Eva Cassidy’s success in Iceland

Eva’s brother Dan Cassidy discovered in the 1994 that Europeans appreciated his way of playing. He felt very much at ease on the continent and close to his roots. When he arrived in Iceland he felt completely at home and decided to make it his home. He still resides there today.

Eva and Dan Blues Bar

Eva and Dan Blues Bar

Iceland is a military, geographic and cultural bridge between Europe and America. Dan loved the clean air, the bright water, the down to earth nature of the people and their love for art, literature and music. He soon became an in-demand fiddler because of his ability to turn his hand to jazz, blues and folk. He invited his sister to visit him in 1994.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Eva arrived with her mother and also fellow Stonehenge band member Larry Melton, with whom she kept up a close friendship. Dan had played Eva’s tapes to the owner of the Blues Bar in Reykjavik, Jonas Helgason, and he agreed to her performing five nights a week over her three-week stay.

Eva and Dan

Eva and Dan

When Eva played for an Icelandic audience they listened in absolute silence. Dan was able to see that she was still improving and that there had been a significant change in her musical choices, from jazz and blues towards real folk ballads. She even performed the classic rhythm and blues song ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as a folk ballad.

Eva was a great success in Iceland and, like her brother Dan, she felt completely at ease in the country. The audiences were respectful of her music and they showed their appreciation, sitting in a quiet circle around the stage. She even began to socialise with her audiences after shows. Icelandic people love to drink and Eva had her fair share. It was as if she had been freed from her inner chains.

Eva in Iceland

Eva in Iceland

Eva went down so well in her first-week performances that the following week she found herself on the front page of the culture supplement of Icelandic newspaper Pressan and she was invited to play live on the radio. She performed one of her favourite ballads, Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’.

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3 reactie(s)

  1. Barbara lahey

    Thanks…I love everything about eva

  2. Mac Macdonald

    Hello Johan,

    Thank you so much for this article and the photographs.
    I always called her “my Celtic girl” – and that is who she was. Please also pass my thanks on to Dan, who I had the pleasure of communicating with recently. e and Eva are so alike it is amazing – and their music styles complemented each other so much. Love her and miss her so.

    Mac

  3. Sly

    What do I think? I think it’s wonderful and I also wish that someone had recorded her performances there. I was hoping to hear a sample. I discovered Eva, too late. She was suffering from cancer and played her last public appearance, a benefit concert on her behalf, put on by some of Washington, DC finest and most legendary musicians at the Bayou in Georgetown. What a treasure. I just heard some of her music on Sunday played over Pandora (when putting in Alison Krauss and then they play her music and similar artists, one of which was Eva.)