Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cara Dillon - Voice of an Angel

Posted July 2, 2007

Who, in your opinion, has the voice of an angel?  What female singer transports you to a heavenly place?

Rarely do I stumble across a singer that I enjoy as much as Cara Dillon. This Northern Ireland songbird came to my attention a few weeks ago when I was preparing for my Seattle vacation and a long plane ride. Several years ago I fell in love with the voice of Cara's sister Mary Dillon who played with the traditional Celtic band Deanta. Mary has embraced motherhood recently putting her musical career on the sidelines.

After sampling several of Cara's songs I purchased her three albums online. Not since my discovery of Alison Krauss years ago have I enjoyed a female singer more. In fact there are similarities in the styles of the two singers. Each vocalist sings with a pure sense of intimacy and sweetness. Each word, each phrase and each transition are perfectly executed with just the precise amount of warmth and feeling.

Cara Dillon is a folk singer who grew up in Londonderry singing and playing violin and whistle. She learned many of the old Irish tunes from her grandmother. Cara reinvents the Celtic classics  in fresh and unique ways. But she also records new material including some of her own tunes. Her husband Sam Lakeman is a brilliant pianist who has played a key role in each of Cara’s three albums.

Cara’s amazing talent has primarily been recognized in Europe.  I would love to see her make an American tour. I think she would take the states by storm.

Google Cara Dillon and sample some of her music and let me know what you think. How about you?  Have you stumbled across any angelic voices lately?


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  • BearNC Jul 7, 2007

    I listen to a lot of southern gospel music. The female singer who has the most angelic voices is Susan Whisnant (who is a southern gospel artist) and sings with her family group (the Whisnants) who are based in Morganton, NC.

  • Celt Jul 5, 2007

    Oh, without a question, it would be the teenage prodigy from New Zealand, Hayley Westenra.

  • davidgnews Jul 3, 2007

    Bill, you might like the Rankins as well.

    Cookie Rankin is married to legendary producer, George Massenburg (Linda Ronstadt, etc)

  • minilisa Jul 3, 2007

    I will have to look up Cara and listen. My favorite who absolutely sounds like an angel is Josh Groban. Give him a try.

  • Happyfeet50 Jul 3, 2007

    I have to go with Allison Kraus, what range and simply beautiful.

  • blytle Jul 3, 2007

    I guess, in light of her passing, I need to pay tribute to Beverly Sills. Many will not have had an opportunity to hear her sing, but I was blessed, years ago, to hear her perform at Reynolds Coloseum (sp) as part of the Friends of the College series. Yes, for many who do not like opera, the mention of her singing will not inspire good thoughts, but her voice was exciting, her range incredible, and her personality, delightful. Godspeed, Bubbles!

  • Groucho_CH_NC Jul 3, 2007

    Maybe not the voice of an angel -- more like an elfin character but Stina Nordenstam breaks my heart with the simplicity and understatedness of her vocals. Same with Mari Boine, Radka Toneff and opera singer Lucia Popp.

  • tennispro Jul 2, 2007

    Josh Grobin is one of my favorite artists. You all should see him if you get a chance in concert. Cara Dillon is great also.She and Josh should do a concert together!!My favorite song she does is The Lark in the Clean Air!

  • LRider Jul 2, 2007


    I have to go with Loreena McKennitt. She is amazing. Truly a voice of an angel.

    Thanks for the great blog.

  • gabby1 Jul 2, 2007

    Allison Kraus and Alicia Keyes by far the most beautiful voices around!




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