Black Swan Folk Club

Club Programme

Tickets for guest nights at the Black Swan are available from www.wegottickets.com. Search under venue "York Black Swan" or click on the links in the listings below. WeGotTickets charge a simple 10% booking fee on top of face value and email you a booking reference rather than posting a ticket, meaning you can book until 6pm on the day. Bring the booking reference number with you but do not bother to print out the whole booking confirmation.

Early booking is advised for very popular artists - we do sometimes sell out in advance!

Special concessionary rates (half the normal price on guest nights) are available for under-18s and full-time students.

All tickets are slightly cheaper if pre-booked at www.wegottickets.com compared to prices on the door.

Early Music Centre concert tickets are handled by the NCEM Box Office, either online or on 01904 658338.

Singers Nights are "pay-on-the-door" only events.

Doors open at 7:45pm each Thursday, 7pm at the NCEM

THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS (Concert at the Crescent Club)
17th August 2022
£18 (+bf more otd) 18
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
A rootsy rockin’ psychedelica, the Slambovian Circus of Dreams has been expanding the borders of the Americana genre with their fantastic stories and performance since forming in Sleepy Hollow, New York. The band visit The Crescent for the first time in support of their just-released new album, “A Very Unusual Head”. Their connection with audiences taps into a greater human-ness and captivates. Joined onstage by bandmates Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, mandolin, flute) and the guitar-slinging skills of Sharkey McEwen, the Slambovians create a show that is constantly evolving “with a little help from their friends”. 2022’s line-up includes RJ MacCarthaigh (bass, keys, sax), and Matthew Abourezk (drums). Elements of Dylan, Bowie, Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, and The Waterboys flavor the musical mix (Waterboys founding member Anthony Thistlethwaite appears on the new album). Add a good dose of Woodstock-era psychedelia framed in solid songwriting, and you have it.
ALISTAIR RUSSELL
18th August 2022
£10 + bf (more otd) 10
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
A real survivor from the rapidly diminishing world of folk clubs, Alistair Russell has been on the road since the 1970s, touring internationally, writing and performing his own songs and receiving critical acclaim from many corners of the folk world. He was a member of the Battlefield Band and has also turned his hand to sound engineering and tour management. A recently published book ‘Can’t Do This on my Own chronicles his life on the road and tells how a wanderlust was instigated by a back-story of a Scots family in exile and a semi-absent father’s tales of working in far-away places. ‘Singing from the heart, because he believes in the words’ Alistair will be delivering a night filled with high class folk song and experienced musicianship.
Open Mic evening performers and audience welcome.
25th August 2022
No advance tickets £3 minimum donation.
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
DELLA MAE (Concert at the Crescent Club)
This concert has been CANCELLED.
30th August 2022
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
A statement from DELLA MAE:- We're saddened to cancel our shows in York, London, Crawley & Bristol. Due to the skyrocketing costs of travel and accommodations, the toll exacted by COVID on promoters and venues, and the continued risk & challenges the virus still presents for travel and health, we've had to make some tough decisions on this tour. We hope that you'll understand and stay tuned until we can be back with you.' Ticket refunds available from the point of purchase.
CHRIS and KELLIE WHILE
1st September 2022
£15 (+bf more otd) 15
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
A rare appearance from Chris While and her daughter Kellie. Many know Chris from her work with Julie Matthews, St Agnes Fountain, The Albion Band, Fairport Convention and as a soloist. She is an acclaimed songwriter. Kellie has performed with the Albion Band, E2k and the Reel and Soul Association. As well as her musical commitments Kellie is now also kept busy working as a producer in radio. This mother and daughter love to sing together and despite their busy lives they've found the time to do a short tour this autumn. We're lucky to be able to host them at The Black Swan Folk Club.
LIAM O'MAONLAI with WHITE SAIL (Concert at the Crescent Club)
5th September 2022
£18 (+bf more otd) 18
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
