Cara Dillon has one of those rare talents you only come across a handful times in your whole life. Her staggeringly beautiful voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song and imbue material with not only profound sweetness but also poignancy and depth.
Born in Dungiven in 1975, she was brought up in a close musical family immersed in the rich cultural heritage of her native County Derry. Having won the All Ireland Traditional Singing Trophy aged only 14 she went on to sing with Oige, De Dannan and then Equation. It was in this band that she met her husband and musical collaborator Sam Lakeman. The combination of Cara's expressive vocals and Lakeman's rippling piano and fresh production squeezed new life into ancient material. Their original songs sit happily alongside the traditional, reinforcing the debt they owe, whilst pointing to a distinct and distinguished musical identity all of their own.
It's Cara's unrivalled vocal talent and Sam's musical and arranging skills that have seen them signed to major record labels since they were 19. First, Blanco Y Negro (Warners) and then the enviably hip Rough Trade Records who released her three solo albums to date, earning astonishing critical success and showering her with countless awards and accolades.
Whether she's singing her native traditional songs of lost love and emigration, or their original compositions, you will be hard pressed to find a more emotive and captivating performer. Cara Dillon is at the very top of her field and one has the feeling she'll be there for a very long time.
Cara Dillon is one of Ireland's truly great singers.THE GUARDIAN ****