As with Karine, I still haven’t met Heidi, but I did see and hear her sing in Boston and thought she was a real cutie, and that was only her voice, which is a most wonderful instrument, I just love it.
I’ll shut up and let people who know those things have a say.
“Heidi Talbot sings in a voice that’s both awestruck and tender” (New York Times)
“Talbot is exquisite. . .Björk combined with Enya” (Village Voice)
Look out for a new star in the glittering firmament of great Irish singers: with the release of her new album In Love and Light, Heidi Talbot is truly set to shine. Already well known to US audiences as lead singer with the Irish-American supergroup Cherish the Ladies.
From the Scottish traditional ballad ‘Glenlogie’ to the vintage Ink Spots hit ‘Whispering Grass’; Tom Waits’ bittersweet classic ‘Time’ to an old parlour hymn, ‘When they ring the Golden Bells’, In Love and Light draws from the full, diverse spectrum of influences that inform Talbot’s exquisitely expressive, honeyed yet ardent singing. Complemented here by the likes of Eddi Reader, ex-Solas guitarist John Doyle, fiddler John McCusker and flute/whistle ace Mike McGoldrick, it’s a voice that’s drawn comparisons as varied as Norah Jones and Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams and Mindy Smith, but which could only have emerged from Talbot’s own particular talents and background.
“Talbot brought the crowd to silence” (Boston Globe)
Growing up in the rural village of Kill, Co. Kildare, Talbot sang in the church choir run by her mother, Rosaleen, meanwhile absorbing the vibrant array of music that filled the family home. “I’m the middle of nine children, it wasn’t like I had loads of money to buy my own tapes and CDs,” she recalls. “I would mostly have heard what everyone else was listening to, whatever was playing in the house. With my Mum, it was Nana Mouskouri and Dolly Parton, but then there’d be Guns’n’Roses and the Pogues coming from my brothers’ bedroom – just a bit of everything, really.”
Whatever the style, Talbot always knew she was born to sing. “I used to get into trouble in school for playing gigs – I remember the headmaster giving out to me because he’d seen my name in the paper for a pub gig, and I hadn’t come to school the next day, so he told me off and said I had to sort myself out, get my priorities straight.”
At sixteen, Talbot enrolled at Dublin’s celebrated Bel Canto singing school, studying for the next year and a half under its founder and director Frank Merriman – “the best teacher in the universe,” according to Sinead O’Connor, another former student. Adapting the classical bel canto technique, mainly associated with opera singers like Maria Callas, for vocalists of any style, Merriman’s method – also known as “bel canto storytelling” – focuses on using the voice as naturally as possible to communicate a song’s narrative elements, teaching that certainly tells in Talbot’s intuitive, eloquent phrasing.
“Ms Talbot is one of the most generous musicians I know. I love the way she sings and she loves what she does. She is CLASS!” (Eddi Reader)
“from the first note she hits, one gets the sort of hair-rising goose bumps that only come along every so often” (PopMatters)
“Sheer, unadulterated class” (Isle of Wight Press)
“the impossibly lovely voice of Heidi Talbot” (All Music Guide)