This event takes almost a year since we hosted Liam O'Maonlai and White Sail at the Black Swan Folk Club. Our first gig inside the folk club room after 'lockdown'. It was a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon and an outstanding performance which we're still talking about. This time we welcome back both artists to a larger venue The Crescent Club. Liam attended Scoil Lorcáin and Coláiste Eoin, which is a Gaelscoil on Dublin's southside, although he credits his father as being the main influence for his love of the Irish language,[1] of which he is a fluent speaker. He won an under-18 all-Ireland award for his skills on the bodhrán and first formed a band called The Complex with childhood friend Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. Later Liam left to form the Hothouse Flowers in 1984. Ó Maonlaí is also an active member of the Nuclear Free Future movement and contributed to the hosting of events in Carnsore and in Wexford Town in 2001. In 2004 he was a guest at the Barefoot College, located at Rajasthan, India. 2005 saw him release a solo album entitled Rian which is a collection of tunes and songs in Irish. He performed in the 2009 Dublin to Gaza benefit concert. The 2008 documentary Dambé: The Mali Project tells the story of his 3,000 mile cross-cultural musical adventure with Paddy Keenan and friends, and features performances from the Festival au Désert.
MARIA DUNN with SHANNON JOHNSON
8th September 2022
£11 (+bf more otd) 11
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
'Good songwriters venture out beyond their immediate time and space. Twice Juno-nominated Maria Dunn finds power in the long view, following her curiosity to examine history and deeper meanings in everyday situations. Her breadth of large and small stories documents momentary snapshots and life-long lessons but the most important part comes in the way she fits personal portraits to the cinematic' widescreen' A powerful review for Maria Dunn's new album Joyful Banner Blazing produced by her long time accompanist and collaborator Shannon Johnson. Once again Maria and Shannon on tour in the UK from Canada visit the Black Swan Folk Club and we are prepared for another night of high quality musicianship and great songwriting.
GRAINNE HUNT
15th September 2022
£8 (+bf) more on the door. 8
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Gráinne is a contemporary nu-folk singer/songwriter with a rich background in performance and songwriting. She has shared stages with Glen Hansard and U2, and has opened for Gladys Knight, Eagle Eye Cherry and The Bay City Rollers. She's toured extensively throughout Europe and the US. Her influences range from The Dubliners to Joni Mitchell, Mary Black to John Mayer. The original album,This Secret (Sept '19) was recorded with Grammy nominated Thomm Jutz in Nashville. Alongside her own music, she founded songwritercircle.club in August 2020 and is involved in Trad Irish and Classical crossover project Gráinne and Brendan (Songs from Ireland) and Hibsen (a new series of songs based on James Joyce's Dubliners).
Open Mic evening performers and audience welcome.
22nd September 2022
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
CATHRYN CRAIG and BRIAN WILLOUGHBY
29th September 2022
tba
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
BREABACH (NCEM Concert)
30th September 2022
£18.50 (+bf more otd) 18.50
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National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Securely ranked among Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts, Breabach unite deep roots in Highland and Island tradition with the innovative musical ferment of their Glasgow base. They have released six increasingly acclaimed albums, whilst fuelling their creative appetites in collaborations with indigenous Australasian artists Moana and the Tribe & The Black Arm Band, Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord, video game composer Big Giant Circles and as artists-in-residence at the 2019 Celtic Colours festival with Cape Bretoners, Beolach. 2020 saw the introduction of the supremely talented, multi-instrumentalist Conal McDonagh to the band which coincided with the production and release of ‘Dùsgadh’, a newly commissioned short film in with original score in collaboration with BAFTA award winning animator Cat Bruce. Their 17 year adventure has included live performances from Sydney Opera House to Central Park NY. They have racked up an impressive array of accolades including five Scots Trad Music Awards, nominations as ‘Best Group’ in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and ‘European Album of the Year’ in The Songlines Music Awards. Breabach show no sign of slowing their creative endeavours with imminent tours and festival appearances across the UK, Europe and the US to mark the release of their 7th studio album ‘Fàs’ produced by renowned musician Inge Thompson (Karine Polwart, Hen Hoose, Northern Flyway).
YE VAGABONDS (Concert at the Crescent Club)
4th October 2022
£14 (+bf more on the door) 14
