For the last thirty years, singer Mary Black has been a dominant presence on the Irish music scene, an award-winning artist with many bestselling albums to her name. Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Mary takes us back to the roots of her musical heritage and to the influences that helped to shape her as an artist and a woman.
Born into a musical family, Mary Black – a feisty tomboy who could hold her own when it came to sparring with her brothers and anyone else brave enough to take her on – began singing folk songs from the age of ten. Music played an important role in the family home and, performing with her brothers and her sister Frances, Mary built her highly successful career on the bedrock of these early years.
From the pubs and clubs of her hometown, Dublin, she went on to perform in some of the most prestigious venues across the world. Always committed to exploring new material from the best writers, her unique talent attracted acclaim from critics, fellow artists and the public alike. It also led to a host of bestselling albums, including the multi-platinum No Frontiers, which spent more than a year in the Irish Top 30.
Mary’s love of singing was matched only by the love she had for her family. As she recalls the inevitable tensions that arose when trying to juggle family life and a high-profile career, she tells of her struggle to combine the two contrasting aspects of her life. It was only through gritty determination, hard work and a fair amount of laughter that Mary was able to enjoy major success as an artist and, at the same time, raise a close and loving family with her husband Joe.
Refreshingly honest, and written with warmth and humour, Down the Crooked Road offers a unique insight into the life and career of one of our most gifted singers – an artist who, during the course of her long career, has captured the hearts of millions around the world.
Mary Black was born into a musical family in Dublin. She was one of five children and began singing with her siblings at a very early age. Over the course of her long career she has become one of Ireland’s best-loved artists and has achieved international acclaim across Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA. She has shared stages, television studios and recording studios with some of the most acclaimed performers of our day – from Van Morrison and Joan Baez to Emmylou Harris and Imelda May – and has recorded numerous multi-platinum albums. Her latest album, Stories from the Steeple, was released in 2011.
Mary has won countless awards during the course of her career, including the Irish Recorded Music’s Best Female Artist award (six times) and the Irish Post’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. She has three children and two granddaughters, and lives in Dublin with her husband Joe.