Mary Coughlan Trio, The Greystones
This jazz/blues singer’s smoky, boozy drawl has always been a seduction, no matter what the subject.
She marries sardonic wit, visceral rage, passion and the tenderest of sorrowful regrets in her music.
Throughout more than 25 years of her recording career, Mary has drawn heavily from her legendary heroes like Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Van Morrison and Edith Piaf, all of which can be heard in her delivery.
She has recorded everyone from Cole Porter to Joy Division.
Even so, she makes every song her own.
Like many of the artists she identifies most with, Mary carries her own pain.
A lot of it must relate back to the dark days in the 1990s when alcoholism almost claimed her life and did lead to the loss of an unborn child.
Mary appears for two nights at the Greystones Road pub on Wednesday and Thursday, a rarity in
itself and testament to her popularity.
Galway born, she is known as Irish music royalty but is reputed to hate acts who parade a stagey Irishness.
She is also brutally honest about her homeland in songs like Magdalen Laundry and My Land is Too Green.
However, her distinctive accent means there is no doubt that she could come from anywhere else.
Last year, she celebrated 25 years in music with the release of a double album called The Whole Affair: The Very Best of Mary Coughlan.