CATHY Jordan has been fronting trad group Dervish for almost a quarter of a decade. Together, they have played to fans in hundreds of cities across 40 countries, including gigs at the Great Wall of China, the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and at the biggest rock music festival in the world in Rio to 250,000 people.
In 2007, the band represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest but came last. In 2012, Jordan released her debut solo album All The Way Home.
Born in Scramogue, Co. Roscommon, the youngest of seven children, Cathy had traditional music in her blood. Both her parents were singers, as were her siblings, who she was performing with from the age of three. A self-taught guitar, bodhran, bones and bouzouki player she joined Dervish in 1991 and has been on the road ever since, which is where we caught up with her…
What are you up to right now?
In a car heading for the airport to catch a flight to Johannesburg for a couple of gigs with Dervish.
Who are your heroes?
My parents for raising seven kids in a small house with no running water and still managing to be cheerful.
What's been the best decade of your life so far and why?
This one I reckon. We played all round the world from Rio to Istanbul, Vilnius to Anchorage, Tokyo to Glasgow. We played in every sort of venue imaginable, from cattle marts to castles, for everyone from farmers to world leaders. Life is good these days.
What record sends a shiver down your spine?
Bob Dylan, Blood On The Tracks.
What is your favourite place in Ireland?
The Glen in Sligo.
What makes you angry?
Hypocrisy, lies and coat hangers.
What book influenced you most?
Feel the Fear and do it Anyway - by Susan Jeffers.
What was the worst moment of your life?
Watching my sister die from cancer.
Which musical star should everyone know about?
Rick Epping, an amazing harmonica player, concertina player, singer, collector, gardener, historian and absolute legend!
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
My jeans, I just spilled coffee all over them.
What is the best lesson life has taught you?
If you haven’t a laugh you have nothing!
What is your favourite film?
Dangerous Liaisons. It is full of suspense, intrigue, deception, lust, envy and revenge. What more could you ask for? Plus brilliant performances from Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer.
What do you believe in?
What trait do others criticise you for?
For not being able to take a day off.
Where do you live and what’s the best thing about it?
I live in beautiful Sligo in the west of Ireland. It’s full of mountains, valleys, surf, sea, tombs and history.
And the worst thing about it?
The best and worst thing about Sligo is the weather. It rains a lot in the winter but in the summer it’s so fantastic, just take a look at the movie Calvary if you don’t believe me. Dervish play in one of the scenes too!
On what occasion is it OK to lie?
When to tell the truth would be unnecessarily hurtful.
What do you consider the greatest work of art?
La Pieta by Michelangelo.
What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Who is the love of your life?
I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you!