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Down By the Sally Gardens
We just had Maura O’Connell on June 11, 2011 at the McKinney Performing Arts Center and in our five year history of concerts, by far, Maura’s is one of the best I have yet to experience.
I have to admit I happened upon her at an Arts Midwest Conference showcase and after her first song, I knew I had to bring her to Texas. I made the right choice, and my audience agreed.
From her first note to her last, she had the audience on the edge of their seats. She is captivating and has the stage presence that pulls you into one of the most memorable events you have the privilege and honor to be a part of.
I can only see her getting bigger, but unlikely better, as I cannot imagine how she could even do that. Her wit, charm and ability to establish a connection with the audience made you feel that you were in a living room and a part of her family.
|David Taylor, Director of McKinney Performing Arts Center|
Album Review-Naked with Friends
Well-known for her wise choice of material and gift for storytelling, O'Connell takes full advantage of her remarkably resonant alto here. Elvis Costello's antiwar theme "Shipbuilding" triggers one of her most emotionally compelling interpretations, with help from the Settles Connection choir, and her take on Joan Armatrading's "Weakness in Me" is similarly moving. Looking to her Celtic roots for inspiration, O'Connell also turns in a breathtakingly lovely rendition of "Maidín I M'Béarra." Parton's unmistakable voice adds silver harmonies to the opening cut, "The Bright Blue Rose," but the standout tracks include a duet with O'Brien ("The Blacksmith") and the performances enhanced by Krauss ("Some People's Lives") and O'Connell's sister Áine Derrane (Holly Near's "Hay Una Mujer Desapercida").
Album Review Naked with Friends
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