Skidmore alum lends vocals to a new stage: Kyle Carey delivers her own brand of Gaelic concert music

Posted by Sarah Barry

On Sept. 12 Kyle Carey '08 returned to Skidmore to present a program of Gaelic music entitled "Gaelic Americana." Carey performed in a trio with Rosie MacKenzie on fiddle and Neil Fitzgibbon on guitar in the Ladd Concert Hall of Arthur Zankel Music Center.

The music, much of it from Carey‘s new album Monongah, varied from lively upbeat fiddle tunes to slower laments. One such piece was "Resting Chair," performed by Mackenzie and Fitzgibbon.

"While learning, I didn't want to play the slow ones. I only like the fast songs, but ‘Resting Chair' was my mom's favorite. I kept playing it and it ended up on the album," Mackenzie said.

Many of Carey's songs draw inspiration from other music and written work. Carey explains her inspiration for each song and her descriptions show the detailed research she has conducted in the areas she is interested in.

Carey traveled to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia on her Fulbright Fellowship and the fiddle style, as well as traditional Gaelic, influenced her music. Carey sang her final song in Gaelic. Many songs also drew upon a southern style with names like "Devil at Your Back," which is about bad luck and "Resurrection."

Speaking to the Skidmore News, Carey reflected on her time as a student and the difference between her surroundings then and now.

"I'm so delighted to play in this hall because I didn't get to play it as a student. I spent many an hour in the old practice rooms. They were kind of my haunt, but this new hall has a beautiful sound," Carey said.

Throughout the show, Carey and MacKenzie spoke about Ireland; the entire class of the first year seminar, "Ireland: Myth, Reality," attended the show. Giving a nod to her own beginnings in music and Gaelic culture, Mackenzie noted of the group, "Good things come from little places."

More information about Carey is available at her website:


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