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Hill of Thieves CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Charcoal Records
  • ASIN: B001MUK4SK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,949 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Cara’s highly anticipated album, Hill of Thieves, shows a phenomenal return to her roots with some of the finest renditions and vocal performances she has ever recorded. This is demonstrated by her 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for 'Folk Singer of the Year' and 'Best Album'.

BBC Review

There are some musicians who develop with every new release. With a brace of awards, praise from her peers and an ever-growing following, Cara Dillon certainly fits that particular bill. Her fourth album perfectly demonstrates how keeping things simple really pays off.

A beautifully balanced production, brimming with sparkling guitar, piano, wistful uilleann pipes and Dillon's shimmering vocals, this first release for her own Charcoal Records delivers a smoldering collection of traditional tunes. With the beguiling title track as the only original composition, the join between between old and new is seamless.

Although She Moved Through The Fair may be something of a well-worn classic, when Dillon sings those words, it's as though we're hearing it for the first time. Similarly on Spencer The Rover, where she shares vocals with brother-in-law Seth Lakeman, somehow transcends its familiarity.

Perhaps the only faltering moment is her rendition of the ballad, False, False. Steeped in pain and betrayal, arguably the definitive version of this song was captured by June Tabor on her 1994 album, Against the Streams, where that mature voice added extra layers of depth and poignancy.

Although entirely admirable, Dillon's vocal seems a touch too sweet, perhaps too innocent even, lacking the weathered regret which Tabor effortlessly conveys. That aside, there's no denying that husband Sam Lakeman's doleful piano and Ben Nicholls' unfettered on acoustic bass underscore the tune's air of loss and remorse to perfection.

Following on from 2006's, After the Morning, simplicity really is the essence of her craft. The emotive unaccompanied vocal of the Gaelic tune Fil,Fil A Run O provides the most eloquent explanation as to why Dillon's singing is so rightly valued. It's impossible not be held spellbound.

Released at a time of year when the evenings are cold and dark, Hill of Thieves is a kind of rich comfort food for the soul, bringing some much-needed light and warmth. Artists this good deserved to be savored. --Sid Smith

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After five years experimenting with top rock and pop producers, engineers and songwriters for Warner Music, and six years of carving herself out as a Folk/Pop crossover artist with indie label Rough Trade, Cara Dillon has landed with her seminal recording, 'Hill Of Thieves'.

Having watched this artist with interest over the past couple of years, I was interested to see where exactly she was going to go from 2006's hopeful, genre hopping 'After The Morning'. Label letdowns and a lacklustre promotional campaign hindered this record's success, leaving it with an ill-deserved fate as one of those albums that Could Have Been Big.

Dillon and her musical partner and husband Sam Lakeman, let down one too many times by industry promises, clearly spent the next couple of years rethinking things and cutting free completely. Now in the driver's seat (on her own label, Charcoal Records), Cara Dillon emerges as a master of her genre with this sublime effort.

Each of the eleven songs seem at home in their sonic surroundings - whether this be on a bed of many layers of acoustic guitar (The Hill Of Thieves), between a haunting vocal and harmonic piano overtones (The Parting Glass), or carved out of the silence, acapella (Fil, Fil A Run O). Lakeman's confidence and astute judgement as a producer must not go unnoticed here.

Guest vocalist Seth Lakeman is sure to generate extra interest in the album, and he is careful here to duet with his sister-in-law, rather than compete with her, as he seemed to do when part of her live band six years previous. The result of this vocal partnership is the wonderful Spencer The Rover.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an amazing album from Cara Dillon, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves great singing. I was fortunate to acquire it during the fall tour, and I've been playing over and over since then. Cara Dillon is one of the greatest singers that I've ever heard, period. This year of 2008 has been a great one for fans of Cara Dillon with extensive touring and the release of the the REDCASTLE SESSIONS DVD (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way Cara Dillon - The Redcastle Sessions). Cara opens 2009 with a gem of an album. And she did all this with wee twin boys to look after!

HILL OF THIEVES is a brilliant album right from the opening title track, an original song by Cara Dillon and husband Sam Lakeman with a killer riff on low whistle that somehow manages to fit perfectly with the other songs, which are traditional. The magic of this album comes of course from Cara's singing, but also from the outstanding supporting musicians and, very importantly, the superb way in which these songs are arranged by the husband and wife team of Lakeman/Dillon. Their work makes these traditional songs so 'immediate' and 'contemporary' while preserving their timelessness. The very catchy "Spencer the Rover" is a noteworthy example of this, plus the harmonies between Cara and brother-in-law Seth Lakeman are jaw-dropping! Cara's beautiful singing to Sam Lakeman's excellent piano accompaniment in the haunting "She Moved Through The Fair" and the resplendent "The Verdant Braes of Skreen" give me goosebumps (and sometimes misty eyes). Cara's songs of emigration always get to my emotions, and "The Parting Glass" - a song that's over 300 years old - is so heartbreakingly performed.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this (pre-release) CD at a Cara Dillon concert in October and it's really superb. The title song is co-written by Cara and Sam Lakeman,all other tracks are traditional songs arranged by Cara and Sam. My favourite track is Spencer the Rover,but all are excellent - so much so that I've been playing it daily.
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Format: Audio CD
I hope you guys don't mind a few words from a Cara Dillon fan in the States. I heard a song by Cara about a year ago on the radio. It was filler music on a talk radio program, the Dennis Miller Show I think. Not sure. I remember sitting here mesmerized. They didn't give her name so I had to write in and beg them to tell me who it was. Since then I have purchased every CD that Cara has produced and faithfully followed her developing career. Apart from her beautiful voice, what strikes me about Cara Dillon is the integrity of her music. That shows in her selection of music, as well as in her deliberate flight from the established marketing channels and companies. Hill of Thieves is her best collection so far, though you would have to use force to part me from any of her CDs. The Parting Glass is probably my favorite in this collection, though the acapella "Fil,Fil a Run O" still makes my heart skip a beat after hearing it many, many times now. I am proud to be an American, but it does sadden me that we in this country cannot produce anything close to Cara. I for one am thankful that there is an Ireland, and that it gave heart and soul to this beautiful young woman. If she were the only thing I knew of Ireland, I would love the country well! I do hope that Cara and Sam know how much joy they have brought to fans, some even as far away as Virginia in the USA. I doubt that I will ever be able to see them in person, but if any of you have the chance, do please tell them that they have friends in the States who love what they are doing.
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