Guest Artist: Aoife O’Donovan

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GRAMMY Award-winning artist Aoife O’Donovan is one of the most sought-after singers and songwriters of her generation. March 2020 brought her newest recording, Bull Frogs Croon (and Other Songs), which Paste describes as “captivating and American Songwriter describes as “a quietly stirring collection…fraught, delicate, and soothing all at once”.

Deemed “a vocalist of unerring instinct” by the New York Times, Aoife has worked with some of the preeminent names in music: from Alison Krauss (who recorded O’Donovan’s song “Lay My Burden Down” for her Grammy-winning album Paper Airplane) to Yo-Yo Ma, Aoife has proven to be a savvy and generous collaborator. Her most recent collaboration is I’m With Her, the band formed with Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Sarah Jarosz. The trio’s debut album See You Around (2018) was hailed as “willfully open-hearted” by NPR Music, while The Guardian called it “ethereal and purposeful.” They received a GRAMMY Award for their original song “Call My Name” in 2020 for Best American Roots Song.

As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums. 2016’s In the Magic Hour is an “exhilarating and exploratory” (MOJO) song cycle replete with the singer’s honeyed vocals and a gauzy, frictionless atmosphere. The New York Times named that album’s “The King of All Birds” one of their Best Songs Of 2016. Following her debut network TV performance on CBS Saturday, Aoife ended that year releasing a live album entitled Man In A Neon Coat: Live From Cambridge with her In The Magic Hour touring band.

Aoife’s debut solo album, 2013’s Fossils, is a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The record was featured on a number of year-end lists, including NPR Music, American Songwriter, New York Magazine, and No Depression. In 2018, Aoife contributed an original song titled “Are You There” to the film What They Had, an official selection at both Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.

O’Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and frontwoman of the string band, Crooked Still, who recently had music from their album Shaken By a Low Sound featured in the video game The Last of Us 2. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the GRAMMY-winning group of Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile, performed as a featured vocalist with over a dozen symphonies including the National Symphony Orchestra, collaborated with jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, and was a regular contributor to the National Public Radio variety show Live From Here.

Photo Credit: Rich Gilligan

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