Katie McMahon
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Katie McMahon


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"Katie McMahon: It's never too late for a St. Pat's fix"

Photo courtesy of katiemcmahon.com
The release of singer Katie McMahon's "St. Patrick's Day" CD will be celebrated Saturday at the Cedar Cultural Center.

By Michael Metzger
Friday, April 11, 2008
Singer Katie McMahon is a set of interesting contradictions. She's a native of Ireland, but lives in Minneapolis. Her new CD is titled "St. Patrick's Day," but the party celebrating its release is a month after the holiday.

McMahon is best known for starring in the massive, upright Irish dance show Riverdance, but her own dancing is limited to country swing. She has toured with New Age icons Secret Garden, but she also enjoys getting out to a pub now and then to down a pint or two.

McMahon laughs easily when asked about the paradoxes dotting her life.

St. Patrick's redux
She explains that her CD release party on Saturday, April 12, at the Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., is calculated to dose people on Irish music after the big, green injection available on St. Patrick's Day. You can hear samples of the CD here.

"There's so much Irish music happening around St. Patrick's Day, that I thought I'd wait. People might've gotten over their March fix and want more in April," she says.

The CD is a mix of traditional and contemporary Irish folk music, all carried by her silvery soprano. Highlights include "St. Patrick's Prayer," which opens with a mournful Latin chant, morphs into what sounds like a pagan call to the sun, and then closes with musical and lyrical adoration of Jesus.

Though she can't count the song as something entirely original, the weave of melodies and tones are McMahon's doing.

"[The song] is semi-written by me," she says, laughing. "The words are by St. Patrick, but I basically took some really old tunes and set them all together in a way that had never happened before. So it's, strictly speaking, an original tune now, because the melodies are so old."

She says she'll perform all of "St. Patrick's Day" with her band, plus some new material and a song or two from her previous CDs. When asked if she would perform anything from her Riverdance days, there's a pause.

"If someone shouts out [a request], yeah, we would do it," she says finally.

It isn't as if McMahon is embarrassed by her work for the one-time danceshow phenomenon or by her work with Anúna, the respected Irish choral group that was, in part, folded into Riverdance.

She's not opposed to looking back, she says. She sometimes listens to Anúna and Riverdance recordings.

"It's quite a trip and it's nice to get nostalgic," she says. "Being in Anúna had its ups and downs but that was a very exciting experience. We really started off as a small group that didn't pull many people to our concerts and then we got extremely successful and U2 would come to our shows. It was very exciting.

"With Riverdance, it was instantly so enormous," she remembers. "And the music for both groups was very good music that I was proud to be doing. It wasn't, 'Oh god, this is embarrassing.'"

McMahon said the performers in Riverdance understood that a tipping point in the public's appetite would be reached. Soon, the Irish step-dancing spectacle began to be a source of laughs.

"I think in a funny way, you almost have to be flattered when you see a Riverdance sketch happening on SNL. It's kind of like, 'Hey, we've arrived. We're a part of the culture.'"

Journey to Minneapolis
If you watch the YouTube video of the performance that launched the Riverdance phenomenon — the group's acclaimed assault on the senses at the 1994 Eurovision song contest — McMahon's face and voice are what you see and hear first. Within moments, the poofy-shirted Michael Flatley takes over, of course, with his trademarked hokey hoofing.

McMahon admits that sometimes Flatley, who stomped off of Riverdance over creative differences, re-emerging with a spin-off, Lord of the Dance, was a bit much.

"To my mind, Riverdance was a much classier show," she says.

She left Riverdance in 2000. She says she has seen audiences for the performances diminish, forcing the mammoth shows themselves to shrink.

"They're about half the cast we had," McMahon says.

Back in the day, however, Riverdance was playing at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis with McMahon belting out "Home and the Heartland" and other soaring, pounding favorites.

That's where McMahon, now 38, met her future husband, Ben Craig, who worked at the theater.

"His title was Artist Relations," she says with a laugh, "which was ironic."

Craig took the Riverdance singers out for an evening of fun at nearby Lee's Liquor Lounge.

"That's where we got to know each other and know how to do some swing dancing."

The couple still occasionally steps out, she says, when she's not busy with her career and he's not busy playing with his rockabilly band, Stockcar Named Desire, and they're both not busy taking care of their 2-year-old.

This note's for you
McMahon will be joined onstage at the Cedar by Zack Kline on fiddle, Karen Mueller on guitar and autoharp, Marc Anderson on percussion, Jenny Russ (backing vocals) and Irish stepdancers Cassia and Jenna Gille.

