I find myself in the timely position of reporting on a fine Celtic artist and band just prior to St. Patrick's Day. Cara Dillon was in town for GlobalFEST, and treated the crowd to some truly wonderful singing and playing. My own affection for Celtic music probably stems from my early love of bluegrass and later, of country music. The Scots-Irish contribution to these idioms is inextricable and has influenced the way we hear our own popular music so much that we tend to slide right into it easily. It certainly felt that way to me, walking through GlobalFEST with its three stages and four acts each, from all corners of the earth. No matter how good they all might have been, when I landed on Cara's set, I felt like I was home.
The band, comprised of Sam Lakeman on keyboards and guitar, Ed Boyd on guitar, Brian Finnegan on various whistles, and Cillian Vellely on pipes, burned through jigs, ballads and reels. Dillon's voice can sound ethereal at times, but it is in fact a strong and precise instrument, and her choice of repertoire kept the audience by turns enthralled and bouncing.