Karan Casey
Over the years, Karan Casey has given her voice to a number of traditional and contemporary songs penned by other composers over her twenty year performing career. But now she wants to record a new CD with a more personal approach and feature all of her own work through words and music that she has written herself. 

And as we are becoming increasingly aware, there are very few record companies out there that offer the kind of support and commitment for artists who are not likely to offer a great return on their investment. So Casey is the latest artist who has turned to “crowdfunding,” or reaching out to her fans worldwide via the web to underwrite the various costs associated with producing a quality commercial recording these days.

Casey’s fundraising vehicle is Kickstarter, where she hopes to raise $15,000 in 39 days (www.kickstarter.com and search for Karan Casey) to allow her the “luxury” of rehearsing, recording, producing, mixing, manufacturing and publicizing the work under her own label, Crow Valley Music.

These days it takes a lot more than talent and commitment to one’s art form to make it in the music business and artists need to wear more than one hat to be make a living, but the upside is that it gives them more control and bonds them more closely with their audience and fans.

Casey (karancasey.com) will be in Manhattan for an exclusive New York gig at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street and www.joespub.com) in the East Village on Tuesday, September 25 at 9:30 p.m. where she will likely share some of those songs as well as more Kickstarter details. Considered one of Ireland’s finest singers, Casey’s appearances are too rare in these parts, so any shows featuring her are compelling.

It also happens to be the opening gig of a tour by her husband and long-time collaborator, Niall Vallely and brother-in-law Cillian Vallely (of Lunasa), who produced an album, Callan Bridge, on the Compass Label back in 2002, and who tour together when their respective schedules allow. 

Cillian is a great uilleann piper in the family tradition (his parents Brian and Eithne Vallely founded the Armagh Pipers Club) well known to New York area music fans as a session maven, as well as for his outstanding role in the dynamic Lunasa Band for whom Niall produced arrangements with the RTE Symphony Orchestra in a joint concert last June at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Niall was a founding member of a seminal group based in Cork called Nomos blazing a more contemporary trail on concertina for traditional music back in the 1990s. More recently he has teamed up with another brother, Caoimhin, in a group called Buille as well as toured extensively with his wife Karan Casey.

The brief tour focuses on the Northeast U.S. with stops in Voorhees, New Jersey on the 26th (856-795-7637); East Haven, Connecticut on the 28th (860-664-1600 or www.iacc-ct.com); Coatesville, Pennsylvania on the 30th (www.ctims.info) and Boston on October 4 at a house concert ([email protected].

And want to make mention of two more iconic singers coming around over the next two weeks in Sean Tyrell and Andy Irvine.  

Last week I did mention Tyrell’s extensive tour (www.seantyrell.com) including this week’s Friday night engagement opening up the fall Blarney Star Concert Series (www.blarneystar.com) but neglected to mention he will also be stopping at An Beal Bocht (445 West 238th Street in the Bronx) on Saturday at 8 p.m. 

The following night, Sunday the 30th, Irvine visits the amiable Bronx folk club and advance tickets are encouraged. Contact An Beal Bocht at phone 718-884-7127.

Karan Casey performing Black is the Colour - Transatlantic Sessions 4