I’ve just returned from the Emerald Isle, where Jackie and I had the very great privilege of taking part in a project called ‘Song Sisters’ at the Eargail Arts Festival in Letterkenny, Donegal. The project was set up by Irish singing legend, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from one of my all-time favourite bands, Altan. The show consisted of representatives from Ireland (Mairéad), Scotland (Eddi Reader), Wales (Julie Murphy) and England (Jackie), all accompanied by their backing musicians of choice. These were Boo Hewerdine, Ciarán Curran, Martin Tourish, Cery Rhys Matthews and me. Here we all are in soundcheck (well, with one empty seat, as I took this picture!).
Each singer offered a song for collaboration with the group, which were rehearsed during the day prior to the concert, and also took turns to perform duos and small ensemble arrangements. It was a real joy to work with such inspiring people, and lovely to hear some of the music for the very first time whilst actually on stage! Despite the sold-out auditorium, the best seats in the house were surely ours.

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