Tickets for the show are $20 in advance; $24 on the day of the show.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a reception for ticketholders sponsored by Guinness. Translation: free, black beer.

McMahon won't be partaking of any brew before the show, however. She says the stuff isn't conducive to making her style of Irish music.

"I've got a really high voice and if I have something to drink, it just doesn't work really well," she says, breaking into laughter. "I admire people who can get up after a couple of pints. It's never something for me to do, I know from past experience."
Upcoming pick
McMahon's husband, bassist Ben Craig, rips it up in Stockcar Named Desire (listen to the band here) on Saturday, April 12 (the same night as her CD release party), 9:30 p.m., at Neisen's Sports Bar and Grill in Savage (4851 W. 123rd St.). No cover charge. - MinnPost.com

"Q&A: Katie McMahon"

Written by Andrea Myers
Friday, April 11, 2008 at 07:00 AM

Katie McMahon
Anyone who's attended Grand Old Day in St. Paul or stumbled into Kieren's Pub in Minneapolis on a Wednesday night knows that traditional Irish music and culture is still very much alive and well in the Twin Cities. But for the majority of us non Irish-American music fans, our knowledge of locally-produced Irish music barely extends past knowing it exists. With rootsy throwback bands like A Night in the Box and Roma di Luna gaining popularity locally, its time for the Twin Cities scene to get hip to other kinds of traditional music being made in our backyards—and lucky for us, Riverdance veteran Katie McMahon is here to show us the way.

Classically trained as a harpist and singer, McMahon is preparing to release St. Patrick's Day, a new album of traditional and contemporary Irish music that features local musicians Zack Kline (fiddle & octave fiddle), Karen Mueller (guitar & autoharp), Marc Anderson (percussion), and Jenny Russ. Prior to her CD release show this Saturday, McMahon agreed to answer a few questions about her heritage, her experience with Riverdance, and what St. Patrick's Day means to her (hint: her answer doesn't involve green-tinted pints of cheap beer).

Reveille: Where does your story begin?

Katie McMahon: I'm from Dublin, Ireland. Born and raised there until I was about 25, when I got into the Riverdance show.

Reveille: How did that happen?

McMahon: I knew the composer. I didn't have to audition or anything, he just asked me to do the solo... We did it in Ireland a couple of times, and nobody knew it was going to take off. We went to England for a couple of months, and then people from the US came over and starting being involved. We started touring the US and Australia in '96.

Reveille: And it was a phenomenon.

McMahon: Yes, it was. They had three shows running at the same time. Two in Europe and one in America. It was crazy!

Reveille: What was it like coming to America, and what was it about the show that made it so popular?

McMahon: It tapped into something—the Chieftains had a good success here, and they are one of the few that made it really big with traditional music—and Riverdance put a gloss on it. It was the same kind of music, and they put a lot money into it and made it into a show. They basically served it up in a very sexy way. It started off that it was Irish-Americans that were really into it, and then it was everybody. Within two weeks of it being on PBS, I was buying underwear at Bloomingdales and having people say “Oh, she's the singer in that Irish show!” I knew I'd arrived. People have been lovely in America; America was the best audience that we played to. English people are very reserved, but Americans went nuts.

Reveille: How would you compare the way Americans view Irish culture with how it actually is growing up in Ireland?

McMahon: In some ways, it's more similar than I would have thought. When we were touring with the show and the show split, we needed more dancers, and a huge amount of the new dance troupe came from America—I think more people were almost into Irish dancing here than they were in Ireland. In some aspects, [Americans] keep traditions more alive than we would have in Ireland. But then in another way, they are keeping traditions alive that are 200 years old, sort of stuck in a time capsule, whereas in Ireland everything has moved along. What surprised me the most was how conservative America was, under everything. Our picture of America was the movies, glamorous people doing exciting things, but there is this deep conservative vein.

Reveille: Tell me about your show on Saturday.

McMahon: It's a CD release show,for the CD I just did, which I really enjoyed making. Made it here in town. We're having a big concert, and we're also going to have a free Guinness reception from 7 to 8 p.m. Drinks on me! [laughs]

Reveille: How would you describe the songs on your new CD?

