National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday, March 22, 2009 - Connie talks about her song, “I Am Going to the West”, from The Border of Heaven, in a special musical segment called What’s in a Song, Produced in collaboration with the Western Folklife Center, What’s in a Song is a radio series that explores, in depth, a single song and the story behind it. Listen to Connie’s music and her conversation with Folklife Center founding director, Hal Cannon, in which she describes how she came to refashion an old-time love song into an anthem to the enduring beauty of the American West.
You can also check out the webpage NPR Music's webpage about “I Am Going to the West”. Just go to http://www.npr.org/music and enter Connie Dover in the artist “search”.
"Connie Dover has become an American treasure who has rediscovered the musical synergy that existed between the British Isles and the American West . . . Her fourth album, The Border of Heaven, focuses entirely on American folk songs with roots in England, Ireland and Scotland . . . - Songs like I Am Going to the West, The Water Is Wide and The Streets of Laredo never sounded so heavenly.” - Cowboys & Indians Magazine
"Connie Dover has captured hearts for years with her haunting Celtic ballads, but she never lost sight of their American connections. This recording is a primer on Celtic music's relationship with America's folk/cowboy music. . . Everything about The Border of Heaven feels good."
"When you can sing like Connie Dover, anything you record is going to reflect some natural beauty. Dover, though, isn't just a pretty voice looking for a means of expression. She's also a musicologist and a lover of traditional folk music. On The Border of Heaven, a collection of Anglo-Scottish, Irish and American frontier ballads, Dover documents the hopes, rewards, tribulations and heartaches that attended the Westward expansion . . . Dover's voice as usual, is radiant, and the production is majestic thanks to
producer Phil Cunningham, who is the Daniel Lanois of Scotland . . . but Border is ultimately the sweet fruit of Dover's love and toil." - Timothy Finn, Kansas City Star
“Her soprano is shimmeringly pure, her phrasing pristine, her evocations of ancient Anglo-Scottish, Irish and American cowboy ballads melodically exquisite and utterly believable.” - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
“Stunningly lovely . . . This is another triumph from one of America’s finest traditional singers.” - Rick Anderson, All-Music Guide
"A sumptuous bounty of mostly traditional songs in a lush, yet faithful setting, sung gorgeously." - Rich Warren, Midnight Special
"Celtic music's Girl of the Golden West has here created an album that sums up what she is all about. There is integrity in the integration of the artist's personal vision with the legacies of the past, and in her solidarity with the outstanding supporting band . . . Connie rings heart rending here. Her singing indeed is a great communicator. Like a Renaissance history painter, Connie Dover masterfully brings this historic legacy to life with the beauty of her voice and the skill of her delivery . . . A painter once said that to arrive at truths you have to lie a little. Here, Connie Dover has told the truth and arrived at artistic truth at all levels of understanding." - Art Ketchum, Celtic Beat
"Any accolades that Connie receives are only deserved and long overdue. Her voice is the future of our tradition." - Willliam Ramoutar, Irish Ways Programme, WFCF-FM 88.5, Florida
“A bit of musical heaven. As you might expect, combining Dover’s fine vocal talent with Phil Cunningham’s ear as a musician and producer results in something special . . . I could listen over and over for weeks without tiring of Dover’s voice . . . her “Water Is Wide” is achingly beautiful, aided by Cunningham’s sublime piano part . . . it transcends genre. Be warned, it’s seductive, and it’s more than Dover’s pretty voice.” - Sing Out!
“The Border of Heaven is Dover’s fourth solo CD, and it comes with high expectations, which are well and truly met . . . the high point, as always, is Dover’s clear and pure vocals . . . These are songs of wanderlust, the occasional rake, and the never-ending search for the edge of the frontier, all done in mighty fine style.” - Ivan Emke, RootsWorld
"Connie Dover's fourth album confirms something that has already been discovered by anyone who has listened to her three previous discs: that we have before us one of the best singers in folk music today, and probably, one of the female voices of this generation who is destined to stay at the forefront for a very long time. In The Border of Heaven, Connie achieves her already high artistic benchmark . . . interpreted with emotion and an exotic, enduring passion." - Salvador Rodriguez, Faro Del Ocio, Spain
"The Border of Heaven is really a gem, a superior musical project from a clever and sensitive performer who never stops amazing my ears . . . it is all priceless stuff!" - Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio, Italy
"Missouri-based singer Connie Dover has long been comfortable in two very different worlds - as an angelic interpreter of traditional music from the British Isles who also works as a trail cook on Wyoming cattle drives . . . The Border of Heaven, her fourth solo album, focuses on these Celtic/American connections, and like all her other work, it's sweetly sung, beautifully produced, and consistently uplifting in spirit." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen
“There are frequently albums that excite me, but never has one so utterly enchanted me. As soon as you finish reading this article, put down this newsletter and run to your local record store and buy The Border of Heaven. You will thank me.” - Nancy Abrams, Humboldt Folklife Society Newsletter, Arcata, California
"Heavenly songs bridge the Celtic tradition and the American West. Connie Dover's shimmering soprano is as pure and clear as the Western sky . . . Songs like Brother Green, a heart-wrenching Civil War ballad, and Last Night by the River, a touching Irish/Shoshone love song, transcend the boundaries of history and culture. Music this heavenly should not be missed." - Kansas City Magazine
"Connie Dover is both a commanding singer and student of Celtic folklore . . . While scholarly in thought, the warmth of her singing and exemplary choice of material yields moments of supreme pleasure . . . The Border of Heaven is a stunning musical journey." - John O'Regan, Radio Limerick, Ireland
"In The Border of Heaven, Connie sings wonderful songs from Scotland and Ireland juxtaposed with familiar American frontier songs of Celtic origin. The result is a delightful album of inspirational and adventurous tunes that transported this reviewer to a place bordered by the old west on one side and heaven on the other. The vehicle for my journey was Connie's shimmering and pure soprano singing lyrics that touched my heart . . . Connie Dover is as fine a ballad singer as this reviewer has ever heard. And the proof is The Border of Heaven, her fourth and best album to date. If you've been seeking an angelic voice singing moving lyrics and music, look no further.” - Richard Fuller, Senior Editor, Metaphysical Reviews
"As a Celtic performer, Ms. Dover seems to be sent from central casting - long, flowing blond tresses, an ethereal presence and the voice of an angel. What she achieves through God-given and self-driven talent is enhanced by her pairing with producer and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cunningham, who has produced her previous three albums. Dover and Cunningham score big time on the new release, The Border of Heaven . . . Dover has crafted a recording that functions as a primer to Celtic music and its relationship to American folk music . . . Everything about The Border of Heaven feels good. As a line in the opening song says, it is "a gentle soothing to my mind's distress, when a verse reminds me of the glens." - Rick Smith, Horse Fly, Taos, New Mexico
About Connie Dover
Acclaimed by the Boston Globe as "the finest folk ballad singer America has produced since Joan Baez," Connie Dover is a singer, poet and Emmy Award-winning producer and composer. Her soaring, crystal-clear voice and inspired arrangements of traditional music of Scotland, Ireland and the American West display a depth and breadth of range that have earned her a rightful place among the world's finest traditional singers.
