Kate O'Callaghan
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Kate O'Callaghan

Kilcormac, Leinster, Ireland | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Kilcormac, Leinster, Ireland | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"“The Still Beyond” Kate O’Callaghan’s dazzling debut album is an intelligent, meaningful and extraordinary listening experience"

“The Still Beyond” Kate O’Callaghan’s dazzling debut album is an intelligent, meaningful and extraordinary listening experience. Effortlessly related, it combines touches of folk, jazz and blues. The songs, all Kate originals, are inspired by her own observations and life experiences. Combined with Kate’s crystal clear voice, sophisticated, soft spoken storytelling and her expressive song lyrics “The Still Beyond” is a brilliant compilation of lyrics and melody!

Of the twelve tracks, I found myself listening over and over to three. Each one of them unique from the rest. “The Still Beyond” (also the album name) is an errily haunting instrumental piece. “Painted Lady” inspired by the long yearly migration of the beautiful Painted Lady butterfly is a charming success story of determination against all odds. “Undone” tells a story of the struggles and success of Anna Parnell, political activist in Ireland over 150 years ago.

“The Still Beyond” is a spellbinding eclectic mixture of songs that perfectly come together to create an extraordinary and fascinating debut album. It’s well worth adding to anyone’s music collection.

Kudo’s Kate, this one is most certainly a winner for you!


Painted Lady
My Dear
Left in Disbelief
Reverie of a Radiant Knight
Don’t Think So
Coldness At Dawn
You Said
The Still Beyond
- Fanrealm (USA)

"Subliminal, understated and simply glorious, "The Still Beyond" from Kate O'Callaghan"

Though a new name to many I suspect, Dublin-born Kate is a distinctive songwriting talent who draws unexpectedly heavily on Americana as well as folk for her inspiration. She's now based in Donegal, having moved just a few years ago to the rural Inishowen Peninsula, where she recorded her debut EP, To You (2010). However, even though Kate has since collaborated with many artists including fellow-singer/songwriter Jennifer Kimball and The Henry Girls, and supported Birds Of Chicago on their recent tour, she's remained under the radar to the extent that The Still Beyond will be the first occasion that most of us will have heard of her.

Kate possesses one of those voices that's evocative, but in a subliminal and quite understated way that doesn't wear its heart on the sleeve. This technique is much in keeping with Kate's lyrics, which make a virtue of economy and can be deceptively straightforward (as on the on charming pop-inflected Don't Think So and the jazzy organ-flecked Feel) or enigmatically visionary in their poetry (as on Painted Lady). This dichotomy at times works against a ready appraisal of her writing, however, and it's not always easy to assess her songs' impact on a few preliminary playthroughs. The musical arrangements embrace a small group setting for the most part, with telling use of key instrumental colours like resonator guitar (My Dear), ukulele (Don't Think So) or organ (Jackal). Musicians involved include producer Ted Ponsonby, Hue Jhorgen, Seamus Devenny and Eddie Lee.

My favourite tracks are those which encompass a gentle lilting mood (notably the exquisite Coldness At Dawn, where the expressive shadings of Kate's singing really come into their own, the skewed country-waltzer Reverie Of A Radiant Knight and the poignant Left In Disbelief), or tender emotional honesty (Undone) or sanguine perception (Beholder). The sometimes shifting tonalities of Kate's songs can lend them an elusive tenor, but it's worth persevering and the final impression is of an uplifting personal vision that's compellingly conjured by a delicate musical landscape.

David Kidman - Fatea Magazine (UK)

"'The Still Beyond', the debut album from Donegal songstress is an album of folk tunes that's warm, inviting, charming and delicate. A stunning debut album."

'The Still Beyond' is Kate O'Callaghan accompanied by various musicians proving a blissful soundtrack to her delicate tales of love, desire and relationships that read like poems in the liner notes. When sung by Kate the lyrics come to life and envelop your mind. These are well written songs open to interpretation over delicate music in the form of acoustic guitar, violin, double bass, organ and ukulele.

Songs that impress include 'Reverie of a Radiant Knight' where Kate sings about ... "how beautiful life will be" or 'My Dear' about the pain of being away from a loved one. I love the delicacy of 'Coldness at Dawn' with it's empowering positive lyrics. My favourite song off the album is the jazzy track entitled 'Feel' which suits Kate's vocals with some great lyrics ....

'The Still Beyond' is a great collection of songs, perfect to unwind to and listen as background music and even better to actively listen to.

