Album of the Week for week beginning Saturady 19 November is This Is Now from Eilidh Patterson.
Listen to Eilidh talk about the album with Ross Macfadyen from 12 noon and 12 midnight on Saturday and 6pm on Monday 21 November.
Eilidh (pronounced I-Lee)Patterson is a Scots-Gaelic name meaning ‘ray of sunshine’. This Derry girl has been delighting audiences across the UK and the States for the last few years with her beautiful, captivating songs – truly a ray of sunshine to the soul.
Derry has often been called the Music City of Ireland and for Eilidh there was no escape from music, particularly within her own family. Her first experience of singing in public was as a member of her family gospel music trio aptly called ‘The Patterson Family’. Here, she explored her love of harmony singing and became accustomed to performing on stage. When the family group disbanded in 2000, Eilidh started experimenting with songwriting and shortly afterwards joined The Foyle Folk Club, where her newly composed songs were received with great appreciation.
It wasn’t long before Eilidh was being offered opportunities to perform further afield and in March 2008 she was invited to sing in Nashville TN and at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas to help promote the Sister City link between Belfast and Nashville. Two months later she was invited back to the USA, this time to Seattle WA, where she was the only non-American artist in attendance at an exclusive songwriting retreat in the North Cascade mountains.
Eilidh is now a regular visitor to Nashville (a.k.a. Music City, USA) where she co-writes, performs and meets with music industry professionals. On her most recent trip, she was asked by her friend and mentor Beth Nielsen Chapman to record harmonies on Chapman’s new album and since then has performed with Beth at the Cambridge Folk Festival (2009); Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow (2010) and for the duration of her autumn 2010 UK and Holland tour.
Eilidh is back with her second album This Is Now, released exactly two years since her debut. This Derry girl has been delighting audiences across the UK and the States in recent years with her beautiful and captivating songs.
Recorded in Nashville TN with a stellar cast of guest musicians, This Is Now explores the genres of folk, bluegrass and pop, whilst maintaining throughout the pure, clear vocal which has become Eilidh’s trademark sound.
Eilidh writes about life and love; and as life is moving on for her, so is her music: “It feels like a natural progression for me to branch out with a little bit more confidence into the genres which have been such a strong influence on my writing and music. With my debut release, I felt I was tip-toeing at the edge, but now I’m swimming and loving it.”
12 songs recorded over 12 days and produced by multi-instrumentalist Lee Holland, Eilidh’s new material is further enhanced by some of Nashville’s finest players gracing the tracks. Ron Block (Alison Krauss and Union Station) makes a subtle contribution on banjo to the earthy ‘Chances Are’ whilst Jeff Taylor (Elvis Costello, Vince Gill) lends his graceful touch to several tracks on accordion, whistles and pump organ. Guest vocalists include singer/songwriter Julie Lee and the legendary Tim O’Brien, whose distinctive old-time fiddle playing can be heard on the plaintive ‘You’ll Soon Be Home’.
Solid arrangements and the simple yet stylish production approach throughout, blend seamlessly with Eilidh’s songs and performance, creating an overall product which exudes both a quiet confidence and raw honesty.
“Eilidh Patterson’s voice is velvet and air. The richness of her sound and her songs is something beautiful to behold and she is definitely an artist to watch!” – Beth Nielsen Chapman
Listen to Eilidh talk about the album with Ross Macfadyen from 12 noon and 12 midnight on Saturday and 6.00pm on Monday 21 November.