Larissa Tormey has announced that her new single will be her version of Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader’s heartbreaking song Macushla (My Darling), due out on Friday July 15.
Larissa, based in Kilbeggan since making Ireland her home over 20 years ago, is also a talented singer-songwriter and will be releasing a new album this fall made entirely of original contemporary material. Before that, the established name in the Irish country scene wants to share their version of this song from Reader’s 2014 album Vagabond.
Besides simply liking the beauty of the song itself, Larissa also has a much more personal reason why American, country and folk flavored Macushla (My Darling) has taken such a dear place in her heart.
Larissa explains: “I was asked to record this song by a very special friend of mine, as a dedication to his wife. At first I thought it was the Irish song Macushla, which was recorded by the great tenors like John McCormack, Josef Locke and Frank Patterson. I’ve heard this song, of course, many, many times since I came to live in Ireland. There’s so much emotion in every line. It could be poetry. But it wasn’t that song at all, except Eddie Reader’s song which has almost the same name. And after listening to his song for the first time, it touched me too!”
Larissa explained how a booking for a home gig led to the friendship that eventually led to her asking him to record Macushla (My Darling.)
“The concert was over Christmas a few years ago, for this gentleman who I had never met before, but he knew my music and liked my voice. So he got in touch and asked if I would come and sing for him and his wife and some of their family and friends. I did, we had a wonderful evening, and we kind of kept in touch after that. Macushla (My Darling) is a song that the wife of this man used to sing to her, replacing the names of the characters Joe and Meg in the song for themselves, so in many ways it was their song, you might say.
Larissa continued, “Unfortunately, about three years ago his wife became very ill and passed away. Because Macushla keeps such sentimental memories to himself, he asked me if I would consider recording a version of it. for them, using his name and his late wife’s name, the same way she used to sing it to him. Of course, I said yes. As you can imagine, this song is something that really means a lot to him now. I’m so glad that Eddie Reader wrote such a beautiful song in the first place, it was a big part of this couple’s love story. And I’m also glad to know that my recording can bring some comfort to this man now, and help ease his grief even just a little once in a while.”
Larissa was so moved by the experience of recording this special version of Macushla (My Darling), that she knew it was a song she also wanted to share with the world and incorporate into her own set-list. . She also recorded a version with Joe and Meg of the original Reader character.
“The version I made for my friends was especially for them. This version is for the world, hopefully, but I also want to dedicate it to my friends,” Larissa said.
In what looks to be a busy second half of 2022 for Larissa, with planning for her fall album launch well advanced and a Christmas project underway, she also announced that she will be joining the great songwriter Irish PJ Murrihy as a special guest at his Tuar Ard concert on August 18th.
“PJ is a farmer, like my husband, and a songwriter, like me!” Larissa said, adding, “And I think that’s why we get along so well! We met at a musical event and spent most of the night talking about That night was enough for us to decide to record a duet together, which we did, releasing this beautiful Irish song “I Wish I Had Someone To Love Me” last April. PJ was also one of the performers at my ‘Voices For Peace’ concert in April. When he asked me to join him for his own show with Seamus Shannon, I was delighted to say yes.
MACUSHLA (MY DARLING), the new single from Larissa, will be available on all platforms from Friday July 15th. She will be a special guest at the PJ MURRIHY and Seamus Shannon concert at the Tuar Ard Arts Centre, Moate on Thursday, August 18. For more information on tickets, contact 090-648-2042 or 087-688-7480.