Singer's Request - Celia Ramsay and Shay Black's new collaborative album is available for sale!
Singer's Request is a collection of some of Shay and Celia's favorite songs, songs that come from both Shay's Irish and Celia's Scottish roots. The album proudly includes instrumental support from John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Michael Black, Patrice Haan, Charlie Hancock, Eamonn Flynn, David Morris, David Brewer and Rebecca Lomnicky and vocal harmonies on some songs from Shay's family: niece Róisín, sisters Mary and Frances, and brothers Michael and Martin.
“I have been listening over and over to this beautiful work of art - Singer’s Request. Celia Ramsay and Shay Black’s voices are lovely together (Ramsay’s voice is GORGEOUS), and the production, variety and song order are simply fabulous. It is wonderful and I am happy there is such awesome work out in the world. What a fun and beautiful CD to listen to. Congratulations on a beauty!”
Shay Black is the eldest brother of Ireland's well-loved Black Family. He is revered in the San Francisco Bay Area as a song-catcher and teaches classes in song repertory when he and his brother, Michael, aren't following their busy performance schedule as The Black Brothers. He has appeared on numerous recordings, including In Harmony’s Way, and hosts the Sunday night Irish seísun at the Starry Plow in Berkeley. Celia and Shay have been singing together at music camps and song circles for many years.
"Here is a bit of music art with messages relevant in both traditional Celtic and modern society, at once beautiful, thought provoking and fun. Song catchers Shay and Celia have assembled songs that express the spectrum of the human condition from the heart of the traditional genre. The selections of music also cover a wide range of the Celtic spectrum of time and space – Scotland, Ireland and U.S. traditional music whose roots are in both...
Humorous references to well-weathered shanty-men aside, Shay's earthy tenor gives the collection a tonal context consistent with these themes, however, the strength of women are also in these songs, especially in the lovely contralto of Celia Ramsay. In many genres, especially modern popular music, too many male and female singers sound alike. Too many sopranos sound like children, particularly in choirs. Too many folk, country and other types of singers are unremarkable, with narrow ranges, no depth, or uniqueness. They are shallow, two dimensional like a piece of paper and too often their music is the same. There is nothing distinct about them. It is rare to hear a rich, sultry contralto, particularly a strong, beautiful voice like Celia Ramsay's." -Tony Becker