Celtic Connections Blog Review 2015

After gig Session at Celtic Connections January 2015 
(Celtic Connections blog review)

"as the aforementioned Holiday Inn hosted a truly pinch-yourself gathering of Mike McGoldrick, Tim O’Brien, John Doyle, Danú’s Donnacha Gough. The odd song among the tunes included a somewhat heavily ironic ‘Ain’t No Liquor in this Town’, while another lovely number that commanded rapt silence came from Tim O’Connor."


Colin McGee Direcor of Belfast Nashville songwriters festival  "Lovely songs"  www.belfastnashville.com

Arty McGlynn (Van Morrisons guitarist/great trad guitarist) "Brilliant songs"

Rob Ellen Music Agent  on Tim O'Connor  " probably the most intune with the path of the trubadour, of any that ive ever met truth be told"

Marin Stephenson "great singer"

Steve Coogan (Comedian) Great songs

Mike McGoldrick (Brilliant singer songwriter)

Irish music magazine

“Irish Music magazine”

A Song in Her Heart (Title track by Tim O'Connor)
Greentrax CDTRAX 321 2008
Born in Derry and immersed in music from a young age, Mary moved to Scotland at the age of sixteen to pursue a musical career. Like most singers she served an apprenticeship in the venues big and small and soon developed a song writing talent. This talent produced a first song, ‘My Scotsman and Thee’, that is included on this her first album release.

The CD is lovely mixture old and new material. It combines traditional with contemporary and the songs of well-known writers with her own. Opening with ‘Black is the Colour’ she gives her very distinctive treatment to a sometimes over represented song that makes it sound fresh and new.

One of my many favourites on here is ‘My True Love’. Again we may be familiar with a version by Kate Rusby but listen Ms Burke for a new rendition. Burke has a knack for finding a ‘new hook’ in the familiar. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘A Woman’s Heart’. Even the composer Eleanor McEvoy is quoted as finding this version “truly beautiful”.

‘The Home I Left Behind’ has her taking a song familiar at wakes and weddings in Ireland of the 1950’s and bringing it very deservedly to a wider audience. Intriguingly the title track by Tim O’Connor is noted as written after reading Mary’s biography. The result is a very strong and emotional song. Bridging the heady Sixties scene and the 21st century is ‘Catch the Wind’ originally a hit for Donovan but revitalised here. It’s a pity Robbie Burns couldn’t arrange some class of posthumous royalty cheque. So many of his songs are as fresh today as when he wrote them and with singers like Burke breathing new life into ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ they will go on forever.

Longing for home is a common theme in folk music and on this album it is epitomised by ‘My Scotsman & Thee’ with the tale of longing for home, visiting home but loving someone from another land. Sung here almost three decades after it was written by a 19-year-old Burke it sounds “hot off the presses”. This is an outstanding first album, even if she waited about 30 years to burst on the scene, and I look forward to many more.
Nicky Rossiter

Review En Francais


Irish post

(The Irish Post)

Wdnesday, November 21, 2007

December festival has Manchester feeling blue

A musician is hoping to warm hearts and spirits in Manchester as part of the city’s first blues festival.

Musician Tim O’Connor, whose Irish roots stem from Tipperary and Kildare, has been selected to play at Manchester’s first Acoustic Blues Festival weekend on Sunday, December 2.

O’Connor has been compared to the likes of Christy Moore and Van Morrison and has worked with Arty McGlynn — Van Morrison’s guitarist.

He was in Manchester’s legendary Celtic blues band Citizen Swing before moving on to other projects, which have taken him all over Europe.

He said: “I hope to get fiddle player Dezi Donnelly to guest with me on the night, I know he’s busy with his new album with Sharon Shannon but I hope to persuade him to get involved.

“My dad, who was also a professional musician, was a good friend of Val Doonican and they both shared the same manager, Dermot Buckley.”

A number of other musicians with Irish roots are also set to line up for the festival.

And festival promoter Tony Hennigan said: “Tim’s played the venue before, he is a first-class musician and the possibility of him teaming up with Dezi Donnelly will be an awesome combination and one of the highlights of the festival.

“Ireland has a strong tradition of producing major blues artists, with the likes of Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy to name just a few.

“Ireland stages a number of annual blues festivals so we are just trying to capture some of that spirit over here."

The event is being held on Friday, 30 November until Sunday, 2 December at the m19 bar in Levenshulme, which is at the heart of Manchester's biggest Irish community.

Other artists appearing include Robert John, Adriene O’Toole, Martin And The Manoevres, James Walker, Bob Long, Ian Kenned, and Matt Woosey.

¦ Tickets are £3 or £5 for a weekend pass. Doors open 7pm on Friday night and at 2pm for the Sunday afternoon session. Email the box office at bluesfest@hotmail.co.uk for tickets.