Kyle Carey weaves together resonant threads of Celtic and American roots music into a rich tapestry of acoustic storytelling called ‘Gaelic Americana’. Kyle was 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, attending Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the Isle of Skye, where 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, 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.
She is the daughter of non-fiction writer Richard Adams Carey and a direct descendant of the Adams and Quincy Adams families. In 2017 she became engaged to Italian philosopher and 2016 ‘Gaelic Learner of the Year’ Carmine Colajezzi.
Ernie Geiger will open the show. Ernie plays the Great Highland Bagpipe which has its roots in the 1300’s and also a lowland pipe. He will be playing a shuttle pipe, which evolved around 1675. Much of his music is Ceol Beag, (light music) which consists of marches, slow airs, and dance music including straspeys, reels, jigs, and hornpipes. This will be a real treat and a perfect compliment to Kyle’s Gaelic performance.