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Another highly anticipated visit to York from brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn who grew up playing music together around their hometown of Carlow, a small town in the southeast of Ireland. After moving to Dublin in 2012, they quickly became a staple of the live music and session scene in Ireland, playing their own original songs as well as folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America. In 2014 they came to the attention of Arbutus Yarns’ music filmmaker Myles O’Reilly, whose videos gained international attention for the brothers for the first time. After a chance meeting at Electric Picnic in September 2015, the brothers performed onstage with Glen Hansard, who invited them to open for him on his European tour the following October. Their debut EP Rose & Briar was released on October 7th 2015. Since then, they have been busy touring Ireland, the UK and Europe, opening for acts such as Villagers, Roy Harper and Lisa Hannigan (whose band they played in for her Irish tour, June 2016). They have played sold out headline shows in Ireland, France, Switzerland and the UK. They have made numerous television and live radio appearances in Ireland, and were also part of ‘Imagining Home’, a live broadcast concert in the National Concert Hall of Ireland, 2016, curated by Glen Hansard, Philip King and Gary Sheehan. In October 2017 they launched their debut, self-titled album to great acclaim. “Ye Vagabonds” comprises of harmony rich folk music, influenced by Irish traditional music, Appalachian singing, and the 1960’s folk revival. It includes ten mellow tracks weaved with thoughtful lyrics, thickly layered with strings and droning harmonium. Their second album ‘The Hare’s Lament’ was released on 22nd March 2019 to huge critical acclaim. In 2019 they won the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, and they swept the boards at the RTÉ Radio One Folk Awards where they won Best Traditional Track, Best Group, and Best Album. In 2022 the released their long-awaited third album Nine Waves and have spent the majority of the year playing live in Ireland and across the UK, including opening a couple of shows for Phoebe Bridgers in June.
ANTHONY JOHN CLARKE
6th October 2022
£10 + bf (more otd) 10
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
At last, a date for AJ after a cancellation during lockdown and then another Covid related postponement at the beginning of the year, we welcome Anthony John Clarke back to the Black Swan Folk Club once again. Anyone who's seen AJ before will know that this is bound to be another highly entertaining evening with stories and original songs, best known of which are "The Broken Years" (about The Troubles), "The Only Life Gloria Knows" (about homelessness), and "Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke"
DAOIRI FARRELL (NCEM Concert)
12th October 2022
£17 (+bf more otd) 17
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National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
We're proud to welcome back once again singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell. He has been described as one of the most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. In 2017 six months after releasing the album ‘True Born Irishman’ he won two prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Traditional Track, and he performed live at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Since then he has toured the UK, and played at festivals in Australia, Canada, the UK, Belgium, Denmark and more. In February 2018 he toured with the all-star Transatlantic Sessions in major venues across the UK. Autumn 2019 saw him nominated for three RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, best singer, best traditional track and best album for latest release ‘A Lifetime Of Happiness’ produced by Donal Lunny. ‘His powerfully unadorned vocals might be from any era, variously recalling Paul Brady and Andy Irvine…it’s a powerful statement.’ Mojo Support is from locally based Irish singer and songwriter PAULA RYAN.
Open Mic evening performers and audience welcome.
13th October 2022
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
JOSH BURNELL BAND (Concert at the Crescent Club)
16th October 2022
£12 + bf (more otd) 12
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Revamped with a new sound, look and album, Joshua and his incredible band eagerly return to the stage. Having cut his teeth playing the folk festivals of the UK and releasing two albums of traditional songs, Joshua now returns to his original songwriting, exploring themes from traditional folk fused with his dynamic brand of retro pop-infused folk. Joshua’s latest album, Flowers Where The Horses Sleep, is inspired by the lives of people both past and present and explores humankind’s remarkable ability to find beauty, even in the ugliest of times; an ability as relevant now as ever.
JOHN and DI CULLEN
20th October 2022
tba
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
CLIVE GREGSON
27th October 2022
tba
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Beware of the Bull-the enigmatic genius of JAKE THACKRAY (NCEM Concert)
28th October 2022
£12 12
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National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Fresh from publishing their much-anticipated biography of the late, great Jake Thackray, John Watterson (‘Fake Thackray’) and Paul Thompson combine their talents as performers and authors to present an evening like no other, featuring Jake’s brilliant, hilarious songs and stories from his remarkable life. Admired by Neil Gaiman, Jarvis Cocker, Jon Richardson and Arctic Monkeys, among many others, Jake is increasingly recognised as one of the greatest and most original British songwriters of the twentieth century; a unique talent, whose songs are full of wit, poetry, irreverence and humanity.
