Eilidh Patterson
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Eilidh Patterson

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Eilidh (pronounced I-lee) Patterson is a young and extremely talented Irish singer-songwriter from Derry in the north-west of Ireland. For those interested in these things, her first name is Scots-Gaelic in origin and means ‘ray of sunshine’. I first heard Eilidh about four or so years ago when mutual friend and local promoter, Andy Peters, handed her a first proper support gig at the Bronte Music Club and have kept an eye on her progress since then. She has now gone from filling the opening slot for many touring international names at various venues and festivals mainly in and around Belfast, to sharing the stage with the likes of Lynn Miles, Gretchen Peters and Beth Nielsen Chapman among others.

This is her first CD which I have found to be a very creditable first commercial offering. All songs, with the sole exception of the title track, co-written with Lisa Aschmann, are self penned and several are exceptional. Still Learning, inspired by the words of Michelangelo, is one well worth a listen as is Moving On and Falling Hard and Fast. However my personal favourite is Do I Ever Cross Your Mind? This has a typical country ballad storyline of a lost, but not forgotten, love in the classic western style and which, I believe, was written in a hotel room in Austin immediately after a returning from a Willie Nelson concert. How more country could it be? I firmly believe that had this song been written and released by someone of the stature of the aforementioned Gretchen Peters, it would be receiving widespread, international airplay. In my opinion, it’s really a great song and well worth wider attention.

Ex-Wings guitarist, Henry McCullough, and local legend, Percy Robinson (guitar, dobro), were among the backing musicians assisting in this self-released album. The absolute clincher is that my wife loves it – high praise indeed! A very good debut from an artist to watch out for in the future. - Maverick Magazine - June 2010 issue, no longer online.


Eilidh Patterson was an unknown name to me until I saw her play with Beth Nielsen Chapman on her recent tour. Clearly having recognised her talents, Beth also had Eilidh perform one of her own songs- I wonder how many ‘wows’ were emitted night after night.

Eilidh Patterson hails from Derry in Northern Ireland and When The Time Comes is her debut CD, expertly produced by none other than U2’s sound engineer, Alastair McMillan. Written over a period of seven years, the CD has a distinctly folk sound, yet carries a modern twist.

What is immediately striking is the purity of Eilidh’s voice; you could listen to her sing for hours. Moving On, the first single from the album, was inspired at a time when Eilidh was thinking of moving from Derry to Belfast a few years ago. It’s a song about being content with change – something I suspect many of us grapple with. Precious Cargo speaks of longing, many will connect with the loss explored in Letting Go (not to be confused with the Suzy Bogguss/ Doug Crider song of the same title – this was written by Eilidh) Do I Eve Cross Your Mind was inspired when watching a Willie Nelson gig in Austin, Texas a couple of years ago. Ostensibly lamenting a lost love, it is lyrically quite brilliant, even incorporating other well known song titles. You Are There touches on the idea of faith, and It’s Easy is full of the joy evoked when embarking upon a new relationship.

However, for me, the absolute standout track is the beautiful Still Learning. The idea for the song was planted when Eilidh received a copper plaque from a friend, inscribed with the quote; I Am Still Learning” - Michaelangelo. Articulately written, it begins with the perspective of a baby learning to walk then moves through to adulthood. It is particularly evident in this song what a fine wordsmith Eilidh is, and at times she uses words and lines worthy of a Gretchen Peters or Beth Nielsen Chapman song.

This is one of the strongest debut CDs I have had the pleasure of listening to and am already looking forward to seeing what else Eilidh Patterson has in store. For now, this CD belongs in everyone’s collection, as I suspect that I am still learning, as are the rest of her fans, what her talents truly are. - Flyinshoes Review


Discography

EP 'Still Learning' released in 2007.

Single 'Moving On' released in September 2009.

Album 'When The Time Comes' released in October 2009.

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Bio

Born into a line of singers, poets and folk musicians, Eilidh’s natural creative talents were nurtured through impromptu fireside ‘sessions’, a common occurrence in many Irish families. As a teenager, Eilidh asked her father to show her some chords on the guitar and since then she has never looked back.

Eilidh's is a unique talent, both as writer and singer. Her self-accompaniment on guitar is clean and precise, the music moulded to the mood of each individual song. Lyrically her compositions bring a message as passionate and fresh as the vocal. It is music borne of personal experience, fully alive to this world’s joys and sorrows, beguiling and beautiful, eloping with the listener’s affections.

In 2007, Eilidh released her first E.P. with the help of engineer and producer Alastair McMillan (Van Morrison, U2). ‘Still Learning’, the title track, is one of her most requested songs to date which describes her reaction to hearing the famous quote by Michaelangelo, “I am still learning.”

It wasn’t long before Eilidh was being offered opportunities to perform further afield. For the past 3 years in a row, Eilidh has played showcases at the SxSW music festival in Austin TX and has also played various shows in Nashville TN to help promote the Sister City link between Belfast and Nashville.

Eilidh is now a regular visitor to Nashville where she co-writes and performs with fellow songwriters. On a recent trip, she was asked by her friend and mentor, Beth Nielsen Chapman, to record harmonies on Chapman’s new album 'Back To Love'. Eilidh performed at various UK folk festivals with Beth in 2009 and she has just returned from Beth's 2010 sell-out UK tour where large audiences were exposed to Eilidh's songs every night. At SxSW 2010, Eilidh performed alongside two of her songwriting heroes, Lynn Miles and Ron Block (of AKUS).

Eilidh's music continues to receive regular radio airplay in N. Ireland and more recently, in the rest of the UK.

“Eilidh has a voice as clear as the frosty night air and her self-penned songs suggest a maturity beyond her years. Brilliant.” - Maverick magazine

"Eilidh Patterson's voice is velvet and air. The richness of her
sound and her songs is something beautiful to behold and she is definitely an artist to watch!" - Beth Nielsen Chapman

“(Eilidh) has the potential to be our (N.Ireland’s) best ever musical success.” - The Belfast Telegraph

“I love ‘Still Learning’. It’s a wonderful song, beautifully performed and recorded.” - Kieran Goss

“I'm enjoying When The Time Comes....especially "Still Learning" and "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind." I like it and I don't like much! It's honest and the singing's cool....reminds me a bit of my friends Gretchen Peters and Eliza Gilkyson.” - Tom Russell.