Some of the wonderful reviews we have had

from around the world

Home Page Meet the band... Listen to tracks from Cara's albums Order CDs on-line or print order form.... Enquire about booking the band - anywhere, any occasion When and where are we playing? Links to reviews and other music stuff


As a band we love what we do and it is gratifying to know that other people enjoy listening to our music and enjoy themselves at our concerts. Here are just a few of the comments we have received over the years from our fans around the world:

Review of 'The Granary Steps' CD

"When I reviewed Cara's last CD Long Forgotten, I said it ensured that they wouldn't ever be! And yes, The Granary Steps is if anything even finer a demonstration of their thoughtful approach to Irish traditional music, responding first and foremost to its intrinsic beauty. When not purveying gentle, unhurried (yet still genuinely-felt) versions of actual tunes from the body of the Celtic Irish tradition, Cara take the sound, feel and structure of musical forms from that tradition and use it as a springboard for their own melodic inventions. Like its predecessor, The Granary Steps was recorded in Co. Roscommon, where Cara clearly feel thoroughly at home; the full sound and appealing blend of Mike Ryan (uilleann pipes, whistles, mandolin and guitar), John Rawlings (guitar) and David Oakley (violin, mandolin) here give us an hour of stimulating yet contented listening."

David Kidman (The Mudcat Café) February 2007 - Read the full review at Netrythyms!


“I have all three of Cara's CDs and love them. They are three extremely talented musicians who perform both traditional and original songs with great dexterity. The music flows from them - their instrumentals are fantastic and the original songs they sing are very moving. I hope to hear them live one day!”
Freda Underhill, Australia

“The end of the performance drew applause which lasted almost a minute...people clapping for almost a minute is not a common occurrence.”
Mike Hill, Gainsborough


Reviews of the 'Long Forgotten' CD

"The Cara sound is glorious and quite beautiful, yet with never a dull moment that might tempt the unwary off to sleep. On this, their third CD (get hold of Asleep Behind The Settee and The Notes In The Stones too, for a couple of hours' more sheer magic), again recorded over in Co. Roscommon, the trio are joined on a small handful of tracks by fiddle player Janey Beharrell, and the result is absolutely brilliant!"

David Kidman (Owner of The Mudcat Café)
Read David Kidman's full review of Long Forgotten at Netrythyms!

"What a wonderful and waited-for event.  I have my copy of this great new CD from Oakley John and Mike.  The first thing one always notices with these three is how sensitive they are to each others playing.  The musical interaction is just stellar.  The second thing as someone who loves the studio I would love to know what mics they used on John’s guitar and Oakley’s fiddle.  I remember David’s tone was something very special in person but he and John are miked very, very well on this CD

Guy Wolff, American multi- instrumental traditional/blues performer.
(This is part of the review posted by Guy to The Mudcat Café in November 2004)

“A wonderful and talented group!! If you haven't heard/seen them you must!!”
Katherine Patterson, London

“Cara - well Cara are Cara. Their set was so tight and the music was magic. There last two tunes as encore were lovely.”
Les Worral, Market Rasen Folk Club


Review of 'The Notes in the Stones' CD

“When Cara put out there first CD "Asleep Behind the Settee" I was first touched by the friendship one hears in their playing together. This is even more evident in this CD and along the way these guys are maturing as a group. It is astounding to find wonderful intuitive new tunes coming out of the air around David Oakley.  "The Notes In the Stones" is a perfect name for this CD because you can’t get tunes this good all by yourself.  The tunes really do have to come from someplace. I would use the word intuitive a lot to describe this CD."

Guy Wolff, American multi- instrumental traditional/blues performer.
(This is part of the review posted by Guy to the The Mudcat Café in October 2003)

“I'd have to say that the 3 CDs I have of the wonderful Cara group are among my favorites”
Art Brooks – Alberqueque, New Mexico


Reviews of the 'Asleep Behind the Settee' CD

“… playing "The Second of May" from "Asleep Behind the Settee". What an absolutely beautiful tune! These guys ARE talent.”
Gary Owens – New Brunswick, Canada

“I've floated along and just about worn out the CD. Don't ask for a favourite track, it is a complete work of emotion, sensitivity and soul. Wonderful guitar, exceptional fiddle and haunting pipes and whistles, enough said.”
Hazel Ritchings – Hissyfit

“When Cara appeared at Saddleworth last year, all the comments on them were absolutely excellent! We were really impressed.”
Ali O’Brien – Saddleworth Folk Festival

“This is collaboration between some of the finest musicians I have had the privilege to listen to. Dave Oakley, fiddle and mandolin, Mick Ryan uillean pipes, mandolin, guitar, vocals and whistles and John Rawlings guitar and cittern.

This CD has everything a good piece of work should have, not least the balance of light and shade. But the overwhelming impression I get from this is joy, happiness and a celebration in song and tunes of some of the best original and traditional music from the Celtic tradition.”
Mick McGarry – Punch the Horse, Hull


“It’s difficult to believe that Abbeyfeale is not an ancient trad tune - nice one!  The second of May is a beautiful and enchanting tune also. Whilst listening I was moved in many ways from the haunting slow instrumentals Till Dawn and those that accompany Mike’s amazing voice Long Forgotten, and The Mayfly in particular – to tracks where I could not keep still Dusty Windowsills and the Munster Cloak – And the more melodic tunes at the beginning of  “Asleep Behind The Settee” starting with Lough Derg Jig.  I can’t seem to get beyond The Masson’s Apron! (the repeat button strikes again). 

I’d rather not have to choose favourites (I’m afraid my desert island discs would be a bit biased towards Cara). Just do more of the same please.”
Graham Walker – Cottingham, UK

Copywrite image