My wife and I first heard a recording of Irish singer Maura O’Connell while we were having dinner in a tiny, long-gone Dublin restaurant.

We asked about the music, and the next day we went out and bought our first recording by her. We’ve bought every one since, and we’ve been fortunate to see her perform live six times. The latest was Friday night at Eddie’s Attic, an excellent venue and listening room in Decatur, Ga. We went with our good friends, Billy and Laurie.

Maura, as usual, put on a great show, and it would be hard to say which song was the best. The audience would likely be divided on that question. But I’ll mention one song, one of her older ones written by Nanci Griffith, because when I heard it this time, I realized too sadly how much it is an anthem for our times.

I can’t offer you a recording from tonight, but I can offer this YouTube link to another rendition of the same song, which she performed with Ms. Griffith:

Note: After you listen to this, please go to Maura’s Web site and buy her recordings.  And be sure to catch her performances when she’s in your neighborhood. You can also find some other songs by Maura on YouTube.

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Keith Graham

Keith Graham

Keith Graham was among the recipients of the prestigious Stella Artois prize at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival. Named for a blind piano player, he is also well known for always giving money to street accordion players. A quotation that he considers meaningful comes from the Irish writer Roddy Doyle: "The family trees of the poor don't grow to any height." In addition to contributing to Like the Dew, Keith frequently posts quotations and links and occasionally longer articles at http://tartantambourine.com/