Evon Brennan is about to become the most sought after signature on the entire Fleadh bill. Quite possibly going barefoot in the park, Ms Brennan is surely the black Irish songstress of somebody's dreams.With a voice at once reminiscent of Sinead O'Connor, Eddi Reader and Joan Armatrading, her soulful Celtic lilt flatters to deceive with aching songs of isolation and the cultural conflict of being 'Black & Irish' Open, honest, profoundly emotional and deeply disturbing tales of abuse and ostracism, her music is gently acoustic but immediately uplifting, based as it is around the voice and accompanied only the most simple and complementary guitar and piano arrangements. Atmospheric, vulnerable, haunting and ultimately reassuring, Evon Brennan wears both her heart and her influences on her sleeve, but by the end of the first song (especially if it's 'Baby Can I") you'll have forgotten about Joni Mitchell and will be thinking only of Evon Brennan and her future as something of a folk-soul sensation.
. All barefoot appeal and untamed tresses, Evon Brennan, the black Irish songstress captivates yet nurtures with her achingly soulful vocals and Celtic charm. Ballads about ensnared woman and stolen innocence are tempered with the conflict of being 'Black & Irish' Working with emotive yet often disturbing material her lyrics range from parents who shun their Black and Irish granddaughter to those about a girl who is deflowered by a priest. Miraculously her music is saved from the depths of melancholia by rich and lilting vocals and gentle acoustic sounds. Looking for freedom like 'Seagulls at Sea' Brennan's music soars high and is pushed even further by her energetic guitar and piano accompaniments. A self-contained performer, her audience respond to her rather than she to them, but this only heightens the vulnerability and appeal of her delivery. Citing her early influences as Joni Mitchell and Carole King, the hints of these two greats are overpowered by the marrying of folk with a gutsy soulful vocal penetration. Evon Brennan has managed to discard the shackles of convention with an honesty and sincerity not often heard. Savour it!
JULIANNE McCAMBRIDGE & EVON BRENNAN
Upstairs at Garage 8.00pm; £4. Strong, tender and soulful songs imbued with a celtic edge from Evon Brennan, whose songs bristle with emotion. A new self-financed EP, 'Unplugged', showcases four typically intense, emotive and evocative songs. Aligning sensitive but uncompromising lyrics to a music of subtle yet deceptive beauty, she is a passionate and powerful performer who deserves to be heard.
EVON BRENNAN - DONEGAL BAY - BLACK AND IRISH - LIKE FARMERS WHO CRY
Just when I thought 'that was it' on the decent demo front I found myself wrapped up in the crystal clear, Irish tones of a certain Evon Brennan. Intrigued after the first track, which left me thinking "that's the first time in a very long time I've heard someone signing about missing a part of Ireland and sounding like they really mean it".
'Black and Irish' speaks emotively for itself and starts with a sad account of crying behind drawn blinds, sleeping rough and fending for yourself, but has a happy ending with wonderful refrain "You're a smashing wee fella who is Black and Irish".
Black, Irish, proud and strong. If there is any justice left in this world Evon Brennan will reach her audience and be cherished alongside people like Chuck D and the handful of others that give me goose bumps every time I hear them.