McMahon: The music is based on music we had been performing for St. Patrick's Day shows—we always get a lot of bookings that time of year, as you can imagine. I wanted to have some songs that are actually about St. Patrick, and there's one song that's written to those who died hearing St. Patrick's prayer. And then the other songs are a mix of my favorite traditional songs and some completely modern renditions of contemporary Irish music. There's even a bit of Cajun on there.

Reveille: In America, much of the meaning of St. Patrick's day is overshadowed by the way we celebrate; the holiday has turned into more of a drinking frenzy than a recognition of anything traditional. What does St. Patrick's Day mean to you?

McMahon: I don't even know why that day in particular was picked. Was it the day he died? I really don't know. I do know he brought Christianity to Ireland and banished the druids—he banished Paganism, and he was like a rock star in his time. Now it's become a big multi-cultural festival in Ireland. There's a big parade, and every country has a float. It's become a day where people celebrate being Irish, sometimes in really bizarre ways. [laughs] That's what it means to me.

Reveille: If someone wanted to learn more about traditional Irish music being made locally, where should they begin?

McMahon: A lot of the people in my band are in a group called Piper's Crow. I think they got the best acoustic group in City Pages. They're Irish and Scottish; they're really good. What's fun is there's also these Irish music sessions in bars, where there will be like 15 different people playing—Kieren's has those on Wednesdays. Also, there is the Irish Music and Dance Association, IMDA—they have links to all of the different groups on their website.

UP NEXT: Katie McMahon celebrates the release of St. Patrick's Day this Saturday, April 12 at the Cedar Cultural Center. 7 p.m. Guinness reception, 8 p.m. music. $24. All Ages. - Reveille - Andrea Myers

"Celtic Christmas Review"

Care for a Celtic moment? Katie McMahon's bright 'n brilliant "Celtic Christmas" will have you dancing a jig before you know it! This former Riverdance queen possesses a soprano voice that is simultaneously pure as silver and warm as honey. The fiddlin' and other instrumentation are equally superb. The ample liner notes provide all the information you need to know, including the lyrics and background for each song.

The 15 numbers provide a charming mix of seasonal selections; perhaps four were unfamiliar. Some numbers are rousing (such as "The Boar's Head Carol" and the instrumental "Christmas Day & Christmas Eve Tunes"), and many are sweetly gentle ("The Wexford Carol", "The Holly and the Ivy"). The opening "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" is a knockout. McMahon sings an emotionally-charged a cappella lead-in and close; in the middle, other voices and gentle instruments chime in exceptional harmonies. One song "Christmas Pipes" is totally new and totally wonderful--upbeat, rollicking, classic and classy, and it incorporates "Good Christian Men Rejoice" as a mid-song interlude. Surprisingly, I was humming along to "Christmas Pipes" even during the first run-through.

"Celtic Christmas" is crowded with favorites. I have always loved "My Dancing Day," and McMahon's version swept me away. Her high voice so effortlessly alights upon the top notes with no hint of shrillness. Amazing! The haunting-yet-heavenly vocals on the gorgeous lullaby "Suantrai" are exceptionally enchanting. McMahon's solo a cappella gymnastics on the closing number "The First Day of the Year" are alone worth the price of admission.

In the end, it's all about "the voice," and Katie McMahon carries the day without hesitation. Her vocal instrument should be declared a national treasure and put under heavy guard. Celtic lovers unite behind "Celtic Christmas"; just be certain to keep your CD where you put your valuables.

--Carol Swanson
(Reviewed in 2004)

From the liner notes:


Katie McMahon:
Vocals: All tracks except 4.
Harp: Tracks 4, 9, 10 & 11.
Tom Schaefer: Fiddle on all tracks except 10 & 13-15.
Karen Mueller:
Autoharp, Guitar & Bouzouki on all tracks except 10 & 13-15.
Michael Bissonnette: Percussion on 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 & 14.
Singers: Lisa Gulbranson, Sue Krueger, Mark Uecker (solo on track 8) & John Gisselquist: All tracks except 3, 4, 9, 10 & 15.

From the promotional materials:

Katie's new CD is a collection of your favorite carols and traditional Irish Christmas music that will set your feet tapping. Of note are "Silent Night," "Good King Wenceslas" and the catchy, never before recorded "Christmas Pipes," which is sure to become a new Christmas standard. If you like Enya and the Chieftains, you're sure to love this new release. - Christmasreviews.com


Most local singers haven't had the president of the United States tell them that he is a great fan of their work. Most local singers have never had U2's lead singer Bono tell them, "You have an amazing voice." Most local singers haven't been embraced by punk legends the Stranglers, or watched as an audience of Hollywood stars jig up and down to their music.

