Cathy Jordan is fresh and youthful. The voice and soul that emanate from All The Way Home, her debut solo album, is one of a Twenty-Year-Old, not that of a woman whose music career alone spans two decades. Regarded as one of Ireland’s finest traditional singers, Cathy’s knack for music and singing is woven into her.
She has lived and breathed music since her first breath. She is self-taught on guitar, bodhran (an Irish frame drum), bones (literally, a percussive set of rib bones) and bouzouki (a variety of lute). And this profound understanding of the Irish music tradition is unmistakable from the first notes and lines of The Bold Fenian Men – the opening track of the album.
The bulk of the score years since leaving school has been spent as part of the group Dervish, who have released seven albums over that time. For this solo endeavour Cathy has joined forces with other acclaimed musicians. The eleven tracks also feature appearances from tubas, banjoes, pianos, uileann pipes, fiddles, concertinas, flutes and harmonicas. Yet, it is Cathy’s voice and the gentle accompaniment of a few plucked chords that stand out.
This collection of songs is wonderful solitary listening. Something for when you don’t have anything to do or anywhere to be. Something to calm an agitated soul. Something to become reflective to. Her songs have a simplicity to them which one encounters less and less today. They take you back to the emerald earth of the Emerald Isle – even if you have never been – evoking all sorts of emotions of the Celt inside.
All The Way Home is a veritable journey and journal, chartering Cathy’s experiences and meanderings of the last twenty odd years: “These singing sessions and songs provided the soundtrack to my life for many years. Every social occasion had a singing session to mark it…you name it we sang our way through it.”