Kate O'Callaghan - The Still Beyond [10 out of 12]
- 2 U I Bestow (IRL)

"Kate’s journey continues with debut album release"

On FRIDAY, July 12, a rising star on the Donegal music scene will finally mark the upcoming launch of debut album with a very special preview concert at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny.
Carndonagh based singer Kate O’Callaghan has gone from strength to strength since releasing her first EP of original songs three years ago.
What makes Kate’s journey so interesting is that, a scientist with a doctorate in biology, the Dublin native only began singing seven years ago when she moved to Inishowen where she lives with her husband, Carndonagh native Seamus Devenny, and their two sons.
After honing her skills as a singer, initially with the Inishowen Gospel Choir, Kate went on to collaborate with many other Donegal artists until she began writing her own material and released her first EP, To You, in the summer of 2010.
Now she is all set for a big night at the Regional Cultural Centre to present you her new album, The Still Beyond, with a host of talented musicians backing her up.
Kate said she spent the guts of a year recording the album fitting it around ‘everyday family life’. “It wasn’t a case of having twelve songs ready to go into the studio and recording, we just tipped away fitting it around family life.”
The album was recorded with renowned musician Ted Ponsonby at his Soundpool Studio in Letterkenny. “There was a very organic feel to the recording process with Ted and I am very pleased with the end result,” said Kate.
The singer said Ted’s wealth of experience was a great asset. “Ted co-produced the album with me and was very fundamental in a lot of decisions.
“It was great to have someone with his experience on hand making important decisions on things that I would never have thought of. Sometimes it can be very helpful to have somebody else look at something to get their own unique take on it.”
Kate’s husband, well-known musician Seamus Devenny, is her right-hand man when it comes to her music. “Seamus played all the drums and percussion on the album and all violins, except one additional violin on one of the songs, which was Ted’s daughter Sarah.”
Since the release of her debut EP, To You, three years ago, Kate has performed on a very regular basis. “A good friend of mine, singer songwriter Finbarr Doherty, also features on guitar. I play with him regularly. On double bass is Sligo’s Eddie Lee and I was also pleased that my old friends the Henry Girls also featured on the album with me.”
Kate also recently featured in the new YouTube series, Goof’s Gaff @ The Workshop, which is filmed at the home of instrument makers, The Howards of Letterkenny.
Kate’s recording of her new song Feel is the fourth instalment of the series, following performances by Ted Ponsonby, Pat Muldowney and Charlie McGettigan.
“My own guitar was actually made by Jamie Howard, Fitz’s son, and I feel so privileged to have been asked to be part of this series, following such legendary musicians.”
As Kate prepares for her concert at the RCC, things have been ‘nerve-wrecking’. “This is a big thing for me; I have performed with big bands before, but of late it has mainly been a two-piece and performing further afield. To get to play my music in Donegal with a big band is very special, and it has the makings of an incredible, one of those that don’t come around too often.”
Patrons coming to the concert on July 12, will receive a complimentary copy of Kate’s new album and will be the first people to receive one, as The Still Beyond, will not be out for general release until September 9. Kate has a busy schedule ahead of her which will see her performing various locations supporting acts such as her good friends the Henry Girls and Session Americana from Boston, as well as her double bill with US band The Wiyos at the Balor Arts Centre on September 27.
- See more at: http://donegalnews.com/2013/07/kates-journey-continues-with-debut-album-release/#sthash.CisBrsQX.dpuf - Donegal News (IRL)

"Rewind at Odessa Club | Review"

The beautifully evocative Kate O Callaghan (joined on stage by husband Seamus Devenny) performed some of the highlights from the night. She has a certain sultry stage presence, a combination of suggestive smiles and swaying hips, yet also maintains a traditional value through her polite manner; a treat for the senses. - GoldenPlec (IRL)

"A song, a dance and a magical musical tour that hits all the right notes in Ireland"

...Back at McGrory’s, it was Inishowen rock oysters and fillet of halibut for dinner, after which dreamy local lass Kate O’Callaghan was singing soulful ballads in the bar....
- Daily Mail (UK)

"Join the diddly-eye party (fiddle optional)"

A new music trail uncovers the lyricism of Northern Ireland's sights. Oliver Bennett takes a tour with its own soundtrack....Back at McGrory's, local singer Kate O'Callaghan performed exquisitely in the front bar..... - The Independent (UK)

"List: Best 50 Songs of 2010 [31 - 40]"

38: Kate O'Callaghan - When I Get Low

Donegal's Kate O'Callaghan released a fine EP called 'To You'. The last song was this little folky number performed live.
- 2 U I Bestow (IRL)

"Tweet Review: Kate O'Callaghan - To You"

A Tweet Review is a short review in 140 characters or less!

Jazzy folk with a dash of fun, humour, crisp lyrics and excellent vocals. Impressive debut EP which belongs next to Imelda May & M. Shocked!