Katie McMahon isn't most local singers. In fact, even though the Dublin native now lives in South Minneapolis, it's probably a stretch to call her a "local singer" at this point. But it wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to call her the world's most famous unknown singer, because literally millions have heard her sing, millions own her video or CD, yet few know her name.

As the lead vocalist for "Riverdance", which plays the Orpheum Theatre through Oct. 24, and former singer for the ethereal Irish music group Anuna, McMahon has toured the world over. So why did she end up in the Twin Cities? For the same reason so many local Irish musicians, from Paddy O'Brien to Daithi Sproule, came here and stayed: love.

When "Riverdance" made its second stop in the Twin Cities, in March 1998 at the Orpheum, McMahon met local rocker Ben Craig, who escorted some "Riverdance" cast members to Lee"s Liquor Lounge for a night of swing dancing, and another Trailer Trash romance was born.

"He's a great guy, and the fact that I'm Irish and he's American never was a thing. We hit it off right away," says McMahon, sitting in the living room of Craig's house, where she's staying during the current "Riverdance" run.

Since then, the two have carried on a long-distance relationship, as Craig busied himself with his band (A Stockcar Named Desire), and McMahon toured Australia and North America. They will be married in September in Ireland. The nuptials will coincide with McMahon's planned departure from "Riverdance", which she has been a part of since its inception in May 1994.

"At this point, it's been nearly five years, and I'm ready to move on and to something new," says McMahon, a classically trained harpist and singer who studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Trinity College in Dublin. "I really believe in doing something not just for the money, but to have a good time. When it's no longer fun, it's a drag.

"Riverdance" is gonna go strong for a long time. But it's also a personal thing. You know, how long can I keep on singing the same songs, night after night."

To that end, McMahon has already planted the seeds for her musical future, Her CD of last year, "After the Morning," is a gorgeous mix of traditional and sacred Celtic music that plays like a natural extension of her work with Anuna, the mystical new choir that helped forge a dark, medieval, faerie-like musical movement in Ireland.

"In 1991, Anuna was really changing. It had been a sort of classical choir, and after I joined, we just got kind of crazy and had great fun together," she says. "We had all sorts of ideas and started wearing black Gothic dresses, and performed a lot in churches, with candles and processionals. And it became a huge, trendy thing in Dublin."

Then "Riverdance" came along, and many members of Anuna were swept up in its gale. Since then, "Riverdance" has grossed more than $100 million, the Grammy-winning soundtrack went multiplatinum and the home video has sold more than 5 million copies. It would be tempting for any working musician to ride such a gravy train, but McMahon, 29, needs more. Even while performing in eight "Riverdance" shows a week, she's rehearsing songs for her new CD, which she plans to record with the help of some of the Twin Cities' best Irish players, including O'Brien, Sproule, and Todd Menton.

"I've never wanted to be a musical singer, whereas some people would kill for it," she says. "But "Riverdance" isn't really like any other musical. The music's good, and there's a lot of integrity to the show, so it's been a cool thing to do."

For the moment, McMahon is getting acclimated to her new town. She loves the brilliance of the Minnesota autumn, is wary of the looming Minnesota winter (she took up skiing last year) and is awed by the myriad Minnesota cultural opportunities. Most of all, she's busy with her sophomore CD, which will be released on her own label, Credo records (in Latin, "I believe"), next year.

What's more, she's preparing for her first solo gigs at 5.30 p.m Oct. 23 at Borders Brooks in Richfield and 7 p.m. Nov, 4 at Barnes & Nobel in Edina. It might seem like small potatoes for a singer who has played to packed houses for five years. But for the world's most famous unknown singer, it sounds just right.

"I don't want to be hugely famous because I've had a slight taste of it in "Riverdance", and I know that's not for me," she says. "I'd just like to go on and make records, meet people and have a good time."

www.katiemcmahon.com - ST PAUL PIONEER PRESS Published Friday, October 15, 1999 by Jim Walsh, Music Critic

"Celtic Christmas - RamblesReview"

Just in time for the two-week stretch leading up to Christmas, an early present arrived in my mailbox from Irish singing sensation Katie McMahon. Celtic Christmas can't help but put you into a festive, yet contemplative, frame of mind.

First brought to the public's attention as a vocal soloist for Riverdance, the former Anuna singer (now touring with Secret Garden) uses her perfect soprano voice to great effect and celebrates the holidays in style.

