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Kyle Carey’s unique fusion of ‘Gaelic Americana’ music includes influences of the American Folk Anthology, the traditional music of Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland, and the Appalachian poetry of Louise McNeill.
Carey’s own story is as worldly as her music, raised by her schoolteacher parents first in the Alaskan Bush (where she heard Yup’ik Eskimo spoken as often as she heard English), and then in rural New Hampshire. She studied literature in college, and then travelled to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia on a Fulbright Fellowship to begin her study of the Gaelic language and its music. Carey is one of those scarce-as-hen’s-teeth Irish-Americans fluent in the language of her ancestors.
That was followed by a two-year sojourn on the Isle of Skye; there she cemented her command of the Gaelic language and fell under the tutelage of Christine Primrose, a native of nearby Lewis and one of Scotland’s most revered traditional singers. From Primrose she learned the secrets of pronunciation and tone that distinguish those who sing from the deep heart of that music.
Carey has showcased that style in the traditional Gaelic songs—two on each album—that have graced her previous CDs and also this third one. Her debut, ‘Monongah’ was recorded in western Ireland and produced by Donogh Hennesy of the acoustic super-group Lùnasa. ‘North Star’, released in 2014, was recorded this time in Scotland, and was produced by Seamus Egan, a founding member of Solas.
In her original material, however, she breaks new ground in her ability to make that style the pulse of a new American sort of folk music. The essence of that revolution lies in the real distinction Carey draws between Celtic Americana—i.e., the well-traveled path of American musicians performing in the style of traditional Celtic music—and the Gaelic Americana that she writes and performs. Her music is innovative not only in its bone-deep feel for Celtic tradition, but in all that she is able to graft on to it by way of a personal vision as capacious as the North American continent.
The “Americana” portion of this synthesis has been plucked variously from bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian ballads and fiddle tunes; in the lyrics from personal experience, Appalachian folktale, Dustbowl narrative, the Old and New Testaments, Greek mythology, and the rough-hewn poetry of West Virginia’s Louise McNeill.
“In her gentle, modest way Carey represents both a well-traveled path, but also an innovation.” - Celtic Beat Magazine
"Capturing moments in life where emotion and nature intertwine to create memories is not easy. For Carey this seems to come naturally, as sunlight, sound and the wind that blows off each season brings with it melancholic moments of sadness and love." - Tony Lawless, Tradconnect
"There is a delicate sensuality in her delivery that, combined with her songwriting skill, should soon see her at the forefront of contemporary Celtic music." - Simon Beards, Maverick Magazine
"US born singer-songwriter Kyle Carey has a pleasing voice, which she wields with deft assuredness and gentle charm. Her music, a hybrid form that she describes as Gaelic Americana, owes its special qualities to Carey’s life-long study of Scottish Gaelic music, language and culture." - Songlines Magazine
"A voice to die for." - Mike Harding
"Kyle Carey is delicious!" - Ellen Ellis, WVUD