Lisa O’Neill in Collaboration with Pat McCabe, Cass McCombs & more
Friday April 20th – The Abbey Theatre
Lisa O’Neill from County Cavan is an Irish songwriter like no other. Her roots may be sourced in folk and traditional music but her work opens up a landscape beyond any settled sense of genre. On her last album, Pothole in the Sky, she set her remarkable incisive voice against impressionistic instrumental back-drops, like Margaret Barry colluding with the Dirty Three or some such meeting of minds. Lisa is not shy of collaboration, and her performances across Ireland, Europe and beyond have featured many great musicians of all ages and traditions. In January she joined a stellar cast of great songwriters and musicians to celebrate the birthday of Shane McGowan at the National Concert Hall. And last month she accepted an invitation from the National Gallery of Ireland to respond to works in the Frederic William Burton: For the Love of Art exhibition, which resulted in another spellbinding performance.
For this event Lisa has invited two world renowned artists to collaborate with her. Pat McCabe from Monaghan is the twice Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Dead School, The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, and numerous other novels which have been brought to life on both stage and on screen. The latter two novels subsequently became internationally acclaimed feature films from director Neil Jordan. McCabe’s work is not so much dark as bleakly humorous, scratching beneath the surface of Irish social issues such as the Catholic industrial school system and emigration. The mutual admiration between him and Lisa O’Neill will be explored in what will be an absolutely fascinating crossroads between music and literature.
Cass McCombs is a recording artist and songwriter who never leans too heavily on genre. Over the course of eight albums he has flirted with everything from downbeat lo-fi recordings to crooner-pop, country music, politicised protest songs, and so on, without ever losing that uniquely Cass sensibility, that laconic voice, those strangely beautiful lyrical portraits. He is widely considered, amongst musicians, fans and critics, as one of the most important American songwriters of this generation. Cass is a fan of Irish music, and that of Lisa O’Neill in particular, and this will therefore be a collaboration of genuine purpose.