Mary Black records with Steve Martin

Here it is, pictorial proof of the meeting of great musical minds that took place recently in Dublin’s Cauldron Recording Studios.

Asked by producer John McEuen – yup, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band man – who he wanted to sing on his The Crow: New Songs For The 5-String Banjo album, actor and comedian Steve Martin immediately said “Mary Black – and while we’re at it let’s get Liam O’Flynn to do some piping and whistling.” Or words to that effect!

“Liam spent a day laying down some stuff, and then Steve flew in on his private jet to record with Mary who it turns out is his favourite singer,” Cauldron’s Ciaran Byrne tells Hot Press. “He’s a lovely guy and a great banjo-player, as the regulars in The Cobblestones in Smithfield discovered when he turned up unannounced at one of their sessions. He did three or four tracks in Cauldron – both songs and instrumental pieces.”

Black sings on one of the album’s standouts, ‘Calico Train’, which lines up alongside the Vince Gill and Dolly Parton-assisted ‘Pretty Flowers’ and ‘Daddy Played The Piano’, which features Earl Scruggs.

“It was number two on the Amazon.com chart behind Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream, so it’s reached a huge audience,” resumes Byrne who’s also rather chuffed that four of the other acts who’ve recorded at Cauldron – The Coronas, Damien Dempsey, Lisa Hannigan and Camille O’Sullivan – have received Meteor nominations.

Martin isn’t their only slightly left of centre visitor, with the Little Britain pair in recently to do the audiobook version of David Walliams’ The Boy In The Dress.

 

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