Cara Dillon, one of folk's leading lights, releases her first album in five years May 19th with the captivating 'A Thousand Hearts' on her own Charcoal Records in partnership with Sony Music.
Well worth the wait, 'A Thousand Hearts', follows the acclaimed 'Hill of Thieves', released in 2009 and named the Radio 2 Folk Album of the Year in 2010. Produced and arranged by husband Sam Lakeman, the album features guest vocals from Timothy B Schmit (The Eagles), American singer/songwriter Aoife O'Donovan and English folk musician John Smith.
The eleven songs on this new disc are an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary loosely themed around affairs of the heart. "We don't search for material in the conventional sense," Cara admits. "There is a wealth of songs that I know and over time the songs tend to find me."
These include songs such as 'Avalanche' a stunning cover of the Shawn Colvin song, 'River, Run' a cover of little known 90's indie pop act Suddenly Tammy! which Cara says is "a beautiful song about River Phoenix - it's something we used to do at soundchecks and it became part of what we do" and also traditional song 'As I Roved Out' continuing the practice of taking better known folk songs and making them her own.
Dillon, first made waves in 2001, with her eponymous solo album released on Rough Trade which went on to win two BBC Folk Awards. Two further successful albums were released on Rough Trade with singles, including 'Never In A Million' years spending weeks on the R2 Playlist.
The story of Cara Dillon is like no other. In November 2006 Cara, pregnant, went into labour onstage and eventually gave birth to 14 week premature twins resulting in a three year absence from performing. She returned to touring (twins happy and healthy) in 2009 around 'Hill Of Thieves' before firstly being diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and secondly giving birth to 3rd child, Elizabeth.
With an exceptional voice that won the All-Ireland singing trophy aged just 14, Cara has subsequently performed all over the world with her reknowned line-up of musicians and a host of others, including recently her headline slot at 2013's All Ireland Fleadh with the Orchestra Of Ireland, a performance she is repeating at this years Hop Farm Festival. Along with a string of live dates she is also booked at the key folk festivals Cambridge and Cropredy.
With the songs, the voice and a new album that will enchant, 2014 is set to be an unforgettable year for folk's first lady Cara Dillon.
Cara Dillon plays:
Fri 21st SHREWSBURY, Theatre Severn
Mon 24th COLCHESTER, Arts Centre
Tues 25th CAMBRIDGE, Junction
Sun 29th HASTINGS, St Mary In The Castle
Fri 4th HAVANT, The Spring
Sat 12th SHAFTSBURY, Arts Centre
Wed 23rd ORMSKIRK, Arts Centre
Thurs 24th SHEFFIELD, Memorial Hall
Fri 25th SALTAIRE, Victoria Hall