Live: Mary Black @ The Egg, 11/7/10

Mary Black
Mary Black

The Egg has been doing a marvellous job recently, bringing some of the finest contemporary Celtic performers to Albany. Luka Bloom, Paul Brady and Maura O’Connell have all graced the small and cosy Swyer Theater stage in just the past six weeks. This time around the spotlight was on the incomparable Mary Black.

Possessing a sublime soprano voice, Black effortlessly navigated through the rich musical waters of Ireland’s traditional repertoire, as well as its more contemporary singer-songwriters offerings. Not unlike her former De Dannan band mate Maura O’Connell, Black has the uncanny ability to find, polish and interpret other people’s songs in a way that they become very much her own.

Black’s signature 1987 album, “By The Time It Gets Dark,” reached multi-platinum status, and its follow-up two years later, “No Frontiers,” established her as an international star thtroughout Europe, Japan and the United States. If you have heard Black sing even one song, you’ll understand why she has been considered (on both sides of the pond) Ireland’s pre-eminent songstress for more than two decades.

In Albany earlier this month, Mary Black and her five-piece band walked out on stage immediately following Roisin O’s (Rose O’Reilly) powerful opening set. Black looked around the theater with a smile and commented in her Irish brogue that it had been three years since she had last performed at The Egg.

Most of her concert’s repertoire was derived from her most recent recording, 2008’s double-CD, “25 Years, 25 Songs,” which celebrated her quarter-century as a performer. And all of them were performed beautifully at The Egg with the impassioned intensity that has become Black’s trademark.

Judging by the audience’s applause after every song, Mary Black was truly missed here in the Capital Region and will surely be warmly welcomed back when she returns in the future.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Roisin O
Roisin O

  1. Cary Semit says

    Mary Black is the ultimate professional performer. Her connection with the audience throughout the concert was truly special. It was as if we were in her living room, a comfortable family setting, with warmth and good feelings all around. The songs were from the heart and the musicians, masters of their craft. The evening flew by far too swiftly and I was mesmerized by the skills of the individual performers. Mary’s daughter, who opend the show, has a powerful beautiful voice. We purchased the EP. The show was grand by any measure and a joy to attend.

    I would love to see Nanci Griffith at the EGG if you can get her. She was in the Albany area two years ago and I regret missing her.

  2. Pete and Pat DeCicco says

    We love the egg and Mary Black. The songs and musicianship were wonderful. The sound reached the point of distortion at times. Don’t know if that is a function of the room size or not.
    Mary’s ability to connect is unsurpassed and the length of her sets were generous. We still wanted more. Would love to see more folk artists like David Wilcox, John Gorka, Jonatha Brooke and add another vote for Nanci Griffith. We’ve seen Shawn Colvin. Jonathan Edwards and Mark O’Connor recently at the egg and would come again for those artists. Thanks

  3. Mark Tillapaugh says

    The Egg is an excellent concert venue and I have enjoyed every concert I have seen there…including Mary Black, Nanci Griffith, Maura O’Connell and Mary Chapin Carpenter. If there is any single performer I would like to see The Egg bring to Albany, it would be Scotland’s Karen Matheson…either with her band Capercaillie or as a solo act. Karen Matheson, please…

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