The album is titled 13 Stories because that what these songs represent for me. From the beginning of a love story — 'Dancing Song' — to the hope of one, then the reality of the loss of love. But there's also vulnerability and friendship and, above all, glorious survival. That's 13 Stories.
Carmel: “Making this album, 13 Stories, gave me the opportunity to interpret songs by writers whom I greatly admire, including Paul Brady, Tom Waits, Declan O’Rourke, Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Dory Previn, Mark Nevin and Lennon and McCartney. The majority of the songs are about love — old love, new love, lost love; it’s about despair, vulnerability, hope, survival.”
HOT PRESS REVIEW
Carmel McCreagh: 13 Stories — SWEET LOVE SONGS MINUS THE SACCHARINE ****
Tipperary-born Carmel McCreagh has a solid track record as a quality singer, who blends a melange of influences, including jazz, pop and folk. On 13 Stories, she applies her effortlessly warm and tender tonsils to a bunch of affecting love songs, with her long-term partner Fiachra Trench in the arranger’s chair.
The singer does a wonderful job interpreting two Joni Mitchell numbers, ‘Crazy Lies Of Love’ and ‘Love Puts On A New Face’, and – aided by a quartet of cellos – offers a similarly inspired take on Declan O’Rourke’s ‘Dancing Song’. Elsewhere, Suzanne Savage adds delicious harmonies to both Dory Previn’s ‘Beware Of Young Girls’ and Paul Brady’s infectiously touching ‘Stories’. McCreagh adds a touch of Randy Newman to Tom Waits’ ‘Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis’, to winning effect…
Despite the eclectic nature of the material, McCreagh successfully knits it all together into a seamless experience. Bravo!
Jackie Hayden, Hot Press, 31 Jan 2019
" …Of the 13 songs included in this album, one of the many attractions in the collection… is the way Carmel calmly works her way through some of the best material from the popular music of the past 20 or 30 years, not just drawing on the Great American Songbook. She approaches all of it with her jazz sensibility… She draws no boundaries between [for example] say, Joni Mitchell or Tom Waits or an amazing Dory Previn one and even U2… I just love the way that her voice has matured into an incredibly expressive vehicle and… the emotional content of the material comes across to perfection… [The album] features an array of Irish musicians from both ths jazz and classical arenas…"
Donald Helme, The Hot Box #41 — A Vocal Affair
"I love how you sing and interpret everything you do… Your voice is beautiful, Fiachra's arrangements are stunning and the musicians are so right. Truly a beautiful album."
Honor Heffernan, via Messenger