Look out for a new star in the glittering firmament of great Irish singers: with the release of her new album, In Love + Light, Heidi Talbot is truly set to shine. After five years as lead singer with the Irish-American supergroup Cherish the Ladies, and high praise for her previous solo outing, 2004's Distant Future, Talbot now extends her talents over a broader, bolder musical canvas, in company with a stellar cast of guests. Drawing on the full, diverse spectrum of influences that inform her
singing, In Love + Light complements Talbot's exquisitely expressive, honeyed yet ardent voice with guest contributions from Eddi Reader, ex-Solas guitarist John Doyle, fiddler John McCusker, and flute/whistle ace Mike McGoldrick.
Born in the rural village of Kill, Co. Kildare, Talbot began singing in the church choir run by her mother, Rosaleen, meanwhile absorbing the vibrant array of music that filled the family home. At sixteen, she enrolled at Dublin's celebrated Bel Canto singing school, studying for the next year and a half under its founder and director Frank Merriman - 'the best teacher in the universe,' according to Sinead O'Connor, another former student.
Her next move was to New York where she spent two years honing her voice and style amidst the city's vibrant musical melting-pot. In 2002 Talbot was invited to join Cherish the Ladies and in between the band's hectic touring schedule she continued to develop her solo work, releasing Distant Future in 2004 on the Nashville-based roots label Compass Records. Produced by John Doyle, the record featured such distinguished guests as multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, concertinist John Williams and fiddler Rayna Gellert. Three years later, the recording of In Love + Light coincided with her decision to leave Cherish at the end of 2007.
Tracks on the new album range from the Scottish traditional ballad "Glenlogie" to the vintage Ink Spots hit "Whispering Grass"; Tom Waits's bittersweet classic "Time" to an old parlour hymn, "When They Ring the Golden Bells". There's an old-timey duet with Orcadian singer Kris Drever on "The Blackest Crow", and a cover of "Cathedrals", by the cult US band Jump Little Children, as well as two new originals by English singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine, who produced the record. The list of guests also includes Capercaillie's Donald Shaw and Ewen Vernal, and ex-Fairground Attraction drummer Roy Dodds.
The launch of In Love + Light at Glasgow's world-renowned Celtic Connections festival in January 2008 kicks off an exciting year for Talbot, who'll be featured as a guest on forthcoming albums by Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, and the new trio collaboration of John McCusker, Kris Drever and Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble. Between times, she'll be touring both the US and Europe extensively to promote In Love + Light.
"Heidi Talbot sings in a voice that’s both awestruck and tender.“ - The New York Times
"Talbot is exquisite...Bjork combined with Enya.“ - The Village Voice
Ms. Talbot is one of the most generous musicians I know. I love the way she sings and she loves what she does. She is CLASSIC!“ - Eddi Reader