Independent Release – 2017
From Neil McFadyen’s lovely writeup at FolkRadio UK:
Growing up on the western edge of County Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula; for singer/songwriter Éilís Kennedy the poetry, songs and music of Gaeldom were, and remain, a constant influence. Those influences extend even further for her new album, Westward, as Éilís is joined by friends from Atlantic and Pacific coastlines on an album that sees her expand her outlook and her own musical skills. In addition to her musical partnership with Pauline Scanlon, as Lumiere, Éilís has also released two very well received solo albums – Time to Sail in 2001 and One Sweet Kiss in 2005. Both albums offered an enchanting mix of traditional and contemporary Gaelic and English song, and made the most of the musical contacts Éilís and her husband John have nurtured as proprietors of John Benny’s pub in Dingle – renowned for the quality of its music sessions.
Éilís opens Westward by evoking the warm atmosphere of those sessions with the gentle familiarity of Bill Caddick‘s John o’ Dreams, a song perfectly suited to her soft, lilting voice. In both her previous albums, Éilís collaborated, very successfully, with Santa Cruz guitarist William Coulter. William’s Grammy-Award winning fingerstyle guitar provides Westward with a constant companion to Éilís’ vocal, and the equally familiar sound of cellist Barry Phillips, who also joined William on Éilís’ previous albums, adds a somnambulant richness.