For over thirty years, singer Mary Black has been a dominant presence in Irish music, both at home and abroad. During that time, she has released 12 studio albums, all of which achieved platinum sales status and spawned countless hits. On October 11th, she will release an album unlike anything she has done before; ‘Mary Black Orchestrated’. This album is a reimagining of 11 of Mary’s favourite songs, orchestrated and produced by world renowned musician and composer Brian Byrne. The album features the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Byrne and is a stunning reinterpretation of songs like ‘No Frontiers’, ‘The Urge For Going’, ‘Summer Sent You’ and ‘Carolina Rua’.
‘Carolina Rua’ is the first single from this Orchestrated album and was originally recorded for ‘No Frontiers’ in 1989. The writer Thom Moore came into Windmill Lane Studios at the end of the recording sessions and played ‘Carolina Rua’ to Mary on his guitar – she loved it and the band got working on recording it straight away. It was a big hit for Mary on radio at the time.
2019 has been a busy year for Mary, hosting the popular TV series ‘Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song’ and still managing to keep up with a busy touring schedule. She was also recently the subject of a landmark RTE Documentary on RTE1. The programme detailed her early beginnings growing up in a tenement on Dublin’s Charlemont Street to her international success with songs such as ‘Song For Ireland’, ‘No Frontiers’ and the blockbuster success of ‘A Woman’s Heart’ as well as her journey from childhood to iconic Irish singer.
However, music is at the heart of things for Mary and embarking on this Orchestrated album is something she’s greatly enjoyed, “What a great honour to have some of my favourite recordings orchestrated by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brian Byrne at the National Concert Hall. I’ve picked songs that mean a lot to me, some well-known and other less known gems. I couldn’t imagine how great they would turn out with Brian Byrne composing some stunning orchestral arrangements that have breathed new life into these songs. Hearing the RTE Orchestra perform them during recording in the NCH was truly moving for me. I’m really excited for the fans to hear this album.” – Mary
While playing a front-line role in bringing contemporary Irish music to an increasingly appreciative and ever-growing global audience, Mary has shared stages, TV shows and recording studios with some of the most revered performers of her time. Her enduring success has proven that her depth of talent and her love of singing transcend the generations, as well as national and musical boundaries. She is indeed a real Irish treasure and her talent a gift from this small island to a grateful world.
Mary has completed the first leg of her Irish tour and kicks off again around the country on October 27th. She’ll play venues nationwide with a special selection of orchestrated songs;
Oct 27th Dingle Folk Festival (Co. Kerry)
Nov 2nd Vicar Street, Dublin
Nov 7th Strule Arts Centre, Omagh
Nov 8th Theatre Royal, Waterford
Nov 9th Town Hall Theatre, Waterford
Nov 16th The Guildhall, Derry
Nov 23rd The Opera House, Wexford
Mar 13th Solstice Arts Centre, Navan
Mar 14th INEC, Killarney
Mar 17th National Concert Hall, Dublin *with the RTÉ National Concert Orchestra
Album Track Listing:
1. The Urge for Going
2. No Frontiers
3. Carolina Rua
4. Poison Tree featuring Marcia Howard
5. The Summer Sent You
6. The Dimming of the Day
7. Turning Away
8. Bless the Road
9. The Loving Time
10. Adam at the Window
11. Poison Words