Press & Online Reviews
“It’s rare to find an entirely solo produced album as diversified, innovative, well-crafted and wonderfully presented as Turas Cumadóir.”
Irish Music Magazine
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It is indeed a long way to Paula Ryan’s native Tipperary, considering the musical landscape explored here by the prolific singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist – these new folk-songs take us on a fascinating trajectory from guitar-makers in Germany to songs like Ebb & Flow set in Thailand, reflecting the human stories behind the devastating Tsunami of 2004.
A long way and yet not. Paula’s compelling voice holds fast to her own Irish traditional influences and inflections, there in the smoky tones and bluesy sound across Paula’s first self-penned track of the album Vision. The album title is well-earned; Turas Cumadóir is a solo album in the most literal sense of that – Paula writes and sings her own songs – 12 in total, all song arrangements, instrumentals, including the well-crafted harmonies are all her own work. Paula also plays bouzouki, bodhrán, guitar, low whistle, saxophone, and marimba.
Stand-out tracks include Only a Cabinet Maker, a fascinating narrative about how the now renowned guitar-maker CF Martin was pilloried by warring craft-guilds of his time who refused to take him seriously as a gifted craftsman.
Pace and timing work well, songs with political overtones are interspersed with tongue-in-cheek irony deployed on tracks like My Handsome Irish Man.
There’s a notable tone of clarity across the songs, music that is melodically accessible but an edge of quirkiness throughout. The CD markedly underpinned by Paula’s voice is a melodic reminder that musical expression carries the power to take living stories to a new level.
No surprise to me to read that Paula’s compelling WW1 song O My Blue-Eyed One was award-nominated by the UK’s acoustic music magazine Fatea. It’s the final track, and in the closing, an apt, poignant and melodic return to Tipperary.
“A tremendous achievement… songwriting is very much at the forefront… hardly surprising that songwriting awards follow Paula around with such lyrically rich and consistent output… this album sets itself apart from many with the sheer variety of styles encompassed… every instrument is played with skill and sensitivity.”
Folk London Magazine
“Turas Cumadóir demonstrates the versatility, breadth and potential of an experienced composer, songwriter and performer.”
R & R (Rock n Reel) Magazine