Mary Coughlan

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Mary Coughlan is arguably the greatest female singer to have emerged from Ireland in recent times, the equivalent of Irish vocal royalty.
The word ‘legend’ is not one to be used lightly, but in this case is entirely appropriate.
Whether into folk, blues or jazz, no one can fail to be moved by the emotional depth, expression & power in her voice, forged from an extraordinary life.
Born in Galway in 1956, Mary has battled and overcome childhood trauma, near-death from alcoholism and drug addiction. After hitting rock-bottom and extensive periods in psychiatric hospitals and rehab centres, she literally pulled herself out of the dregs of a vodka bottle to confront the foundations of her problems head-on and sort out her life, and has been sober since 1993.
Since her first album ‘Tired and Emotional’ rocketed her to overnight fame in 1985, she has recorded 15 further solo albums, most recently the searing song cycle ‘Scars on the Calendar’ with Erik Visser.
Throughout 30 years of her quite extraordinary life and recording career Mary has drawn heavily from her legendary heroes: the grievous, teary outpourings of Billie Holiday (to whom she devoted a double album of her songs), the husky flirtations of Peggy Lee, Van Morrison’s soulful wails, the defiant chanteusery of Edith Piaf. All are present and correct in her delivery. Even so, Mary, with her naked honesty makes every song her own; they belong to her and nobody else.

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