Connie began her Celtic music career as a lead singer for the Kansas City-based Irish band, Scartaglen. She has toured extensively, performing on radio, television, and in concert throughout North and South America. Her broadcast performances include guest appearances on NPR's Weekend Edition, A Prairie Home Companion, Thistle and Shamrock, Mountain Stage and E-Town.
Connie's solo CDs: Somebody, The Wishing Well, If Ever I Return and The Border of Heaven, have firmly established her reputation as a world-class vocalist, garnering rave reviews. Produced by Scottish music legend Phil Cunningham, her recordings feature instrumentation by some of Scotland, Ireland and America's finest traditional musicians. She recently collaborated with The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra on a CD of traditional Christmas songs and carols, entitled "The Holly and the Ivy", which will be released in 2008.
Connie's work as a writer and composer has flourished alongside her performance career. She received a 2007 Emmy Award for her production of acoustic music for the KCPT public television production "Bad Blood - The Border War that Triggered the Civil War". Her original music earned a Grand Prize in the 2007 Yellowstone-Teton Song Contest, sponsored by The Western Folklife Center (Elko, Nevada), and she is a recipient of the Speakeasy Prize in Poetry, sponsored by the Loft, America's largest independent literary center. Her book of poems, "Winter Count", was published in 2007 by Unholy Day Press.
Connie has twice been a finalist for the AFIM Indie Award, and other accolades for her music include being named a Top Ten Folk Release by Tower Records Pulse! Magazine, a Winning Favourite Folk Release by The Scotsman, Scotland's National Newspaper, a Boston Globe Top Ten Folk Release, a nomination for Scotland's Living Tradition Award Album of the Year,and a Creative Achievement Award from Time Warner's Hollywood On-Line. She has been a finalist for two Native American Music Awards, and for two New Age Voice Music Awards for Best Vocalist and Best Celtic Release.
Connie founded the Taylor Park Music record label to release her music, which is now distributed worldwide, and she has contributed songs to compilations on the Narada, Sony, Virgin, EMI, and Rounder record labels. She has been a guest on numerous collections of folk and world music, and on film and television soundtracks, including the PBS programs "Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie" and "Water and Fire: A Story of the Ozarks" (which won two Emmy awards for music), and she was a music consultant for the Ang Lee Civil War film epic, "Ride with the Devil".
Born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri, Connie Dover is of English, Cherokee, Mexican and Scots/Irish descent. She discovered the wealth of the Celtic music tradition as a teenager, and began a search which continues to this day, devoting her life to the collection, preservation and performance of traditional songs and ballads. Her history degree, earned from William Jewell College, and her undergraduate work at Oxford University have further enriched her unique perspective of the cultural context of folk music, and her insightful interpretations bring ancient ballads to life. Her classes and workshops exploring the creative core of writing and performance are a hallmark of her work.
When Connie is not performing, she works as a ranch cook in the beautiful country between Wyoming's Wind River and Absaroka Mountains (and where she can often be heard singing old-time songs around a roaring campfire to the accompaniment of hoarse cowboys and lowing cattle). The theme which runs through her work is the exploration of the common ground between British Isles and American folk music, and she offers the modern listener a musical experience that transcends cultural boundaries and affirms our connection with the past. A warm and engaging performer, and a singer and composer of the highest order, Connie Dover's diverse background and interests are reflected in the depth and richness of her approach to traditional music.
"Just occasionally, a voice arrives on the folk scene that is so pure, so beautiful, so magical, that it tells you: this is how to sing a song. Such a voice has Connie Dover."
- The Scotsman (Scotland’s National Newspaper)
"Connie Dover has become an American treasure who has rediscovered the musical synergy that existed between the British Isles and the American West."
- Cowboys and Indians Magazine
"Connie Dover possesses that most rare of instruments, a voice so evocative,so perfect, that it makes other great voices pale. Hers is a universal voice, following the thread of history,so steeped in tradition it conjures images of Scotland, of Ireland, of Appalachia, of the Old American
West . . . a consummate singer of Celtic music."
- Jon Chandler, Old West Journal
"Some singers, though singing in a foreign language, have very moving voices. Even if the audience does not understand the words, it will be attracted by pure feelings that are expressed naturally . . . so Connie's singing, like a crystal spring,drives away our fatigue and brings vitality to our lives." - Chinese Press (Singapore)