Excerpt from the press info
“They sound like a whole festival wrapped up in one band!”
Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland (UK)
A multi-national band with Irish, Scottish and German members, CARA tour worldwide with unique interpretations of Celtic music, firmly rooted in the Irish and Scottish tradition, presenting innovative arrangements of traditional material alongside critically acclaimed original compositions.
“Cara sound like Cara - there can't be a higher recommendation.”
Folker! Magazine (Germany)
Fronted by two female lead singers, CARA combine vocals, piano, fiddle, flute, guitar, bodhrán, uilleann pipes and accordion with a dry-witted and charismatic stage presence. They have headlined some of the largest Irish music festivals and brought audiences to their feet across the USA, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.
2018 saw a line-up change with the addition of Bodhrán World-Champion (2010) Aimée Farrell Courtney from Co.Meath, Ireland. The band also celebrated their 15 year anniversary, with the release of a new live album to critical acclaim:
"Cara affirms its well-deserved reputation as an outstanding concert band, and the collective energy is prodigious."
Boston Irish Reporter (USA)
"German/Scots aggregation Cara work best in the live arena, their amphidexterous [sic] abilities and musical knowhow working to their advantage. The epic ballad Little Musgrave hangs on emotional dexterity while the tune sets blend pastorality and uplift in proportion. Great."
"Cara Live neatly bookends the band’s recent arrivals, developments and musical evolution with grace and style. Well done all."
Living Tradition (UK)
With two Irish Music Awards (Best New Irish Artist 2010, and Top Group 2011), the “Freiburger Leiter” 2018 award, five studio and two live albums as well as countless performances under their belts, CARA effortlessly navigate the spaces between trad, singer/songwriter, “nu-folk” and acoustic pop. They sound so blithe and full of verve, hard-core traditional music fans unite with lovers of acoustic music, and in the end they all end up dancing and singing together.
“A world class band in top form.”
Irish Music Magazine (Ireland)
Gudrun Walther: lead vocals, fiddle, diatonic accordion
was brought up in a dynasty of fiddlers with Irish, German and French folk music and started to play traditional music on the fiddle at the age of six. Singing is something that Gudrun has been doing all her life. Apparently she sang along to Irish Rebel songs before she could speak the language. Gudrun is one of Ger- many’s most sought-after and well-respected trad musicians. She plays German traditional music together with Jürgen in a band called “Deitsch”, earning them a big reputation in their home country. They are also part of Scottish-German band “Litha”, alongside Aaron Jones (Old Blind Dogs, Kate Rusby Band) and Claire Mann (Ex-Tabache). She won numerous awards with her music and recordings (German Folk Award, German Critics Award), guested on many genre crossing albums (El Houssaine Kili, Söhne Mannheims, Le Concert Spirituel), performed as a soloist with a big orchestra (Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz) and worked as producer and co-producer in the studio. Her original songs and tunes are an integral part of Cara and some have been covered and recorded by folk bands in the USA and UK. In 2016 she was asked to guest with world-renowned Irish band, Téada, filling in for Sligo fiddle master Oisín MacDiarmada.
“Gudrun Walther could certainly hold her own in any Irish musical setting.”
Dirty Linen Magazine (USA)
“Her energy and stage presence was a joy to watch and she led the band through a set of tunes and songs that were just fantastic. It was a truly magic set. The festival stars of this year.”
Ceol Cholasa, Colonsay Folk Festival (UK)
Kim Edgar: lead vocals, piano
Based in Edinburgh, singer songwriter Kim’s intensity and intimacy in performance have led to her being described as Scotland’s very own Tori Amos (Sunday Herald). Attracting five star reviews for her recordings and live performances, Kim's songs reflect her classical piano background, and her interest in horror, fairy tales, feminism and social history, which she studied during her degree in English Language & Literature. Kim “combines narratives of courageous honesty with darkly delicious melodies” (Spiral Earth), crafting songs which are “strangely uplifting, despite the well-phrased, sombre lyrics” (The BIG Issue). Her debut album, “butterflies and broken glass” (2008) received a five star review in Scotland On Sunday, and her follow up, “The Ornate Lie” (2012) was also critically acclaimed, being ranked 11th in the top Scottish albums of 2012 (Sunday Herald), nominated for Best Album (Spiral Earth) and awarded Songwriter Of The Week (Iain Anderson, BBC Radio Scotland).
