Belfast Telegraph

CARA DILLON - Hill Of Thieves (Charcoal)

By Nigel Gould

In a roughly 13-year career, Cara Dillon has rarely put a foot wrong.

And folk’s Miss Reliability has churned out yet another mini-masterpiece with Hill of Thieves.

Having taken a break from the business after the premature birth of her twin sons in 2006, the Co Londonderry singer-songwriter has made a quite superb return with a collection of songs that are the perfect illustration of Dillon’s extraordinary talent.

Hill of Thieves contains 11 tracks which include versions of folk classics such as The Parting Glass and She Moved Through The Fair, along with the outstanding self-penned title track and a beautiful unaccompanied rendition of Fil Fil A Run O in Irish.

Blessed with the voice of an angel, Dillon gently eases the listener through a series of deliciously uplifting tunes.

As ever, her magnificent vocal cords are accompanied by the traditional folk kitchen-sink in instrumentation including collection of fiddles, whistle, bodhran and uilleann pipes along with guitar and piano.

This is an album brimming with feel-good stripped-bare songs all wonderfully arranged and produced by Dillon’s other half, Sam Lakeman.

The husband and wife team are among the most talented pairings in any genre. Even when the material is not theirs, they have the ability to re-arrange the sound with a minor nip and tuck — and make it their own.

From her early days as part of the folk supergroup that was Equation, Dillon has shown she is a musical tour de force to be reckoned with. To date, her solo stuff has been a joy — and Hill Of Thieves is well up standards.

Best tracks are the title tune and Johnny Lovely Johnny.

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