See Frances Black at Ramor

Frances Black is coming to Cavan as part of a tour to promote a new two-CD collection, which was released last Friday. She plays at the Ramor Theatre, Virginia on Saturday November 1.

Frances is a woman of strength and courage, (her promotional material claims) and she is also blessed with the indefinable Black quality in her voice and choice of songs.

Her singing has an emotional impact that is staggering; she is, to quote Joni Mitchell, ‘a woman of heart and mind’.

When Nanci Griffith called Frances Black “the sweetest voice of Ireland,” she was paying tribute to someone who has been one of the country’s best-loved and most enduring artists since the late 80s, with a string of best-selling albums, awards and other accolades behind her.

Frances was born in Dublin, and her parents Patty and Kevin were both musical. Although she was a shy child, she began singing with her older siblings, Shay, Michael, Mary, and Martin, known as The Black Family, when she was 17.

Having gained confidence in her singing abilities, she enhanced her performing skills through joining the band Arcady in 1988.

She featured on their album, After the Ball, in 1991 and subsequently embarked on a successful collaboration with Kieran Goss.

In 1992, Frances really took the music scene by storm, when the lovely Wall of Tears, which she had recorded with Kieran, and the rousing After the Ball, which she had recorded with Arcady, were placed on the album, A Woman’s Heart.

It also featured Eleanor McEvoy, Dolores Keane. Mary Black, Sharon Shannon and Maura O’Connell, and it went on to become the biggest-selling album ever in Ireland. Huge tours followed, and audiences around the country were enchanted by Frances’s blend of charm and wit, coupled with that gorgeous voice.

This reaction led to Frances being signed to DARA Records, and the release of her first solo album, Talk to Me, which was the best-selling album in Ireland for 10 weeks. She had a massive hit single with All The Lies That You Told Me, penned by Christie Hennessy. Frances released six more best-selling solo albums, The Sky Road, The Smile On Your Face, Don’t Get Me Wrong, How High the Moon, The Best Of Frances Black, and This Love Will Carry, all of which contain beautiful melodies and stirring lyrics delivered with passion and feeling.

Intelligent and articulate, with a keenly developed social conscience, Frances is politically aware and has strong opinions on many issues. She is renowned for her rendition of Legal Illegal, a song by Ewan McColl that rails against injustice.

Alongside the music, Frances’s other main passion in life is The Rise Foundation, a charitable organisation she founded, which is dedicated to assisting families in understanding the nature of the disease of addiction, and its effects on relationships.