Cork City, County Cork
Berries Blue are a contemporary folk-rock band leaning more on the grungy dirty side of the genre, with a slight hint of Americana for good measure. The two core members, Pat Carey and Marlene Enright hail from West Cork, and met while studying Music in UCC. They combine vocals, piano and guitar, as well as a range of percussion instruments, glockenspiel and kazoo to create a memorable and unique sound.
Since the recording of their EP, drinkin’ to heaven, they have joined forces with two of their friends and fellow graduates of UCC’s Music Department, Dave Duffy (double bass and electric bass) and Dave Ryan (drums). When possible, they also include the talents of Aisling Fitzpatrick on cello, James Fortune and Hugh Dillon on electric guitar and Deirdre Carey on backing vocals. All songs are written by Marlene and Pat and their songwriting, as well as their vocal harmonies, blending ‘beauty with the beast’, have come in for much praise, both in performances at venues throughout Ireland in their own right, and in supporting well known Irish musicians Cathy Davey, Mick Flannery, Luka Bloom, Liam O’ Maonlai, Damien Dempsey, and Declan O’ Rourke, on a number of occasions throughout Cork.
The full band appeared on Nationwide as part of their week long music feature. The program can be watched here on RTE’s player (http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1082397). Berries blue have also appeared on The John Creedon Show, by request, on RTE’s Radio 1 where they were interviewed and played a live slot. The podcast can be listened to here: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_thejohncreedonshow.xml (or alternatively download from itunes).
The band has been winning favourable reviews for their gigs to date, having been described as having a performance which “succeeded in bringing freshness to familiar blues and folk influences and in energising the audience”. They are certainly a band on the rise. Jackie Hayden of Hotpress named the EP, Drinkin’ To Heaven, as his pick of the fortnight in the Hotpress Magazine addition dated the 27th of January describing the material as 'classy stuff and worth tracking down' , and just recently, berries blue were featured in The Sunday Times Culture section as one of the country’s up and coming new acts to look out for.
Some reviews so far:
"Berries Blue are a five piece from Cork based around Pat Carey and Marlene Enright who share vocals, guitar, keyboards and other stuff. ‘Drinkin’ To Heaven’ is a slinky, slow, bluesy effort that connects Tom Waits, Imelda May and Jerry Fish. It has an appealing looseness that ties in with Carey’s rough vocals. ‘Tired Man’ is a melange of blues, folk, country and gospel with a touch of Springsteen running through it. Carey and Enright trade solo verses before blending delicious harmonies. ‘Back Road’ has glorious singing from Enright on a track that evokes a rural outdoor vista. Classy Stuff and worth tracking down."
Jackie Hayden, Hot Press 2011
“Summer is here and Berries Blue's EP has got that sunshine feeling. Drinkin' to Heaven has that real deep New Orleans feel; only thing missing is the full sound of brass, soaked in jazz and blues tones. Each track has a beautiful take on music, Tired Man is a pure gospel ballad to the bone, passion in the vocals can be heard along with some superb lyrics. Rainbow Rain is a real lazy blues number on the vibe of Chris Rea but a little bit more fresher to the ears, I like the angle Berries Blue have taken on this CD. We need to hear more of this in Ireland today, excellent stuff."
5/6 by Trevor O'Hailpin of Music Review Unsigned.
“Berries Blue are...inventive, unique and utterly charming”.
Elaine Kirwan, raritiesandb-sides.blogspot.com
Berries Blue are currently recording their debut LP in Cauldron Studios in Dublin and hope to have it out by the end of 2011. Some of the tracks above are material taken from the new recording sessions, and are a hint of things to come on the debut album....enjoy