Open Mic evening performers and audience welcome.
3rd November 2022
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
TOM McCONVILLE and MICHAEL BIGGINS
10th November 2022
tba
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
ALLAN TAYLOR
17th November 2022
13.20 inc booking fee 13.20
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
This event replaces the one we had to postpone from 25/11/21. All tickets already purchased for the postponed date remain valid. Allan Taylor is one of the last of the travelling troubadours who came through the London and New York Greenwich Village folk music scene of the sixties and seventies. He’s travelled the world performing at festivals, concert halls and clubs. Considered to be one of the foremost singer-songwriters and guitarists in his genre, with more than one hundred and fifty recorded versions of his songs by artists in ten different languages, he’s made more than twenty CDs/Albums and continues to write, record and tour throughout Europe.
CHRISTINA ALDEN and ALEX PATTERSON
24th November 2022
£12 + bf (more otd) 12
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Christina Alden and Alex Patterson have been playing music since they were children and were both raised in musical households in the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside. They are multi-instrumentalist songwriters and have been working together for over seven years from their home in the centre of Norwich. Their music is firmly bedded in the folk tradition of storytelling and their writing often reflects on the relationship between humans and the wild; from unlikely friendships between a wolf and bear, migratory movements of Artic foxes and people across land and ocean and the importance of re-wilding and enabling space for nature to renew. They have enjoyed touring extensively in the UK and Europe; including a 23 date concert hall tour with Show of Hands plus headline and main stage performances at some of the UK’s most prestigious folk festivals and performances in Norway, Belgium, France and Ireland. They have written and self-released four albums, composed music for a BBC Radio 4 documentary series and have had over a million streams on Spotify. 2022 is set to be an important year as they set out on our first major tour as a duo following the release of their spring 2021 debut album. ‘Hunter’ received great reviews and lots of national airplay including; BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, BBC Ulster and RTÉ Radio 1 and it even made it into the top 10 in the Amazon Folk charts!
TALISK (Concert at the Crescent Club)
27th November 2022
£15 (+bf more otd) 15
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Ground-breaking, chart-topping, genre-bending, globetrotting, instantly enthralling… it’s little wonder that Talisk rank highly amongst the most in-demand folk-based groups to emerge from Scotland in the last decade and more. Mohsen Amini (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Musician of the Year 2018), Graeme Armstrong and Benedict Morris (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019) fuse concertina, guitar and fiddle to produce a truly innovative, multi-layered signature that has captivated audiences around the globe.At its core, three seemingly acoustic instruments – but in the hands of three master craftsmen; one unmistakable, bold sound and a captivating live show. Alongside extensive touring, Talisk have stacked up major awards for their explosively energetic, artfully woven sound – including Folk Band of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award,and the Belhaven Bursary for Innovation. Appearances at leading festivals across multiple continents have amassed a die-hard following – including closing out Saturday night’s main stage at the 2019 Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder Festival, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysian Borneo, WOMADs UK,Chile and Las Palmas, Edmonton Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, three back-to-back years at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and six appearances at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections. Following their critically acclaimed debut, Abyss, Talisk’s sophomore album, Beyond, quickly amassed five star reviews and rose to No.1 in the iTunes world music charts upon its late 2018 release. With streaming figures into multiple millions, and new music on the horizon in 2022, audiences worldwide are hotly anticipating the latest chapter from a group lauded by leading world music magazine Songlines as: “incredibly infectious andendearing… fresh, invigorating, accomplished.”
Open Mic evening performers and audience welcome.
1st December 2022
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
MARTIN CARTHY
7th December 2022
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
tba
8th December 2022
No Photo Yet
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
BLACK SWAN FOLK CLUB Christmas Party
15th December 2022
free admission
No Photo Yet
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Máire Ni Chathasaigh and Chris Newman 'Celtic Christmas Strings'
22nd December 2022
tba
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
