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Eleanor McEvoy

The Salutation, Doncaster
Monday 17 October 2005

Eleanor McEvoy was very much on form tonight when she played a couple of intimate sets at The Sal. She sang a selection of songs from each of her five albums including her most recent CD Early Hours. Not only is she a gifted singer and musician (electric and acoustic guitars, piano and fiddle), she's also a wonderful songwriter. She is blessed with a warm velvet voice, and for once, those familiar Irish inflections (ala Cranberries, Alanis Morissette etc - you get the picture?) don't grate. She actually does it so well that it isn't a problem.

When she sang I'll be Willing, I got the distinct feeling that she was singing just for me, there was that kind of intimacy in her voice and in the arrangements. She actually confessed that she prefers this setting to the concert halls she's used to around the world, and it showed. The Rain Falls Down is just the sort of song I like, a folk song for today. It talks about being dumped, but not on the wild and windy moors, or outside a village tavern, but by email. This is the sort of writing that inspires me. Only A Woman's Heart, You'll Hear Better Songs Than This and a whole two handfulls of other songs proved her songwriting credentials more than adequately and she left me wanting more. Unfortunately, Eleanor neglected to bring along her piano, which was a shame. I would've loved to hear her sing October 9th, but tonight it wasn't to be. Maybe next time.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky