SOCORRO, N.M. February 23, 2012 – Singer-songwriter Cathie Ryan, named one of the top-100 Irish Americans by Irish America Magazine, will bring her “honey-pure” soprano sound to New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center, in Socorro, NM, on Friday, Feb. 24.

Irish-American singer Cathie Ryan will perform in Socorro on Friday, Feb. 24.

The Performing Arts Series (PAS) concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., coinciding with two premier events in Socorro – the New Mexico Science Olympiad and the Civil War Re-enactment, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Valverde.

Fellow Irish band, McPeake, originally scheduled to appear with Ryan in a double-bill, have canceled.

Ryan has been called a captivating and deeply affecting performer who has built a loyal following throughout Europe and North America by touring steadily and singing songs of the heart.

A reviewer in the Irish Echo wrote: “Cathie Ryan certainly knows how to communicate with her audience, and what she communicates through song are the enduring values of home, family, memory, and spirit. . .”

“Cathie is a gifted performer who connects with her audience on many levels,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish. “Her voice is mesmerizing, and her songs stay with her audiences long after she leaves the stage. “We are hoping that visitors to Socorro for the Civil War Re-enactment and Science Olympiad will join us for an evening of entertainment the entire family can enjoy.”

Since Ryan’s acclaimed seven-year tenure as lead singer of “Cherish the Ladies,” the Detroit native has earned a reputation as one of Celtic music’s most popular and enduring singer-songwriters.

A review in the Boston Globe praised Ryan as a “ . . .thrilling traditional vocalist whose honey-pure soprano is equally at home on probing original ballads about a woman’s place in the modern world.”

Ryan has released four critically acclaimed CDs on Shanachie Records: “Cathie Ryan,” “The Music of What Happens,” “Somewhere Along the Road,” and her latest, “The Farthest Wave.” She also is featured on more than forty compilations of Celtic music.

Ryan has performed on national and public television in the U.S. and Europe, and she has accrued accolades from both sides of the Atlantic, including being named “Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade” by Chicago’s Irish American News.

Backing her are two excellent and versatile musicians – Patrick Mangan on fiddle and Patsy O’Brien on guitar, banjo and vocals.

Mangan, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., has twice earned the all-Ireland fiddle championship. At 16, he was invited to appear in “Riverdance” on Broadway, becoming the youngest fiddle player in the show’s history.

Since that auspicious beginning, Mangan went on to dazzle audiences across the US, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, France, South Africa, Japan, China, and Taiwan as the show’s featured soloist.

He is on break from “Riverdance” to tour as a member of the Cathie Ryan Band.

O’Brien was born in County Cork in Northern Ireland, and has performed in clubs throughout his native country. He then took his music to the US, where his songs began to win awards and acclaim, including a feature on NPR’s “All Songs Considered.”

O’Brien’s playing ranges from driving rhythm to delicate and melodic finger picking. He has performed with The Cathie Ryan Band for the past five years, and his interpretive skill and great wealth of talent shine out in Ryan’s concerts.

Sponsors for this performance are the New Mexico Tech Graduate Student Association, Socorro Springs Restaurant and Brewery, SAIC, Holiday Inn Express, KUNM 89.9 FM and Dr. Robert and Kathy Markwell.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for senior citizens 65 and over, and $8 for youths 17 and under, and are available in Socorro at the N.M. Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Burrito Tyme Drive-up, over the phone at 575-835-5688, or at the door.

– NMT –

By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech