Jamie O’Reilly, ‘Songs of the Kerry Madwoman’
Lyrics by Patricia Monaghan
Composition by Michael Smith
Arrangements by Michael Smith and Peter Swenson
Engineered by Bruce Roper
Distributed by J. O'Reilly Productions/Chicago
See My myspace Page: www.myspace.com/jamieoreillymusic
Release Date May 2006
‘Songs of the Kerry Madwoman’
An ethereal and powerful song cycle for voice and chamber ensemble is the centerpiece of the compact disc, produced by J. O’Reilly Productions. 14 songs, including the traditional ballad ‘Foggy Dew’- recorded by Chicago's Bruce Roper (Sons of the Never Wrong). Author Patricia Monaghan’s highly specialized Celtic poetry acts as the lyrics, with singer/songwriter Michael Smith’s original music. Musical
arrangements are by Smith and Peter Swenson-- who wrote the woodwind parts, and plays guitar and various lutes. O’Reilly is featured on vocals. Smith on guitar. Musical performances borrow from - and are influenced by--medieval, folk, art song and ethnic/Irish forms. Also appearing are Bob Weber (Cello), John Floeter (Double Bass), Lily Floeter (Flute), Shawna Lake (Oboe, English Horn). Special Guests:
Anne Hills/www.annehills.com (Vocals), James Conway (Tin Whistle), Michael Zerang (Percussion), and Bob Long (Piano).
Selected as a ‘hit’ of the week its first week out by WFMT’s 'The Midnight Special', this recording stirs listeners.
Here’s what people are saying about the music.
"It is just exquisite. The lyrics are so poignant, the music and musicianship wonderful, and, of course, you sound amazing. It is beautiful.”
“Your new CD is truly a masterpiece. What a beautiful piece of work. I've listened to it twice already and am having trouble picking favorites.”
”Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.”
“A great way to approach the subject of War. You're an original.”
“The Madwoman cycle was intense & moving, such a complete experience - your singing, the music, the words, the story...”
JAMIE O’REILLY, BIO
Jamie is one of Chicago's premiere song stylists, known for her distinctive vocal style, the lilting cry in her voice, and powerful interpretations of ballads and songs for the stage. She is a singer with a broad vocal range and vibrant connection to both her repertoire and audience. A graduate of DePaul University School of Music, where she specialized in the study of Irish art songs, Jamie has 25 years plus producing and performing in the professional arena. ‘Songs of the Kerry Madwoman’ is her ninth recording, and her fourth one of Irish music. Several recordings were made with her former Irish band Jamie O’Reilly and the Rogues, remembered as one of the ‘best Irish bands to come out of Chicago’ (Chicago Reader). The ensemble included Tom Amandes, recent star of ‘Everwood’ on the WB, and violinist and producer Stuart Rosenberg.
Jamie appears throughout the Chicago area, often with her trio, at places like FitzGerald's, The Old Town School of Folk Music, the Chicago Cultural Center, Irish American Heritage Center, Maxim’s in Chicago’s Gold Coast, Chicago History Museum, Smart Museum, the MCA, Cyrano’s in Chicago's River North, World Folk Music Co in Beverly, Friendship Concerts, Hogeye Folk Arts, Rock River Friends of Folk (Rockford) for colleges and universities--Roosevelt University/Ganz Hall, Columbia College, Northwestern University/Thorne Auditorium, DePaul University Center and in theaters. She sings out-of-town gigs at Yale University, Box Factory for the Arts/St. Joseph, MI, Tribeca Performing Arts Center/New York, Herbst Theater/San Francisco, the Calvin Simmons Auditorium/Oakland,
KERRY MADWOMAN COLLABORATORS:
Jamie and collaborator Michael Smith (www.michaelsmithmusic.com) have co-created celebrated musical pieces for theater, concert halls and recordings
for over 10 years, including Pasiones: Songs of the Spanish Civil War, Scarlet Confessions, Hello Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal, (winner of After Dark Awards for Best New Work and Best Ensemble, Victory Gardens Theater) and Michael Smith’s The Gift of the Magi (music for an Americana ballet), which received "Best CD of December, 2003" from Third Coast Music Magazine. Their recordings are sold all over the world and have been featured on the BBC in Wales, and on radio from Montreal to Madrid. The ‘Kerry Madwoman’ is their fifth CD project. They appear in the Jamie O’Reilly Trio with cellist Bob Weber.
Author Patricia Monaghan (Lyrics) is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Writing at DePaul University, Chicago. She is a Pushcart Prize winner (2004) and Bobbitt Prize for Poetry, Library of Congress Nominee, (2005). The Songs of The Kerry Woman poems appear in Homefront, (full book), published by Word Tech Press. Homefront (selected poems) appear in the Poets on Peace collection, Foothills Press. Homefront: Silenced Voices of War, a script by Patricia, received a DePaul Fellowship grant and previewed at the DePaul University Humanities Center in Spring, 2004, and the Chicago Humanities Festival last fall. Other books include The Encyclopedia of Celtic Myth and Folklore, and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit.
Peter Swenson, who mixed the CD (with engineer Bruce Roper of Sons of the Never Wrong), contributed arrangements, and plays guitar and lutes on the recording. A performer with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and chamber groups, he appeared with Jamie in Jamie O’Reilly and the Rogues for ten years, and was Jamie’s primary accompanist for over twenty years. They collaborated on the recording ‘The Way The Heart is Sculpted', with David Van Delinder, (1993). Peter is the musical director of the ‘Madwoman’ Ensemble.