Her latest album, “Stories Untold” (2016) was produced by CARA bandmate Jürgen Treyz, and also received a five star review from Spiral Earth which stated she “is probably one of the best songwriters in Britain today”. Kim has also come under the spotlight as a member of genre-hopping collective The Burns Unit, whose debut release, “Side Show” (2010) was warmly welcomed, with performances at Cambridge Folk Festival, on Later With Jools Holland, and for HRH The Queen, with bandmate Karine Polwart.
“Kim Edgar combines narratives of courageous honesty with darkly delicious melodies.”
Spiral Earth (UK)
Hendrik Morgenbrodt: uilleann pipes
At the age of 11 Hendrik started to play French and German bagpipes, at the age of 16 he discovered the sound of the uilleann pipes, which gripped him and didn't let go of him ever since. He was a fast learner, with tea- chers such as John McSherry, Brian McNamara and Sean Potts. The uilleann pipes are his life, as he is not only playing them, but also a trained pipe maker. After learning the trade from the renowned Andreas Rogge, he has now set up shop under his own name as a self-employed pipe maker. He built his set of pipes and the reeds especially for CARA, and designed them to match the needs of the band sound. One of his most treasured moments on stage so far is the guest appearance with his heroine Liz Carroll, who kindly invited him to join her on stage for some tunes at the “Crossroad” Irish American Festival in San Francisco 2011. Since he joined CARA in 2014, he has been making a name for himself both as piper and pipe maker on the international scene and has lent his unique sounds to some big classical and pop productions.
“The album (Live) is full of Cara’s standout performances, for me the high point is Morgenbrodt’s slow air (...), which draws every last ounce of emotion from the pipes.”
Séan Laffey, Irish Music Magazine (Ireland)
Jürgen Treyz: guitar, dobro, backing vocals
studied guitar at the MGI in Munich. During that time he also became engaged with traditional and medieval music. In 1993 he founded the artes recording studio which specializes in acoustic and traditional music.
Being involved in radio plays, theatre plays and TV productions as a guitarist, composer and arranger, he has published over 70 albums with his own music. He was repeatedly rewarded with the renowned German Critics Award. As a producer and studio sound engineer he has earned himself the greatest respect in the German trad music scene.
In 2006 he founded “Deitsch“ together with Gudrun, a project in which they arranged, recorded and performed German traditional music in a contemporary style. Their two albums “Königskinder“ and “Heimat“ were received with great critical acclaim, “Heimat“ won the German Critics Award. They continued their work as a duo and released a double-album of German and Celtic music under their own names in 2017. Alongside Gudrun he is also a full-time member of internationally successful quartet “Litha“ with Scottish musicians Claire Mann and Aaron Jones, touring all over Europe and the United States of America since 2008. In 2016 Walther & Treyz began to work with the project “Fiddles & Feet“ alongside famous Sligo fiddler, Oisín MacDiarmada and dancer and pianist Samantha Harvey (USA). In 2018 Juergen released a guitar book and tutorial CD, teaching fingerstyle arrangements for long-lost German traditional instrumental pieces, published by the renowned guitar label “Acoustic Music“.
“Cara’s adroitness in arrangements (Treyz in particular) is much in evidence here.“
Boston Irish Reporter (USA)
“Treyz hits the high mark though, with his complicated compositional arrangements on Odd Rhythms“
Eileen McCabe, Irish Music Magazine (Ireland)
Aimée Farrell Courtney: bodhrán
The promise shown by acclaimed bodhrán player Aimée Farrell Courtney’s debut performance in Dublin’s National Concert Hall at the tender age of eight was realised when she won the 2010 World Bodhrán Champion - ship. Since then she has gone on to collaborate with musicians such as Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, and Alyth McCormack and perform in venues such as The Three Arena (Dublin) and The Hermitage Theatre (Russia). Aimée’s love of music is evident in her teaching, which has led her to conduct workshops across Ireland, Europe and the USA.
Aimée holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, specialising in Irish Traditional Music. Graduating with First Class Honours, Aimée was also awarded the Leo Rowsome Gold Medal for outstanding traditional performance and the Michael McNamara Gold Medal for outstanding overall performance. She joined CARA in 2018 and performs with the band wherever they play in a quintet-line-up.