Drawing on her latest album Wishbones – protest song ‘The Ballad of Standing Rock’ one particular shining light – this was a sparkling showing by a brave and adventurous singer sat playing guitar as she sang in the company of her extraordinary band who were with her as one.
Tipping her hat to Bob Dylan her lyrics were everything and Gillespie’s delivery the very antithesis of compromise and middle of the road mush. Mining further back into her back catalogue ‘Glory Days’ the incredible tribute to her late mother and the new album treatment of the traditional song ‘Moonshiner’ that Dylan covered also stood out, the latter a dark, compelling, tale of drinking – and life. Gillespie lives to tell. You emerge that bit stronger from hearing her.
Kit Downes, above left, Ruth Goller, Sarah Gillespie, James Maddren and Chris Montague – Upstairs in Dolans at the Limerick Jazz Festival. Photo: Salvatore Conte