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Sunday 27th February

SUSAN McKEOWN

SUSAN McKEOWN

+ guests – Will Hall and Robert Whitaker.

Grammy-winning Irish vocalist Susan McKeown wants to bring depression into the light. Her seventh solo album, “Singing in the Dark,’’ explores creativity and mental illness. Drawing from poetry and music by Lord Byron, Theodore Roethke, Anne Sexton, Frank London, Leonard Cohen, and others, McKeown dips into the bleak well of emotional suffering and comes up with a heaping cup of hope. – The Boston Globe

I’m a huge fan of Susan McKeown who in my mind can do no wrong. She has a wonderful voice, and a great way with song. My particular favourite from this album is Byron’s We’ll Go No More A-Roving. – Mike Harding BBC 2

McKeown’s abilities as a performer and her incredible command of her voice allow her to sing one song in an aching tenor and another in a rich alto…I like the irony of her dealing with a topic that’s been subject to so much misconception by shattering a great many of the preconceived notions most people would have had about how this type of material would be presented. – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Brave. There’s great solace in it – a very fine album. – Gerry Godley, Lyric FM, Ireland

Singing in the Dark is not a depressing record by any stretch. It ranges from some pretty rollicking stuff to some very folksy sounding songs to Good Old World Blues: set to music by Susan McKeown herself, it really is a terrific song. – John Schaefer, New Sounds, WNYC

Captivating – Time Out New York

McKeown at her best is always balanced right on the edge: fragility on the one side, strength on the other. It’s perfect for material that is so emotionally weighted—and for painting a portrait of life at the extremes. – Irish Philadelphia

McKeown turns herself inside out, incorporating lines from the poets of old to quiet, lamplit folk.. – Willamette Week, Portland, OR

Decide for yourself if she is a pop, rock or folk star—if not all three. – Boston Examiner

Whether she’s backed by electric and acoustic guitars, accordion or piano, it is Ms. McKeown’s quivering, but relentless voice that dominates the soundscape. This, in turn, pushes the poetry to the forefront. “The creativity exists because of the mental illness,” Ms. McKeown said. “It offers a way to deal with what’s been handed to you.” – New York Times/NYU Local

As much an intellectual and cathartic exercise as a musical one…McKeown’s haunting singing is powerfully affecting on these heartfelt ruminations on crippling despair. – Boston Herald

On “Mad Sweeney,” a traditional Irish legend first recorded in the 17th century, McKeown’s haunting and enchanting vocals embrace the tale of a king driven wild by illness, who lives life like a bird or beast. – WNYC Culture Blog

Ms. McKeown’s powerful vocals and masterful poetic interpretations impress upon the listener more a sense of hope and yearning than of bleakness and despair. The album as a whole captures the catharsis that can accompany and even encourage art sprung from such a dark place – with the songs themselves acting as a form of consolation to both artist and audience. – Irish American News

Top Ten Albums of 2010. Quite an inventive collaboration. – Brooklyn Downtown Star

McKeown returns with force to abduct us as she did on ’Bones’ – El Pais, Spain

Singing in the Dark is a delightful album and Susan McKeown is a beautiful singer. – Genevieve Tudor, Sunday Folk, BBC Radio

  • Whelan's, 25 Wexford St.
  • Doors: 6pm
  • Tickets: €12.50 (incl fees)