There’s something magical about harps, and particularly at Christmas, though Máire and Chris’s alchemy on harp and guitar creates a very special magic at all times. Individually famed for originality, innovation and virtuosity on their respective instruments, together they have created one of the most distinctive voices in modern acoustic music and brought their unique musical vision to venues large and small in twenty-two countries on five continents. Their many recordings express both the depth of their commitment to tradition and an eternally playful, curious and adventurous spirit. Their Christmas show features a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, swing jazz and bluegrass, plus festive favourites given a fresh voice with arrangements that are intricate, inventive, moving and beautiful, and performed in their characteristically heart-warming style – a spellbinding treat for mid-winter.“A delightful... satisfyingly original, often refreshingly unpredictable take on festive favourites... Joyful, gorgeous and uplifting” THE LIVING TRADITION “Both are in the virtuoso class” THE GUARDIAN “Masterful playing... (ranging from) the entrancing and delicate to the wildly celebratory...” **** FOLK WALES “(Their) mastery and magic... produced a rapt response” THE GUARDIAN.
CHURCHFITTERS
26th January 2023
tba
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
One of our favourite bands at The Black Swan Folk Club. Why “Churchfitters”? Nobody knows! They’re not fitters and have absolutely nothing to do with churches. The name’s origin is lost in the mists of time but there is one aspect that suits them perfectly - its quirkiness. When your array of instruments includes a motorcycle petrol tank, a musical saw and a Mercedes Benzouki made from hubcaps there’s little point worrying if the name makes sense! Saucepan dulcimer, glass harp, Bing-Bong machine and magic boots all join some more conventional instruments (fiddle, banjo, sax and whistle to name a few) to back Rosie Short’s sublime voice. These three flamboyant characters present their uplifting and entertaining show with a unique dynamism and describe their music as “Folk Unlimited”. Mike Harding calls it “Brilliant and beautiful” while Dave Pegg says they are “The most musically inventive group I’ve seen in decades”.
ELEANOR McEVOY (Concert at the Crescent Club)
5th March 2023
£17 (+bf more otd) 17
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Having released her 16th album “Gimme Some Wine” to rave reviews at the end of 2021, Eleanor McEvoy one of Ireland’s foremost songwriters is now back on the road following the release of her latest riveting single “South Anne Street” Her live show is spellbinding. She walks in a single pool of light, the stage set with an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, violin, piano and a small amp. What follows has been enthralling audiences around the world for decades. McEvoy is the composer, co-performer and producer of "A Woman's Heart”, the title track for the best-selling Irish album in Irish history. It features regularly on screen, most recently in 2019 in the award-winning TV show “Derry Girls”. Her song “Sophie” was described by David Smith in The Guardian as “an anthem that is touching, inspiring and consoling thousands of anorexic girls around the world” It is used internationally in treatment centres to treat patients with eating disorders. In February 2020, McEvoy completed four sold out concerts in Ireland at the National Concert Hall and National Opera House where she performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra alongside Wallis Bird and Maura O’Connell for “A Woman’s Heart Orchestrated”, two days later she boarded a plane for a five-week Australian tour that ended abruptly at the onset of the Covid19 pandemic. Upon her return she wrote “Scarlet Angels” inspired by the recent concerts with the RTE Concert Orchestra where McEvoy, Wallis Bird and Maura O’Connell had all worn red on stage. She continued to write through-out lockdown, teaming up with Paul Brady to write ‘Found Out By Fate’ - a savage indictment on a cheating partner. Having herself had some wine at this point, McEvoy’s own quote on this one was to “Think twice before cheating on a songwriter” Her most recent single ‘South Anne Street’ sets the scene for a song about meeting an ex at the corner of South Anne St and Grafton St. on a Tuesday afternoon and ending up in McDaid’s Pub. It is both absolutely specific and utterly universal and it has resonated with audiences both here and abroad. “Through this fusion of bygone and modern, established and innovative, McEvoy creates something totally fresh but with a taste of the familiar…with, perhaps, a glass of red on the side” Irish Times “so appealing” Irish Music Magazine “Song after song will resonate with you” Hot Press Magazine “superb… every beat, word and note earning it’s keep….it’s the sort of thing that gives popular music a good name” John Creedon RTE Radio 1 “she captures a mood absolutely beautifully… bang on” Ronan Collins RTE Radio 1 “South Anne Street” - that great song that so many people want to hear time and time again” Alex Lester BBC Radio 2 “One of the few artists who can do no wrong whatsoever”