angelic, ethereal, haunting – enchanting
This is Sephira, who are sisters Ruth and Joyce O’Leary. These sisters are classically-trained violinists and vocalists who hail from Carrickmacross, Ireland. They mostly worked out of Dublin, but now are stationed in New York City, where they are quickly becoming as popular in the US as they ever were in Ireland. Among their fans you can count Larry Hagman and his wife, Maj, who have the sisters as regular visitors to their home in California, which incidentally is named Heaven. Larry has said the sound of the ladies is exactly like his home’s name.
They also have beautiful long red hair, red hair being, as you have read before, my favourite colour of hair.
I first “met” the sisters when they appeared on Celtic Thunder’s “Take Me Home”, where the ladies also sang, as backup to a couple of numbers by Damian, and did some solo work on a couple of orchestral numbers, and “It’s Entertainment”, where they were featured on Loch Skilly Railroad, dancing to their own “fiddle” music. I knew I wanted to see and hear more of them. Unfortunately, by the time I saw my first CT show, the ladies had already moved on to NYC, and the next steps in their musical life. So I still hope I may be able to see them live one day.
Upcoming gigs include a European Promo Trip, in August 2011, to promote Tradfest 2012. They will be appearing in several places throughout Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They are also making some appearances throughout the US for the Tourism Ireland Showcase, the next stops in California September 19-20, 2011. No cities have been announced on their website as of today’s date. Then they are making 18 appearances with Michael Londra in his Christmas shows in San Francisco December 15, 2011 through January 1, 2012.
Sephira has recorded two CDs thus far: Believe in 2006 and Sephira in 2008 – both are available from CD Baby. They are currently, in between all their appearances in and around NYC, and other venues, recording a Christmas CD for 2011.
Their self-titled CD Sephira includes 11 tracks, seven produced and recorded by Bill Shanley and Ciaran Byrne, the other four recorded live on their UK tour of 2008. Most of the recorded songs are soft and sweet, but the four last songs that were recorded live very much use a tango rhythm. Joyce is the principal vocalist, and plays violin, and Ruth is the principal violin, and sings.
Ruth and Joyce have sites on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Reverbnation, can be seen on YouTube, and have their own website at http://www.sephira.ie – plenty of places to see them and hear them. And believe me, they are worth every minute you spend with them.