Maura O’Connell

Folk singer Maura O’Connell is a star in her native Ireland. As a child, she seemed destined to take over the family fish shop started by her grandmother in the town of Ennis in County Clare. But music was also an integral part of her childhood: Maura grew up the third of four singing daughters, with a mother who also sang.

She began her professional musical journey during a six-week tour of America in 1980, as vocalist for the Celtic group DeDanann. The following year, she was featured on the band’s landmark album The Star-Spangled Molly, which became something of a national phenomenon in her homeland. Soon Maura had left DeDanann and moved to a flat in Dublin. Eventually she made her way to Nashville to record her first solo album. In 1989, she earned a Grammy nomination for her album Helpless Heart. More recently, she released Walls and Windows in 2001.

Throughout her career, Maura also has made dozens of guest appearances on other artists’ albums, including recordings by Dolly Parton, Van Morrison, Rosanne Cash, and dobro player extraordinaire Jerry Douglas. Additionally, she was a “featured extra” in the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.

This artist appears in Jubilee #515: Maura O’Connell.