The 15-track CD is a joyous occasion all by itself. And Katie provides a varied playlist for the party, with songs that range from sacred to secular, somber to sprightly.

The disc begins with a beautiful, sparse version of "In the Bleak Mid-Winter." The mood picks up considerably for "The Boar's Head Carol," which starts at a good clip and gets even jollier by the end. For "The Wexford Carol" and "The Holly & the Ivy," Katie returns to a more relaxed, peaceful setting, and she sings them with just the right touch of wistful wonder. During "My Dancing Day," I can easily imagine the singer twirling across the floor to the lively beat.

"Silent Night," justly called the most famous carol of all time, gets regal treatment here. Not only is Katie's voice gorgeous, as usual, but she sings the first verse in the original German, the second (my favorite!) in Gaelic and the last in English.

The second half of the album is easily as strong as the first, including a peppy "Good King Wenceslaus," a delicate "What Child is This" leading into a spirited "Greensleeves" jig, a soothing "Little Road to Bethlehem" and a jaunty "Christmas Pipes." "In Dulci Jubilo" weaves an intricate web of joyful song in both English and Latin. "Suantrai" is a Scots-Gaelic lullaby that captures the essence of a mother's love. "Gaudete" is fast and fun, an enthusiastic song of praise. Katie closes the album with "The First Day of the Year," a 12th-century Irish carol presented here a cappella, all the better for its simplicity.

The recording benefits from the work of several fine musicians. Katie herself provides a precise, lilting harp on four tracks, while Tom Schaefer supplies fiddle, Karen Mueller plays autoharp, guitar and bouzouki, and Michael Bissonnette adds percussion. Additional singers are Lisa Gulbranson, Sue Krueger, Mark Uecker and John Gisselquist. Besides brilliant backing, the musicians get a chance to shine on the instrumental track "Christmas Day/Christmas Eve."

The green-on-green liner notes are excellent, providing the lyrics as well as brief notes from Katie explaining the history of the music or some personal significance to her.

All in all, this is a package Christmas enthusiasts will love to find under their trees. But do them a favor, really, and give it to them a week or two early so they can enjoy the Yuletide with this sweet, majestic music. - Rambles - Tom Knapp

"Katie McMahon After the Morning - Rambles Review"

Katie McMahon's pure, clear soprano is best known from the show Riverdance and vocal group Anuna. On her first solo release, she shows that she does not need an elaborate show or the support of a choral group to enhance her voice. Her carefully selected songs are minimally arranged, leaving it to her beautiful singing to carry the album. Combining laments and more cheerful songs with jigs and instrumental pieces, modern and ancient, McMahon has created a diverse, engaging album.

Beginning with "Caleno," McMahon sets the scene by providing a wonderfully harmonized song. The a cappella song "After the Morning" tells of a tragic hanging narrowly averted. Changing the mood considerably is a sprightly Gaelic song about drinking all night long! She then moves into familiar territory with "Heartland" from Riverdance. This version has a much more paired-down arrangement, but loses none of the beauty of the original, which McMahon also sang.

"A Stor Mo Chroi" is another lament about the leaving of the many immigrants who went to North America and who were mourned as if they were dead as they would never be seen by their families again. The mood shifts once again with a jaunty tune, then back with a lament in Gaelic, "The Land of Erin (Ardaigh Guain)." "Ecce Puer" is a song about the cycle of life and death, and has a melancholy feel to it. An upbeat instrumental, "Breda's Jigs," provides a counterpoint to the slower songs on the album and the fiddle takes the lead for the set. The following "Carolan's Farewell to Music" is a familiar harp tune, played delicately, evoking the sadness of the last bard playing his harp for the last time.

The last two tunes, "Winter, Fire & Snow" and "Adieu, Adieu," end the album on a beautiful note. The tempo of the two songs and the a cappella arrangement of the final track are perfect for McMahon's gentle, emotive voice, allowing her to wring every ounce of sorrow from the songs.

The overall sound of the album has elements of traditional Irish music, as well as a more mediaeval tone at times. The instrumentation varies considerably throughout the album, ranging from the addition of uileann pipes, piano, harp, fiddle and percussion on some tracks to voice and harp on others, while two tracks include an additional singer. McMahon also provides her own harmony on several tracks. The majority of the album is McMahon's singing and harping in different styles and tempos, with enough variety to ensure the listener remains attentive.

