We have a very special video premiere today from the talented Kyle Carey whose debut CD, Monongah, won well deserved praise across the music press. As a debut it set a very high standard for her to follow but as you can hear on the title track of her new album ‘North Star’ she has leapt to the challenge and carried it off in her own unique way along with the support from a stunning guest line-up. It doesn’t get much better which is why we’ve also chosen it as our Song of the Day.
North Star has been produced by Seamus Egan, a founding member of the Irish-American folk super-group Solas, and is supported by a cast of musicians (Dirk Powell, Natalie Haas, Chris Stout, Josienne Clarke, Ben Walker) no less brilliant than those on “Monongah”. And what to expect on this one? Kyle had this to tell us:
North Star’ is the title track off my new album, and has a couple different sources of inspiration. The main source is a song written by the great Irish songwriter Mickey MacConnell called ‘The Tinkerman’s Daughter’. Mickey’s own song is inspired by a poem of the same title written by the Irish poet Sigerson Clifford.
In the song, a farmer spies the ‘Red-headed Anne’, daughter of the Tinkerman as she camps one evening at the edge of his field. Bewitched by her beauty, he arranges for her to be his wife–in exchange for a pony to her father. But Anne is unhappy in her new settled life and eventually runs away from the farmer to return to her own people.
There’s a similar legend in Irish lore about the ‘selchies’ or seal people–who take on human form. It’s a common story to hear of a selchie woman removing her sealskin to bathe at the shore. A fisherman might come across her and steal her skin, making her his prisoner and wife. One day, the selchie woman finds her skin, puts it back on, and returns to the sea.
I wanted to re-tell this timeless folk legend and give it a bit of an Americana feel, instrumentally, and lyrically–with an allusion to Bob Dylan’s, ‘Boots of Spanish Leather in verse two–another song of love gained and lost.
‘North Star’ features Dirk Powell on banjo, Chris Stout on fiddle, Pauline Scanlon and Eamon McElholm on harmony vocals, Ben Walker on guitar, and Chico Huff on bass.
North Star is out now, order it on Kyle’s website: www.kyleannecarey.com