same Cloth or Not is a beguiling, bewitching affair that whispers its way into your good books on warm winds of winsome folksiness, tender laments, rousing reminiscence and smoldering jazz. A wonderfully warm slow burner.” SUNDAY BUSINESS POST
“Spellbinding voice, smashing songs and powerful live performance. One of the most outstanding Irish albums this year.” THE TICKET
“Folk magic, she’s gifted with rare traits and I couldn’t fault her if I tried.” HARMLESS NOISE
Oh, that every performer knew how to work an audience in the way that Lisa O’Neill does. The Cavan singer-songwriter was hidden as part of David Gray’s band, but out front on her own she is – pardonnez moi, mon amis – the fucking business. Her voice is marmite for some, marmalade for others, and if there’s a better ‘performance’ this weekend then it’ll take an act of the highest order to beat it. Performing songs from her latest album,Same Cloth Or Not, O’Neill cracked odd jokes about her relatives, made odd observations about Dingle, and delivered several of the most beautifully singular songs you’re ever likely to hear. The surprise, though, was her onstage presence, which fused funny with fiery, purity with unconventionality. Utterly unique? Yep. The business? Fuck, yeah… TONY CLAYTON LEA – IRISH INDEPENDENT