March 4, 2006

Cathie Ryan Band

— A honey-pure soprano with a lilt of Gaelic —

Cathie Ryan & Greg Anderson

magical transformation occured at tonight's concert. After a stunning first set - after the refreshment break - a malfunction cropped up in our sound system that punctuated Cathie's singing with gunshot-like explosions that were exceedingly disturbing. The emergency solution was to go unplugged, and a blessing it was. Cathie's crystal clear soprano resonated in a natural way throughout the church sanctuary that serves as our auditorium. An intimacy was achieved that defies description — a truly memorable event.

Cathie Ryan rish American Cathie Ryan, with her crystalline vocals and insightful songwriting, is an original and distinctive voice in Celtic music. Since her acclaimed 7-year tenure as lead singer of Cherish the Ladies, the Detroit born Ryan has established herself as one of Celtic Music's most popular and enduring singer-songwriters. She is a thrilling traditional vocalist whose honey-pure soprano is equally at home on probing original ballads about a woman's place in the modern world.

athie is a captivating and deeply affecting performer. "There is nothing like a live show, being with an audience, sharing the music. That is the best part of being a singer and writing songs," she says. She has built a loyal following throughout Europe and North America by touring steadily and singing 'songs of the heart.' At a live performance The Irish Echo observed, "Cathie Ryan certainly knows how to communicate with her audience. And what she communicates through song are the enduring values of home, family, memory, and spirit ..."

n 2003 Cathie was included in the famous Irish music collection, A Womanís Heart — A Decade On placing her amongst Irish musicís finest female vocalists and songwriters. It was the first time Americans were featured in the series and she shared the honor with Allison Krauss, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. In recent years, her original songs have been recorded by such distinguished Irish vocalists as Frances Black and Mary Black among others. Cathie has performed on national and public television in the United States and Europe, appeared on NPRís Mountain Stage and Thistle and Shamrock, PRIís The World, BBC2 in England, Radio Scotland, and RTE, RnG, and TG4 in Ireland. She was voted one of the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America Magazine, Chicagoís Irish American News honored her as Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade, and the LA Times recently named her, "One of the leading voices in Celtic music."

Farthest Wave athie's newest CD The Farthest Wave, is her prettiest and gentlest recording, yet also her boldest. The carefully sculped lyrics produce one long, sweet and deeply wise song, born of troubled times, but refusing to linger on them. "This recording is about wanting to belong, somehow losing that sense of security and love; and what you do once that happens," Ryan says. "In the past two years, I've lost people I loved in my life, lost the foundation of what I thought my life was .... and with those loses went my support system." Yet, this is not an album about loss, but about finding what you need inside your own spirit; not about falling, but of rising again.

Greg Anderson and member Greg Anderson is one of folk music's most respected multi-instrumentalists. He has long been a mainstay in the New York Irish music scene, and has been the musical director of the Cathie Ryan Band for 8 years. He plays guitar, bouzouki, cittern, tenor guitar, bass, and keyboards, as well as providing backing vocals.   Hanneke Cassell

anneke Cassel, a member of the Cathie Ryan Band for over 5 years, performs on fiddle, keyboard and backing vocals. She also tours and records as a solo act and as a member of Boston-based fiddle bands ChildsPlay and Halali. Her fiddling has graced the stages of Bostonís Symphony Hall, opening for Judy Collins, Mountain Stage, The Plaza Hotel, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

Cathie Ryan & Greg Anderson

his evening met all of our expectations and was truly unforgettable ... a grand evening of Gaelic pleasures and Celtic treats ... and Cathie's first unplugged treasure !

Praises for her performances:Cathie Ryan Band

  • The Farthest Wave is "...a perfect marriage of voice and verse...The stubborn beauty of the CD is a revelation."
      The Wall Street Journal

  • "There is a powerful sweetness in Cathie Ryan's voice, as well as a Celtic intensity that can be felt in all the songs she writes and sings — songs of place, songs of memory, poignant songs of the heart."
      Billy Collins, Former U.S. Poet Laureate

  • "Concert of the Year Award ... Cathie Ryan, our Female Vocalist of the Decade, is quite simply the best. She and her talented, versatile band give the definitive live Irish music performance."
      Irish American News, Chicago

  • "Cathie Ryan has the soul of a true folksinger and a crystalline voice that turns even simple songs into gems. One hears in Ryan the sounds of old and new worlds."
      Hartford Courant

  Link to Cathie's music clips:     or her web site:

Opening for The Cathie Ryan Band tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Larry Moser & Mary Nagin
  • Denise Romas
  • Patrick O'Rourke
  • Jan Sharlun

  • Larry Lewitt   Larry Lewitt

  • Mary Lamont   Mary Lamont

  • Hank Stone   Hank Stone

  • Molly Dearie   Molly Dearie (age 9)

  • Robin Inwald   Robin Inwald

  • Pat Shih         Pat Shih & Steve Fricker
          with Steve Fricker
  • Our host this evening was Ira Perlman. If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...