Kyle Carey’s album The Art of Forgetting (World Music Network’s Riverboat Records) features a track with Rhiannon Giddens on vocal harmonies, and was produced by 4-time Grammy winner Dirk Powell. An English-speaking American, Kyle Carey spent her early childhood in Alaska immersed in the Eskimo language of Yup’ik. Later, in Nova Scotia, she learned Gaelic, the traditional Irish language that fewer than 75,000 native speakers in Ireland are natively fluent in today. On this project, she emulates her mimetic ability to dwell in Gaelic from the inside.
Carey told Americana Airwaves: “‘Siubhail a Rùin’ is a traditional Irish ballad that I’ve always loved. Considering this song has been recorded by so many other artists, my producer Dirk Powell and I decided to give it our own spin by adding a bit of New Orleans-inspired trumpet and a jazz swing. I also translated the verses that are originally in Irish to Scottish Gaelic to give it a ‘Gaelic Americana’ feel. It was an honor to have North Carolina’s Rhiannon Giddens join me on harmony vocals.”
For her duet with Rhiannon Giddens, listen here:
Rhiannon Giddens’s unmistakeable voice is delightful. John McCusker, Mike McGoldrik (on flute) and Ron Janssen of the Netherlands ground the album, along with Sam Broussard on guitar and Kai Welch on trumpet. Dirk Powell on banjo, McKusker on fiddle and Janssen on mandolin give the album its Americana feel.
Lyrically, Carey’s voice is chilling, and the partly native Gaelic lines are a pure auditory treat. As she sings: “I wish I was on Buttermilk Hill, it’s there I’d sit and cry my fill, and every tear would turn the mill, ’S gun tèid thu m’ eudail slàn,” the Gaelic phrases in her multi-tonal voice will send shudders of delight down your spine. Giddens’ accompaniment is the icing on the treat.
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