Katie McMahon has gathered together many unique songs to include on her album, making it a worthwhile investment simply to hear some different material. In addition to her interesting songs, she also has a lovely voice and the arrangements are carefully done to maintain her vocal talents as the focal point of the album. With her beautiful soprano and harping, the recording is a delicate and gentle collection of songs. Highly recommended. - Rambles - Jean Emma Price

"After the Morning - Amazon Review"

Best known as a featured singer in the musical Riverdance, Katie McMahon debuts with this fine CD on Paradigm Records, featuring members of the Riverdance band. McMahon's classically trained voice positively soars on this album, with a bright, clear sweetness reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt. "Galeno" opens the CD, a ballad in which McMahon's voice is underscored chiefly by acoustic guitar. "Heartland" (from Riverdance) is similar, while the title track (the story of a noblewoman who rescues her love from being hanged) is a fine unaccompanied performance. There are faster songs as well, such as "'Til the Sun Comes Up (Nil Se'n La)," "Down the Moor," and "Breda's Jigs," featuring the dancing rhythms that have made Irish music so popular. Overall, this is a great debut from one of Ireland's loveliest voices. --Genevieve Williams - Amazon.com

"Celtic Christmas Review - CD Baby"

The original lead singer from the Riverdance show, Katie McMahon presents a gorgeous album of reflective Christmas songs. As always, her tender, sweet and poetic voice is enough to make any album sparkle; however, complementing her beautiful lyrical song is a delightful variety of Celtic-flavored accompaniment, from acoustic traditionally- used instruments to liquid washes of sound closer to new age tastes. With a mixture of favorite carols to Irish traditional tunes, this is the choice Celtic Christmas gem for the season. Charming and heart-warming. - CD Baby

"Shine Review - AllMusic.com"

While Celtic music had been gaining fans for a number of years, the popularity of Riverdance helped to bring the Irish branch of the genre into the mainstream. For singer Katie McMahon, steeped in classical and traditional music, becoming the "original voice of Riverdance" proved an apt career move. While Shine, like her debut, After the Morning, features strains of other genres, the flutes, harps, and pipes place the album clearly in the Celtic firmament. The 16th century "Alas Madame" opens the album on a lovely note, combining a delicate arrangement of harp, flute, and violin with intertwining voices that hauntingly capture Henry VIII's song of love. A gentle approach renders instrumentals like "The Peacock's Feather" and "Katie's Kitchen" light as air, while McMahon's clear soprano uses the same tender approach to offer fresh renditions of familiar classics like "Danny Boy." A rich cello and vivid percussion underpin the mystical title cut, while McMahon's lyrics add a darker hue to "Fire." The low-key arrangements, McMahon's ethereal vocals, and the appealing musicianship strive together to make Shine a lovely cycle of songs. For those who enjoyed McMahon's work on other projects, or for any listeners drawn to charming Irish music, Shine will make a fine addition to their CD collections. - AllMusic.com


After the Morning
Celtic Christmas
St. Patrick's Day

I have received extenive airplay throughout the US.



Katie McMahon is probably best known for her exquisite soaring soprano solo in the original Riverdance single, which topped the charts in Ireland for three months. Her voice was described by the Irish Times as "poetry, perfection and purity". Before her work in Riverdance Katie, a born and bred Dubliner, was classically trained in voice and harp and studied Italian and Drama Studies in Trinity College. During a break from her studies, Katie joined the vocal group Anuna and is a featured soloist on their first two CDs.

Bill Whelan (Riverdance composer) heard her perform with Anuna and asked her to sing the solo in the interval piece at the Eurovision. This of course went on to become the hugely successful show Riverdance and Katie toured the world with them for five years as their lead vocalist. While touring in America, she met her husband Ben Craig and has made her home in Minnesota for the past eight years.

During this time she has formed her own band and troupe of Irish dancers. They are in great demand all over the States and play Irish traditional music with a contemporary edge. Two of the many celebrities who have enjoyed Katie's performances are President Clinton and Bono (U2), who pulled her aside afterwards and kindly told her that she had "an amazing voice".

She has released three critically acclaimed solo CDs: After the Morning, Shine and Celtic Christmas, which are available in the States and from this site (just click on Music). In November 2007 she released her fourth solo CD St. Patrick's Day, a celebration of St. Patrick and all things Irish.

Recently, Katie was awarded best folk and acoustic artist by the Minnesota Music Academy. She has also been touring the world with the group Secret Garden as their lead singer & harpist.