Mary Coughlan (Ireland)
Mary Coughlan is one of Ireland’s greatest soulful jazz and blues singers, a true artist who has crafted a timeless and highly regarded, versatile career with devoted fans worldwide.
Mary has lived through childhood trauma, alcoholism and drug addiction to become a musical force like no other; redeemed and transformed through the creative power of music. She embraces each song with empathy, courage interspersed with humour, emotions that reach way beyond the stage connecting with each and everyone in the audience.
She has created a play with a unique, hauntingly beautiful, award-nominated soundscape, WOMAN UNDONE, in collaboration with The Brokentalkers and Valgeir Sigur›sson revisiting the archetypal themes of her songs about love and loss, trauma and womanhood.
Her debut album Tired and Emotional rocketed her to overnight fame in 1985 and 15 albums later she is writing songs for another and continues to mesmerize live audiences in sold out houses throughout Europe, UK, Australia and New Zealand with her versatile velvet voice.
“Mary’s live performances have to be seen to be believed.” — NME
“While the comparisons have run the gamut from Holiday to Mathilde Santing to Janis Joplin, one thing is certain that Mary’s voice is her own.” — The Observer (UK)
“Mary Coughlan is still casting her earthy, Irish spells, as she has been doing for 35 years. The chief ingredient in her incantations is hardly unique: emotional truth should be a basic building-block of all singing and all art. Setting Coughlan's espousal of this candour apart are the other spells with which she adulterates it and intensifies it.” — Sydney Morning Herald