Orla Fallon (wiki spells it Orlagh) was, to me, THE voice of Celtic Woman. This is not to take anything away from any of the other singers, and their voices, but Orla sings the traditional music in a very traditional Celtic (Irish) voice, and she plays that harp. That, for me, was the best of what becomes an organization that calls itself Celtic Woman. When she and Maev (Ni Mhaolcatha) left Celtic Woman, well, while the group continues to be good, I felt very much as some of you feel over Paul and Ryan leaving Celtic Thunder. It has just never been the same.
Anyway, Orla has been a singer/songwriter/harpist for much of her adult life (she was born in 1974), having several personal releases, was a member of Anuna (as was Maeve) for some time, went into Celtic Woman, and then left them in 2009 to put more attention into her own family life and her personal music.
She was born in Knockananna, County Wicklow; she is married, she likes gardening, horses, and outdoors and country life. Her influences have been Clannad, and Maire (Moya) for the harp, the Chieftans, and Allison Krauss. She says she was a teacher “in a past life”; not sure whether she means before she got into music, or if she really does believe in past lives, like I do. She has sung for, among others, the Pope, President Clinton of the US, President Mary MacAleese of Ireland, and at Carnegie Hall. She has appeared with Jim Brickman and the Duggans, and has had Guests such as Tommy Fleming in her own shows. Her labels are Liffey and Manhattan.
Her latest release is My Land, which was released this past March 11. The tracks include (and I just tried to copy some videos over to this blog, but they won’t play here – I suppose you have to go to YouTube to hear them).
Down To The River To Pray – a song sung by Allison Krauss, one of her faves, in the George Clooney movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou.
Mo Ghile Mar – a song she did in ensemble with Celtic Woman
My Land (written by Brendan Graham, the writer of You Raise Me Up and other inspirational songs)
Red is the Rose (with Tommy Fleming)
Spanish Lady (this she did in ensemble with Celtic Woman)
and six more song, for a total of 11. If you go to Amazon. com and do a search for Orla, then look at the album itself, you can get bits of all 11 of the songs.
Anyway, Orla is definitely one of my fave singers of Irish/Celtic music, and I think she is well worth a listen.
Besides, I love red hair.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX