Juliet Turner at Draiocht for 1 Night
Juliet Turner is appearing at Draiocht, Blanchardstown on Sat. 11th June 2011, 8pm.
Prepare to be drawn in and bowled over!
Juliet Turner stumbled into making music. She was given a guitar for her fifteenth birthday and met a poet who told her to start writing her own songs. In 1996 whilst at university in Glasgow, she was offered the chance to record those songs in a little studio called “Heaven” with small independent label “Sticky Music”. The result was “Let’s Hear it for Pizza”. People are still buying the album years later for songs such as “Pizza and Wine”, “Beyond the Backyard” and “Indian Summer”. It is a rough and ready album with some gorgeous lyrics. Innocent yet a little twisted.
Juliet moved to Dublin to finish her degree and to start playing live shows. Word travels swiftly on the Dublin music scene and soon Juliet was opening shows in the city for international artists such as Bob Dylan, Gabrielle, Natalie Merchant, Sting, U2 and Brian Adams and was touring with Joan Armatrading, Brian Kennedy, Ron Sexsmith and Roger McGuinn.
In 2000 Juliet set up her own label “Hear This! Records” with her manager Derek Nally. She released her second album “Burn the Black Suit” on the label and it went double platinum in Ireland. This album, produced by Gerard Kiely, was a little more ambitious – “pop veering into darker territory” as one reviewer put it. It gave the world three catchy pop tunes – “Dr Fell”, “Take the Money and Run” and “Burn the Black Suit”. Also the haunting “Belfast Central” and the duet with Brian Kennedy on “I hope that I don’t fall in love with you”, written by Tom Waits. This album was recently voted one of the top 100 Irish albums of all time by Hot Press Music Magazine Readers. Number 51.
“Season of the Hurricane” was released in Feb 2004 and went platinum in Ireland in June of the same year. This offered the radio hit “Everything Beautiful is Burning” and went to No. 8 in the Irish album charts. It also found itself nestling at no. 5 in the Amazon Internet charts between Norah Jones and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Less immediate than the previous album with smoother production values, Turner’s music became even more difficult to categorise and her subject matter more intriguing. The stand out track on this album is the starkly beautiful “No Good in this Goodbye”.
“There was no love as ordinary as ours. We walked hand in hand through this work day world. And the swiftness of your leaving caught me by surprise. There is no good in this goodbye”.
In Feb 2005 Juliet picked up an Irish Meteor Music Award for best Irish Female Performer, alongside artists such as Paddy Casey, PJ Harvey and Snow Patrol and she also signed a distribution deal with Valley in America. Deciding that the time was right to record some of the live shows, she released “Juliet Turner - Live” in November 2005, recorded over three nights in one of her favourite small Irish venues, the Spirit Store in Dundalk. This set the tone for the gigs to follow over the next couple of years as Juliet began to play all her live shows in small acoustic venues accompanied only by guitarist Brian Grace.
Then with three studio albums, a live album, double platinum sales and a Meteor Music Award under her belt, Juliet decided that a change of scene was needed and in October 2007 returned to Trinity College Dublin to undertake a four year BSc in Clinical Speech and Language Studies and has since received her degree.
Alongside the studies, the songwriting and performing continues and Juliet has been recording a new album with producer Keith Lawless. Described by the Irish Times as ‘one of the most intriguing of Irish female song writers arriving several years ago with a guitar and a batch of brittle, poignant songs; her broad accent and even broader outlook; her bitter-sweet tastes all marking her as one to watch’, Turner is still an artist marbled with tiny streaks of maverick.
The new batch of songs are thoughtful and less acerbic than some of her previous writing and the narrative lines running through the album are sympathetic and full of warmth. On stage with long time guitarist Brian Grace, Juliet Turner has a wry charm, a beautiful voice and fine lyrics, making her a compelling live performer. Listen for “Elder of the Tribe” and “Luisa” in particular. The release of new material seems to fall in a four-year cycle and her last album released in 2008, was eagerly anticipated and extremely well received.
Turner's live shows should be experienced. She is a quiet, relaxed performer with a wicked sense of humour. Her voice is unusually clear and sweet and her between song anecdotes are amusing, eccentric and off-the-cuff. With three studio albums, a live album, double platinum sales and a Meteor Music Award under her belt, Juliet Turner decided that a change of scene was needed and in October 2006 returned to Trinity College Dublin to undertake a four year BSc in Clinical Speech and Language Studies. Alongside the studies, the songwriting and performing continues and Juliet recorded a fourth studio album with producer Keith Lawless in a warehouse in Dublin.
The last album, “PEOPLE HAVE NAMES” was released in June 2008 and has been garnering rave reviews:
Irish Times four stars. **** JULIET TURNER: People Have Names
“Just as Juliet Turner’s palate for life’s sweet and salty moments has evolved, so her palette of sound has rumbled onwards as well, and her appreciation for life’s minor chords has grown. The title track (left to the end of the album, where it can seep into the subconscious) is a thought provoking meditation on life’s defining qualities: “It’s the work of a life time to love and be loved in return, to love to the end”. Lyrically, Turner’s attention turns to the big and small ticket stories; loneliness (Tuesday Night Ladies), romance (High Hopes) and the contradictions of youth and age (The Elder of the Tribe). Arrangements are spacious and unforced, with suitably tinted brass and strings, and Turner’s wisdom in letting her CD’s percolate for olympian periods is palpable on this gloriously taut collection”.
Belfast Telegraph - JULIET TURNER: People Have Names (Hear This) 4 Stars ****
You’d be hard pushed to find a flaw in Juliet Turner’s musical armoury. The Omagh-born songstress has usually delivered in both recording studio and stage. She’s a natural at encapsulating a marriage between folk and the singer-songwriter genre. “Season of the Hurricane” from 2004 was an excellent body of work — but since then she’s swapped the studio for the lecture hall and gone back to Trinity College Dublin to do a four-year degree in speech and language therapy. Fast forward to 2008 and Turner has just made the album of her life . People Have Names is a quite stunning collection of material — gorgeously presented by simple, sumptuous arrangements that are underpinned by Turner’s delicate vocal chords. The single Trickster is among the many highlights, but the two outstanding tracks are High Hopes and the opener Invisible to the Eye.
Hot Press Music Magazine ****Irish Maverick is Album of the Year Contender.
"Whereas many of her contemporaries have lost momentum, their best work behind them, Juliet Turner’s fourth studio album is an intoxicating example of an adventurous artist moving forward, discovering fresh topics, literate themes and intriguing sounds with which to tease her artistic muse. “Invisible to the Eye” is a striking song with Turner’s voice at its most sublime. The Cohenish “High Hopes” looks at the vicissitudes of love, “Elder of the Tribe” focuses on contrasting generational differences, while the unsettling, country-tinged “Tuesday Night Ladies” - boasting a particularly exquisite vocal from Turner - is a graphic depiction of modern lives lived with no direction home. Despite the slow tempo, “Joy” is uplifting and brash, with a self-confident sweet swagger, but “Trickster” is the real gem, a deceptively catchy tune with the refrain “What do you mean you don’t like shopping? What do you mean you don’t watch TV?”. Keith Lawless’s production, drizzled with warm strings and splashes of accordion and brass, brings a seductive and uncluttered feel to a bunch of songs that Turner seems to have been tenderly nurturing for a while. “People Have Names” is about as faultless as it gets and is a serious contender for album of the year."
Sunday Life - JULIET TURNER: People Have Names
"Turner has quietly evolved into one of our best singer/songwriters, and this fourth album, with a rich production and an increasingly sophisticated musical palette, may just be her best yet. Its songs are personal snapshots that reflect on the hard, bitter truths of life and are suffused with an air of sadness and regret that chime perfectly with the melancholy edge to Turner’s voice.”
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