Monday 19 November 2018

Only a woman's heart can know

An iconic figure in the music scene, Dolores Keane has had it tough, writes Andrea Smith

On the train to interview Dolores Keane in Galway this week, I couldn't help being curious about the woman I was going to meet for the first time. The flame-haired singer, one of the icons of Irish music scene for several decades, has been missing from the public view for several years now, and I was dying to know what had become of the woman from Caherlistrane with the voice that has melted hearts worldwide.

Aside from the warmth and kindness of her manner, the first thing that struck me was how well Dolores is looking. She's slimmed down to a size 12, which she attributes to not being on the road with the attendant habit of late night eating after gigs, and she positively glows with health. The biggest change of all is that her trademark waist-length hair has been cut. She hasn't done a Katie Cruise, and it's still long by anybody's standards, but it comes as a shock all the same.

Dolores is in shock herself, not at the hair loss, but at the news that The Essential Dolores Keane album, a new 27-track compilation of her biggest hits, is flying off the shelves. Especially as she didn't exactly go out of her way to promote it. This was not unrelated to the recent release of albums by two other notable female Irish performers.

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