Mary Kathleen Burke developed her lifelong passion for music through being exposed to regular performances at parties and events within the family home and local community in the small village of Park in County Derry, Northern Ireland.
Singing from a young age, by the time she was 15 years old Mary had learned guitar and keyboards and had played with a country band. Later she moved on to solo performance.Seeking to expand her horizons, Mary moved to Scotland at the tender age of sixteen to pursue a career in music. Mary played in a range of different venues around the country as a solo artist, performing mostly Irish and Scottish traditional or roots music. By the age of nineteen she had written her first song – My Scotsman And Thee, included on this album.Mary is skilled in many areas of the music business and was for a time Director of Country Music Scotland, a small media vehicle which helped touring artists to Scotland .
Mary is skilled in many areas of the music business and was for a time Director of Country Music Scotland, a small media vehicle which helped many touring artists. Mary has also worked with Sean Cannon of The Dubliners, and opened for Bob Cheevers ,Eleanor McEvoy twice , Donnie Munro & Band, Mary Jean Lewis & The Lowmen & Sara Petite
Mary enlisted the help of a host of very fine musicians to session on her album, including David McNee (guitar, bouzouki, piano, bass, backing vocals), Austin Ince (percussion, whistle, backing vocals), Paul McKenna (vocals, percussion), Frankie Hepburn (guitars, dobro), Chuck Fleming (fiddle), Tim O’Connor (guitar, backing vocals), Jay Hepburn (drums), John Cassidy (flute), Alastair McCulloch (fiddle), Gordon McCulloch (accordion) and Duncan Lyall (bass).
This album is a mix of traditional and recent songs, including A Woman’s Heart, of which the composer, Eleanor McEvoy, described Mary’s version as “truly beautiful”.
“There’s an element of nostalgia that you tend to find only among longtime exiles… Something different and charming” (Sarah McQuaid, Evening Herald reviewer)
“Using her strong, passionate voice to good effect” (Spectrum FM Radio, Australia)
“The album arrived yesterday and I am afraid I can’t stop listening. Many thanks for this beautiful record” (Bernard Jean, Musiques Sans Frontieres, France)
“Album Of The Week” (Celtic Music Radio, Glasgow)
“A fist full of songs sung from the heart, that you allow willingly into your soul” (Folkin.com)
“Sometimes a songwriter can be too smart for their own good, but this singer and musician knows when to keep it simple. The technical ability on guitar is as clear as the voice. But rhythm, harmony and lyrics don’t need to show off, and here is the proof… The romantic spirit coursing through this album never threatens to rise up and swamp the songs. There is a much subtler groove at work, with some remarkable outside contributions… Mary stands as an example of how paying your dues – a weary cliché in these days of instant ‘celebrity’ status – brings its own rewards, but only if you have the talent to accompany the effort.. Mary Kathleen Burke knows about The Long Way Home, but is living proof that A Woman’s Heart beats strong.” (Chris Holmes)