Riverside Theatres presents
SUSAN O’NEILL AND ELEANOR MCEVOY
East Meets West, Two of Ireland’s Best
All the way from County Clare, Ireland, the prodigiously gifted Susan O’Neill’s soulful and husky-voiced performances are truly something to behold steeping in the sounds of traditional Irish music. With a striking attitude, guitar, harmonica, trumpet and a loop pedal, Susan delivers a timeless and powerful blend of the old soul with a new edge.
Susan is joined onstage by one of Ireland’s foremost singer songwriters, Eleanor McEvoy. Best known for her song A Woman’s Heart The Sydney Morning Herald has described her music as “every song is tour de force”. The New York Times says “She gives her songs full-fledged melodies” and Mojo describes her music as “…immaculately tuneful, lyrically potent tales of love and life.”
Enjoy this exclusive concert of these two powerhouses of the Irish music world.
Susan O’Neill – SON (Edmonton Folk Music Festival 2019)
Each year, there’s that performer at the festival that few recognise but then become the sleeper hit. You either attended – or didn’t and will rue the decision for the rest of the festival. SON, an electrifying new talent from Ireland, is this year’s contender. SON is the stage name of Susan O’ Neill, a woman who argues, through her song, for a transnational melding of musical styles. On the basis of her first album, Hotpress called her a musical prodigy and Bono is a fan.
Growing up in County Clare, where she says, “there was always a song in the air”, Susan started her roving musical education in Ennis brass bands exploring both classical and more modern brass sounds. At 16, she became one of the youngest members of a gospel choir and “It was here that I began to really feel my heart soar with the power of community sharing vocal sounds”. Throughout all of this, she was steeping in the sounds of traditional Irish music. She started to develop her own music hybridity, while playing and singing with an array of Irish bands and musicians from the Irish music community most notably, vocalising over the electronic sounds of King Kong Company and touring Ireland, UK and Australia with Irish superstar Sharon Shannon.
When she tours as SON, Susan performs on a guitar, harmonica and trumpet and uses a loop pedal along to compliment her husky resonant voice. She released her debut album ‘ found myself lost ‘ in 2018 and toured it internationally. Her ‘perfect, smoked – out monster of a voice. awed audiences from the Glastonbury Festival to New Zealands WOMAD: as it will audiences hear.
Eleanor McEvoy is one of Ireland’s foremost songwriters. She is the composer and co-performer of A Woman’s Heart the title track for the best-selling Irish album in Irish history. In May 2019 it was voted by the Irish public as being in the TOP 10 of Ireland’s Favourite Folk Songs. It features regularly on screen, most recently in 2019 in the award winning sit-com “Derry Girls”.
Eleanor began her career as a session musician in Dublin, playing for numerous recordings and artists including U2, Sinead O’Connor and Mary Black. She was also a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for five years, but her real passion was songwriting.
Eleanor released her eponymous debut on Geffen records in LA, followed by tours in the USA, Europe and the Far East. She moved to Columbia Records in New York for her second album What’s Following Me? Since then, Eleanor has gone on to become an artist and performer known throughout the world. Her critically acclaimed canon of work spans fifteen albums most recently Naked Music and The Thomas Moore Project. She has also had numerous cover versions of her songs by performers such as Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, Phil Coulter, Mary Coughlan, Bella Hardy, (BBC folk singer of the year) Eliza Carthy, Derek Ryan, Jack L, and up and coming Irish band Saint Sister.
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” and it is used internationally in treatment centres to treat patients with eating disorders. McEvoy’s latest album Forgotten Dreams (2019) was recorded in Air Studios in London as a Direct-Cut-to-Vinyl. Featuring The Spanish Word For Heart is Corazon due to popular demand it is now also available on CD.
Stu Hunter (pianist)
Multi award winning Australian composer, producer and pianist Stu Hunter is a genre defying musician who has worked with a huge cross section of the music community and has appeared on over 120 music releases worldwide. His music is described as “intensely emotional and humanely intelligent” which often engenders a highly visual response in the listener.
Stu’s latest recording and suite The Migration premiered live at the 2016 Sydney Festival featuring 10 of Australia’s finest creative musicians, it has since toured nationally and internationally. A soul-searching response to life, love and cultural complexity, The Migration is the third in a series of critically acclaimed suites by Hunter. Driving grooves and lush sonic landscapes form powerful scaffolds on which are draped rich harmonic complexity and deep emotive melodies.
The Migration recently won 2 Australian Jazz Bell awards including “Best Australian Jazz Song” for Eagle Fish and was nominated for an ARIA award in 2016 for best Jazz Album.
“Stu Hunter is such a dark horse he makes Black Beauty look grey.” – The Sydney Morning Herald
“A true original” – Radio National
“McEvoy has the skills of a first rate songwriter. She gives her songs full-fledged melodies and not just a repeated phrase or two” – The New York Times
“Clever, heartfelt lyrics and melodies that quietly circle the brain before taking a permanent hold” – Billboard
“Great pop hooks, orchestration where it matters, occasional quirky ballads… a sense of danger and vulnerability in tandem” – Q Magazine
“Every song is a tour de force” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Massively underrated Irish singer/songwriter… immaculately tuneful, lyrically potent tales of love and life” – Mojo
“She is the benchmark and gold standard for female singer songwriters in Ireland” – Irish Music Magazine
“McEvoy sounds like the sort of woman who might greet you with a bottle of red one night and a rolling pin the next” – Truck & Driver Magazine