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Introduction to Blind Poets.
They wowed festival audiences throughout 2018, from All Together Now to the Cork Folk Festival Galway Fringe and the Baltimore Fiddle Festival. The band's three single releases have been popular with listeners to RTE Radio 1, 2FM, Lyric FM, Today FM as well as numerous local stations throughout the country.


Now Blind Poets are excited to embrace their second year as a musical ensemble. But who are they and what do they do?


Fine song-writing, gorgeous traditional arrangements, skilful musicianship and five exceptional voices characterise this band. Rooted in folk but unafraid to cross genres, it's no exaggeration to say Blind Poets are doing something wonderful and new in the world of Irish music. It's hard to define though; picture a cross between Fleetwood Mac and The Gloaming.


Cork folk ensemble Blind Poets are currently finishing their debut album, with an launch date of April 7 planned for Coughlan's Music Venue, Cork and details of album launch to be announced shortly.


Niamh Murphy (formerly Foxglove) leads the show on piano and vocals. John Creedon says she is "among the cream of the current crop of Irish female vocalists, while Hotpress has described her as "Ireland's hottest emerging music talent. Niamh's rich piano playing and exceptional singing ability are mere asides; her melodious original songs are the heart of Blind Poets' music. Ranging from textured, resolute anthems through moving ballads to stomping rock tunes, they reflect a talent that won Niamh the International Songwriting Competition 2014.


On violin, synths and vocals is exceptional musician, producer and arranger Karen O'Doherty. Karen is widely known for her long-time collaborations with Mick Flannery, the Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra and Nota Bene string Quartet. Her rich tone, sure touch and sympathetic obbligatos have made her one of Cork city's most highly regarded violinists. Karen has contributed to hundreds of recordings as a session musician and as a producer, most notably in her own studio, Quantum Thief.


Katie O'Neill trained as a theatre performer but her family is steeped in folk. Blessed with a golden voice, she harmonises naturally with deep and touching emotion. When a song requires a singer with exceptional control but a relaxed stage presence, Katie is happy to step forward and lead.


This unexpected emergence is part of the diversity of a Blind Poets gig. Striking vocalists are everywhere.


Not least of these, Leo Mullane is well-known for his fruitful songwriting collaborations with Bobby Lee and The Vestas, among others. While Leo's virtuosic guitar skills and exceptional grasp of rhythm are the envy of many, his sensitive musicality and warm voice are integral to the Blind Poets sound. In 2018 Leo released his debut solo album "https://leomullane.bandcamp.com/album/inasense" Inasense to widespread acclaim.


Tom Jordan contributes another strand to the group as vocalist, clarinettist and co-writer. In his Cork city days Tom hosted a long-running weekly session in The Castle Inn, not to mention the legendary Utopianation open mic night on Barrack street, where the roof was usually raised a few inches with an 'all-in' closing jamboree. Tom's sonorous vocals compliment the other voices perfectly and his weaving clarinet melodies blend subtly, until they break out and soar like a genie from a bottle.


For recent concerts, Blind Poets have been joined by Martin Leahy on drums. Martin is renowned for his tonal approach and exceptional listening ability, rare gifts in a drummer. He regularly works with Cork's other best-loved poets, John Spillane and Ger Wolfe.
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