Kate O'Callaghan - To You [9 out of 12]
- 2 U I Bestow (IRL)

"To You by Kate O' Callaghan"

I’ve spent several weeks listening to Irish singer/songwriter Kate O’Callaghan’s brand new debut EP, To You, and can state unequivocally that she is not a vocalist content to sing traditional pub songs nor is she a storyteller of Irelands’ days past. Kate is a genre of one, distinctive in both her writing style and vocal delivery. This isn’t a bad thing but rather a refreshing change from the hackneyed lyric interpretation of so many contemporary female singers these days. Reminiscent of blues club and 60’s beatnick coffee house singers, Kate relates stories of life, feelings of heartache and the passion most people conceal. Her self penned songs are distinctive, thoughtful, heartfelt, provocative, humorous and most definitely all her own. They are unique. She is unique.

Over the weeks I found myself returning to two favorites, If Love is a Red Dress and When I Get Low, and playing them again and again. Poignant and engaging, I found Red Dress just the song to curl up with on a dark rainy day to relive memories of past loves. When I Get Low is amusing, upbeat and showcases Kate’s ability to switch flawlessly between blue and bubbly without missing a beat or breaking a sweat.

With her distinctive lyric blend and the bands offbeat instrumentation, this EP is well worth adding to any collection. Descriptive words layered upon unusual melodies blend together to create a totally original sound. Kate O’Callaghan is someone to watch. She surely has the talent to make her mark in the music world. Observe and enjoy.

To You, Kate O’Callaghan’s debut EP, will be released on June 25th of this year, launching at McGrorys in Culdaff. With Mark Black, Peter Doherty, Seamus Devenny, Kevin Murphy and The Henry Girls. - Fanrealm (USA)


The Still Beyond  - 2013
To You EP - 2010

Featured on other Albums:
Skyscrapers - Finbarr Doherty (2011)
Mark Black and the Roots Orchestra, Live at the RCC Album and DVD (2009)



Kate O Callaghan is that rare bird that manages to combine evocative melodies with intelligent considered lyrics, covering a gamut of emotions from the sublime to the cathartic and blending together to create a totally original sound. Distinctive in both writing style and beautiful vocal delivery, Kate draws reference from a very diverse range of sources, from historical figures and local heroes to nature and her surroundings in a skewed, refracted version of folk that is haunting, poignant and uplifting. Her aspect is very much her own, and in arranging songs she explores the less obvious paths tonally as much as the expected.

A singer/songwriter and musician, based in Co. Donegal (Ireland), Kate has collaborated with various artists/groups including Boston based roots collective Session Americana, singer/songwriters Finbarr Doherty (Irl), Jennifer Kimball (US), The Henry Girls (Irl), Duke Special (N.Irl), Mark Black (Irl) and the Inishowen Gospel Choir (Irl).

Kate has also toured with and/or opened shows for several acts incl. Peter Mulvey (US), Gretchen Peters (Grammy nominated Nashville Singer/songwriter), Birds of Chicago (US/ in association with Roadworks Tours IRL) and Jack Lukeman's award winning 27 Club (Irl).

Festival appearances include Earagail Arts Festival, Clifden Arts Festival, Guth Gafa International Film Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Electric Picnic, Glasgowbury (N.Irl), Maiden City Festival (N.Irl) and Glastonbury (UK).

Kate's debut album The Still Beyond is due for official release on October 7th 2013. Recorded and co-produced with Ted Ponsonby (who has previously worked with both Mary & Francis Black, Dolores Keane, Tommy Fleming, Emmylou Harris etc), the album consists of 12 original tracks performed by Kate (vocals and guitar/ukelele) and features musicians Ted Ponsonby (guitar/dobro/organ), Eddie Lee (upright double bass), Seamus Devenny (violin/drums &percussion), Finbarr Doherty (guitar) and The Henry Girls (guest backing vocals).


"Subliminal, understated and simply glorious, "The Still Beyond" from Kate O'Callaghan" Fatea Magazine (UK)

"Warm, inviting, charming and delicate. A stunning debut album" 2 U I Bestow (IRL)

"Beautifully evocativea treat for the senses" Goldenplec (IRL)

"Jazzy folk with a dash of fun, humour, crisp lyrics and excellent vocals... Impressive debut EP which belongs next to Imelda May & M. Shocked!" 2 U I Bestow (IRL)

Dreamy and Soulful - The Dailymail (UK)

Performed exquisitely.. The Independent on Sunday, London (UK)

Distinctive, thoughtful, heartfelt, provocative and most definitely all her own...She is unique. Observe and enjoy Fanrealm (US)