Possessed of an elegant grace, on ‘The Art of Forgetting’ Kyle Carey weaves together resonant threads of Celtic and American roots music into a rich tapestry of acoustic storytelling. Produced by four-time Grammy winner Dirk Powell, the album unites an all-star international cast of musicians: Louisiana’s Sam Broussard on guitar; Scotland’s John McCusker on fiddle; the Netherlands’ Ron Janssen on octave mandolin; Nashville’s Kai Welch on trumpet; Ireland’s Mike McGoldrick on Flute; and North Carolina’s Rhiannon Giddens on backing vocals. Powell, one of the world’s leading experts on traditional fiddle and banjo styles – particularly Cajun – lends his particular skills as well.
Carey’s own story is as worldly as her music, raised by her schoolteacher parents first in the Alaskan Bush (where she heard Yup’ik Eskimo spoken as often as she heard English), and then in rural New Hampshire. She studied literature in college, and then travelled to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia on a Fulbright Fellowship to begin her study of the Gaelic language and its music. Carey is one of those scarce-as-hen’s-teeth Irish-Americans fluent in the language of her ancestors.
That was followed by a two-year sojourn on the Isle of Skye; there she cemented her command of the Gaelic language and fell under the tutelage of Christine Primrose, a native of nearby Lewis and one of Scotland’s most revered traditional singers. From Primrose she learned the secrets of pronunciation and tone that distinguish those who sing from the deep heart of that music.