Irish jazz and folk singer Mary Coughlan returns to Boston on December 7


Acclaimed Irish singer Mary Coughlan will return to Boston for a one-night show at The Burren, Somerville on December 7.

A native of County Galway, Coughlan, has been making hits and headlines in Ireland and across the world since 1984 however much of what has been said, is often forgotten when Mary takes the stage with her smoky, bluesy drawl. Thanks to her timeless and endless singing talents, Mary, has become music royalty in her homeland and continues to reign supreme thirty years after her first album "Tired and emotional" was released to critical acclaim.

Speaking with The Irish Emigrant, Coughlan says "It's been a million years" since she visited Boston. In fact, if memory serves her rightly, it has been more like sixteen years she performed in Boston or anywhere else in America. A long time for any musical act to take a break from fans on this side of the Atlantic.

However, it is fair to say the mother of five has been very busy. Busy making music and busy getting her chaotic personal life back on the straight and narrow after a very public battle with drink and drugs.

Whilst most shy away from discussing their personal problems, outspoken Mary believes talking about her time "in the gutter" is an opportunity for others to know that there is hope.

"I think it really does help others, being so open and honest about these things, " says Coughlan.

The talented blues singer admits her drinking was so out of control at one point, she would drink three bottles of vodka a day on her own at home. The result was thirty two visits to hospital before she got sober.

Having been sober for over a decade, Coughlan, decided to share her experiences and her autobiography 'Bloody Mary; My Story' was published in 2011. In her book, she talks frankly about her alcoholism, drug addiction, and also, shared with readers that she had been sexually abused as a child.

"That was hard for me to write," she admits, " I really didn't want to hurt family members."

However, the cathartic experience of writing her book seems to have given the Galway native a new lease of life. Coughlan has been working on her 14th album which she has named 'Alchemist’s Gold.' An appropriate title given all that has happened to the Irishwoman.

"It's a metaphor for taking all of the shit in your life and make something beautiful from it" Coughlan says.

The 57-year-old admits "When I had the huge success in the 80's and 90's ..I blew it. I couldn't handle it."

Adding " But life is on my terms now.... I have the good fortune to make a living out of what I love to do and I am happy out."

Mary Coughlan plays The Burren, Somerville on December 7 at 8pm. For more information, please visit http://www.burren.com/