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Cara Dillon | Sweet Liberty (Rough Trade)
Irishwoman Dillon has been singing since she was fourteen and has built up a fair amount of experience since then. A winner of the All Ireland Singing Trophy while still a teenager, she has worked with no less than Mike (Tubular Bells) Oldfield and has reaped rewards from British radio stations. All this is very well, but what's this like, you may ask? Well, put it this way: Dillon's voice is one of the purest this reviewer has heard, and puts me in mind of the likes of Mary Black in its Irish clarity. 'Sweet Liberty', her second release, carries on from where her highly-acclaimed debut began in 2001. Dillon's County Derry home of Dungiven has provided the inspiration for several songs, including The Winding River Roe. She also tackles There Were Roses, written by Tommy Sands. This elegant song evokes the troubles in Northern Ireland and Dillon's fine singing is perfectly accompanied by a sympathetic backing of simple piano, whistle and snare drum. Her harmonies on the chorus make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. 'Sweet Liberty' has a gentle innocence; Dillon's voice is a startling beacon of pure Irish velvet.

John Stacey
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003