Accompanied by the very talented John Williams, Dennis Cahill and Steve Morrow!
Northern Ireland Bureau and iBAM! present two fast-rising stars in the music strata, Hannah McPhillimy and Amanda St. John. Joining these two talented ladies is Chicago's own guitarist Dennis Cahill, John Williams on button accordion and concertina and Steve Morrow on Bodhran! Join us on Sunday October 28 at 5pm in the auditorium of the Irish American Heritage Center at 4626 N Knox Ave in Chicago. Special Price $10!
Originally hailing from Northern Ireland’s rugged North Coast, Belfast-based songwriter Hannah McPhillimy’s thoughtful music brings jazz-inflected indie warmth against a windswept backdrop. With her beguiling voice and ear for melody, paired with unguarded, reflective narratives, she has prompted comparisons to the likes of Feist, Regina Spektor and Daughter, all the while carving out her own distinctive path.
Since the launch of her debut EP Seeing Things in 2013, Hannah’s subsequent records have garnered acclaim for their diversity and ingenuity: working with anti-slavery charity No More Traffik to record the a cappella collection Freedom Songs, launched at a sell-out gig at Belfast’s historic Crumlin Road Gaol; and most recently, teaming up with author Jan Carson to record Disappear Here, a set of songs inspired by Jan’s novel Malcolm Orange Disappears.
With a back catalogue of appearances including RTE’s Other Voices, with Go Wolf at SXSW, supporting slots with The Gloaming, SOAK, Gungor and Foy Vance - never mind a Culture NI trade delegation to Brussels - Hannah has developeda more sophisticated sound and into a bolder artistduring a couple of action-packed years.
Now, her new record Wind Machine is the culmination of lessons learnt on the road and in the studio. With a fuller band, a completely analogue recording process working alongside the legendary Julie McClarnon (King Creosote, Neutral Milk Hotel), and a desire to explore new boundaries, Hannah’s latest music is packed full of surprises.
Amanda St. John
Amanda St John is a soul/blues/folk singer songwriter from the small rural village of Glenariffe, Co. Antrim (Northern Ireland).
Amanda St John is hailed as “a vocal powerhouse” (Sunday Life) and "head-turning vocalist with serious song writing prowess......a sensational artist" (Visit Dublin). She released her debut album 'Grow' at the renowned Cathedral Quarter Arts festival in 2016 and has recently travelled to FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, USA (in the same studio used by Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett as well as many more soul/R&B stars) to record her second studio album which is due for release in early 2019.
Inspired by soul and blues music as well as Irish folk which she grew up listening to Amanda has worked with artists like Brian Kennedy, Duke Special, Eddi Reader, Mary Coughlan, Ciaran Gribbin (of INXS) and Jon Tiven (Grammy winning Nashville writer/producer who has worked with BB King, Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones etc...). Gaining substantial media interest in Ireland and the UK including extensive airplay on the BBC and RTE as well as reviews in Hotpress Magazine & The Irish Times; Amanda has started to gain nationwide interest in the UK with live sessions on BBC Radio London as well as recording for legendary broadcaster ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2) 'Under the Apple Tree' series. With many festival slots (including showcasing at the prestigious Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas, USA) and Tours in the UK, Ireland and USA during 2017/2018 Amanda has become known for her passionate and powerful live performances and is fast establishing herself as one of Ireland’s leading vocalists.
"The songs echo jazz/soul/gospel greats such as Etta James, Odetta and Billie Holiday." Irish Times
"Wow a beautiful, beautiful voice" Gaby Roslin, BBC Radio London
“An incredible vocal performer and wonderfully talented songwriter.” Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster
"Amanda St John is totally in control of her craft and could be a huge international star". John Kearns, Irish News and Cool FM
“A powerful, emotive live performer” Maverick Magazine
“Feisty and fresh soul infused vocals...a must listen!” Hot Press Magazine
“Superb soulful vocals with stunning heartfelt lyrics” Blues Matters Magazine
"An incredibly emotional and infectious listening experience" Folk & Tumble
"Unmistakable vocals and skills in crafting songs full of feeling" CultureHub
"What a debut! The songs are quirky and full of hooks" Linley Hamilton, BBC Radio Ulster
“A dynamic singer/songwriter with an appetite for crafting stirring, soulful songs.” Chordblossom.com
“An emerging artist destined to write a long musical story,” Culturenorthernireland.org
"Amanda is the real deal. A great songwriter and a truly soulful singer,
she's got a very bright future ahead of her for sure." Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster