Nice Girl, the new album from singer Carmel McCreagh, is generating significant interest amongst the Irish music media.
"A late night record for all hours of the day." (Tony Clayton-Lea, music writer, The Irish Times)
“A canny collection of languid scene-stealers that ably showcase her chameleon vocals… McCreagh slithers to just the right side of femme fatale…” (Siobhán Long, The Ticket (Irish Times))
"A debut album [from] a consummate singer in the classic style, backed by a first-rate band… Lovers who wish to cling to each other and spin slowly across the kitchen floor will love it." (Cormac Larkin, The Sunday Tribune)
“Carmel McCreagh, think torch singer with a bit of slow dancing. Or, if you want to pin her down, think jazz-blues crossover… But it's clear that she has developed a style that is her own. Many of the songs she sings are old favourites — I'll Be Seeing You, Good Morning Heartache, Someone to Watch Over Me — but the treatment is her own. You don't think, ah, Nina Simone or Billie Holiday. You think Carmel McCreagh…” (Mary Russell, The Irish Times Magazine)
Carmel began her singing career performing jazz and swing standards and has appeared at the world-famous Guinness Cork Jazz Festival and many other festivals and venues throughout Ireland. Recently she has broadened her repertoire to include more contemporary and original songs. Nice Girl contains six new songs: two co-written by Carmel, two by Dublin-based songwriter, Celine Carroll, and two by Virginia, USA, songwriter, Jan Ince. Also included are two rarely heard songs from the late 1960s: “Nice Girls Don't Stay for Breakfast”, written for Julie London by Bobby Troup, and the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, “Odds and Ends”, featuring a distinctive new arrangement with string quartet.
Carmel was born in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, but at an early age moved with her family to London. There she became involved in drama and music groups. She studied dramatic arts at Middlesex University. Since returning to Ireland in 1991, Carmel has been performing and writing with Fiachra Trench.
Fiachra Trench, producer and arranger of the album Nice Girl, is the composer of many scores for film and television, including A Love Divided, Dear Sarah, The Boys and Girl from County Clare, the BBC/WGBH series People’s Century and the BBC/RTÉ series A Celebration of Seán O’Casey. He assisted Hans Zimmer on the score for Pearl Harbor. As an arranger Fiachra has worked with numerous recording artists, including Van Morrison, The Chieftains, Paul Brady, Elvis Costello, The Corrs and Thin Lizzy.
The Carmel McCreagh Band includes Fiachra Trench (piano), Keith Donald (saxophones and clarinet), Joe Csibi (bass) and Desi Reynolds (drums). Guests with the band have included leading Irish jazz luminaries, Michael Buckley, Richie Buckley and Dave Fleming.