Singer/songwriter Eamon O'Tuama is a transplanted Irishman, settled now in New York. His music skillfully and seamlessly combines the flavor of both worlds. Down With a Smile, his 1996 debut album, was recorded in his adopted land but released in his homeland by the label CBM.
When O'Tuama settled in New York in 1989, he was a solo performer, playing city nightspots that included An Beal Bocht, the Sidewalk Cafe, CBGB's Gallery, and Sin E Cafe. By the end of the '90s, however, he pulled a backing band together that included drummer Chris Duignan, violinist Caroline Dutton, and electric guitar player John Vignone. He later added bassist Donna Bender to the initial lineup.
The strong Celtic flavor of O'Tuama's songs stems not just from his Irish brogue, poet's soul, and often yearning lyrics. A number of his fellow countrymen contributed to his first release, including Winnie Horan, Seamus Egan, James Keane, and the Chanting House's Susan McKeown. Greg Anderson also contributed and acted as engineer and producer. Traditional instruments such as the fiddle, uilleann pipes, and low whistle are also featured. In keeping with the tradition, O'Tuama started with his first CD, he issued the 13-track Behind Every Life in 2001.
O'Tuama was born in Cork and started composing songs while he was a university student, and his talent as a singer/songwriter received attention when he moved to the U.S. He has appeared and recorded with Anderson, Gabriel Donahue, Dorothy Scott, and Pierce Turner, among others. ~ Linda Seida