Tara MacKenzie
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Tara MacKenzie


Band Folk Celtic


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"Jason Pfeiffer, Music Journal Triskell Studio"

Beggar’s Road in Meaford
April 7, 2009 by Jason

A week or so ago we went on one of our “Random Roads” jaunts up towards Owen Sound with the express intent of ending up in Meaford to catch muso friend Tara MacKenzie playing a show with Beggar’s Road. Its was a gorgeous day, the country was beautiful, few enough people on the road and new tunes on the CD player.

We arrived in Meaford a little early and so got to hang out in town a bit, checking out the area. Meaford is a neat little town, touching right on Lake Huron. Great view of the lake, friendly …ok, hungry… seagulls, gorgeous escarpment country. The show was being put on at McGinty’s Cafe, a neat combination cafe/antique shop/peformance space. (These funky multi-use spaces in small towns in Ontario are just way too cool!) The folks at the Cafe were very hospitable and the room was really nice: good acoustics, roomy, full service bar, etc. Definitely a place to check out for a gig (hint).

Beggar’s Road put on a great show. All of the folks in this band have great chops and play really well. They have a nice electro-acoustic take on their material and present a sound that mixes elements of country, celtic, folk and rock .

Their vocalists are quite impressive. Justine Maw-Farrar is incredible. Her voice is silky-smooth, with just the right touch of country-gospel-folk, and has tremendous power. Tara MacKenzie is another amazing vocalist with serious chops. Despite performing while ill, she was spot on, and her original songs added a wonderful Irish touch to the night. Dave Farrar rounds out the vocal duties with a powerful delivery. These powerhouses handle the front line quite ably, and their harmonies added colour and excitement to the night.

The band’s writing and arrangements were wonderfully inventive and full of unexpected harmonies, playful grooves and highlight their tight ensemble playing. This was particularly apparent in their treatment of “The Blacksmith,” a common traditional song. Other highlights included “Ceilidh in the Glen” and “West Island Rail.”

We were so happy to have been able to catch their show and look forward to doing so again. Fair play to you, Beggar’s Road! - http://triskellstudio.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/beggars-road-in-meaford/

"Thom Moore Reviews HIs famous song, The Cavan Girl:"

For those of you following this thread, Tara MacKenzie (who can be found on MySpace or vertproductions.com) is the definitive performer of Cavan Girl -- never mind Danny Doyle or The Barleycorn. Check out her version on her MySpace page -- I thought I'd lost my mind, or died and gone to heaven, or something...

And I love that threat never to record a CD without a song of mine ...I just hope.
Thom Moore - Mudcat Cafe


Bi Thusa Mo Shuile, 1997 ( sold out)
A Million Days, 1998- (sold out)
Simple Irish Ballads and Other Songs for Singing 2005
at cd Baby,
Overcome- Eric Poxleitner, 2006
Charlie Glasspool and the Big Love- available September 2009
Grey County Gospel- Brian Moniz-in production
Butterfly Land- Tara MacKenzie ( in production)



The first thing you notice when you hear Tara MacKenzie sing, is that this voice is special. It's strong, pretty and passionate. You feel surprised. A citizen of Ireland and Canada, she studied voice formally and is a vocal music instructor and voice coach in addition to being a performer. Having lived in 5 countries, she has toured extensively in Europe during the 90's and folk festivals internationally in the early 2000's.

She took some time off from performing to pursue business experiences in management and has re-emerged with fresh vision and distinctly matured sound. Tara has a gift for positioning songs in a set to create an interesting balance. "I love to deliver to a listening audience", says MacKenzie. Her passion is collaborating as well as solo performing.

Tara is fun, friendly and easy to work with. Workshops are a great adventure with her multi cultural instrumentalist leanings, songwriting talent, and interpretive song craft as well as vocal music instructing gifts. She is able to sing in several languages aside from English. Tara has had her singing voice featured in films such as "Let My People Go", produced by New Sound Productions in New Zealand.

Tara adores and eagerly loves to perform at Festivals, Folk Clubs, house concerts and small concert halls. Venues such as these highlight not only her unique musical talent, they also allow her to fully engage the audience so that the experience is fondly memorable.

Tara’s recent highlights:
Opened Vocal Coaching Business.
Composed Scores for Footpath Yoga Music CD.
Judge for the Georgian Bay Folk Society “Young and Hungry” Showcase.
Voted one of the top 5 artists on the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast.
Opened at Roxy Theatre Concert in Owen Sound, Ontario to a standing ovation - a honor few have received.
Featured on Rogers television "Daytime" Program.

What have some Artistic Directors said about experiencing a performance by Tara MacKenzie?

"I was totally blown away. Magic!"
"You my dear, are hired."
"Just bring that voice of yours and we'll be very happy".

Audience commentary during and after various performances by Tara MacKenzie include:
"It's just ridiculous that you aren't famous"
"Last time I felt like this, I was watching Stan Rogers"
"That performance was incredible. Wow!”
"What a voice"

Online Reviews and Comments:

"Hi Tara you have the voice of an Angel absolutely beautiful."
- The Mary K Burke Band, Reverb Nation (Feb 02, 2009)

"Tara MacKenzie is the definitive performer of Cavan Girl, never mind Danny Doyle or The Barleycorn. Check out her version. I thought I'd lost my mind, or died and gone to heaven, or something. I love that threat never to record a CD without a song of mine... I just hope.” Thom Moore
Thom Moore, songwriter (has written hits for Maura O'Connell, Mary Black, Danny Doyle and many others)

"A beautiful and spirited voice, very enjoyable music"
Pierre Bensusan, DADGAD Guitar Master

"Tara MacKenzie. An extraordinarily mature voice. She sounds like a newer Dolores Keane, but her vocal delivery is second to none. A superb new talent, destined to be around for a long, long time."
William Ramoutar, Artistic Director, Irish Ways Radio Program, WFCF 88.5FM Florida

"Every once and a while I find a bright shining gem. Tara MacKenzie is just such a gem. She has a beautiful voice that reminds me of Loreena McKennit, but I like Tara's voice better. She sings as a woman who is sure of herself with passion and romance."
Marc Gunn, Celtic MP3 Music Magazine

"The track ‘My Cavan Girl’ is the best version hands down I have EVER heard. It is deadly."
Matt Malloy, Irish Musician, CD Baby Review

"An absolutely beautiful voice, what a pleasure sharing the stage with you".
David Francey, Juno Award Winning Folk & Roots Artist

"This is one of the greatest voices I have heard in a long time and solid musicianship to join with it. I hope to see Tara live one day in concert"
A fan from Edmonton Canada., Itunes Customer review

Credited Discography:
Bi Thusa Mo Shuile, Release date: 1997 (sold out)
A Million Days, Release date: 1998 (sold out)
Simple Irish Ballads and Other Songs for Singing, Release date: 2005
Overcome, Eric Poxleitner, Release date: 2006
Charlie Glasspool and the Big Love, Release date: September 2009
Grey County Gospel, Brian Moniz

Tara has sung on an extensive list of CD recordings (over 250) as a session vocalist, both in Europe and in Canada.