Current News

Thom Moore

Thom Moore

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Thom Moore last weekend (March 17th).

Thom was a truly gifted songwriter with a beautiful golden voice. I remember back in 1989 when we were on the last day of recording the album ‘No Frontiers’ and Thom walked into the studio saying he had some songs. He took out his guitar and sang ‘Carolina Rua’ and ‘ The Fog in Monterey’. We were mesmerised and realised instantly that the album wasn’t finished - both songs were recorded by us later that day!

I will be forever grateful for those songs and the many more songs of his I recorded since then. His lyrics had such wisdom and truth alongside clever melodic tunes that stay with you long after the song is finished. He is another great loss to Irish music and musicians.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


New website contest winners

New website contest winners

About a month ago, we started a contest for celebrate the release of the new website.

In this contest we asked you to explore the new website to answer the following three questions:

  1. List, in order, the 3 songs that have the most song versions (notice: distinct song versions, not the amount of tracks) . Also include the amount of versions for those songs. Do not count versions labeled “sheet music”.
  2. What is the venue that Mary has played the most in inside of Ireland (since 1999)?
  3. What is the venue that Mary has played the most in outside of Ireland (since 1999)?

The correct answers to these questions are:

  1. Song for Ireland: 7 versions, No Frontiers: 6 versions, Katie: 5 versions
  2. Olympia, Dublin
  3. The Birchmere, Alexandria (VA), USA

It seems that the contest was a bit too difficult as we only received three correct entries. As we had prizes for 10 winners, we have decided to use the remaining prizes that are not awarded with this contest for a new (easier) contest that we will set up soon.

The winners for this contest are:

  1. Steve Enright
  2. Lore Leanne
  3. Lee Lord
Congratulations. We will send the prizes to you as soon as possible.

Derry O'Connor

Derry O'Connor

Collage of cover's designed by Derry O'Connor

"It was with great sadness that I received the news last week of the sudden death of a dear friend and colleague, Derry (Dermot) O’Connor (The Brand Idea). He was responsible for the design of most of my album covers over the last 20 years. He was a talented graphic designer but also had a passion for music and always put his heart and soul into every project. My heart and sympathies go out to his wife Pat and two daughters, Julie and Lisa and to all his family. We will miss Derry greatly both professionally and as a friend.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam - RIP”


New website design

New website design

I am happy to let you know that Mary Black’s website has been completely redesigned. The new site has a different look and adapts to all kinds of device sizes automatically. Whether you access it on smartphones, tablets or computers with large monitors, the site will automatically adapt to the available screen size.

The discography section is also updated and now lists all the different versions of a song that exist. There is even a sound clip for (almost) every version of every song that you can listen to. Older sound clips that were taken from vinyl records have also been replaced by cleaned up versions that sound much better.

The new site has also been made usable for people who are vision impaired and who need to use screen readers (thanks to Dominique Farrell for helping me test this extensively).

As the Mary Black iOS app uses the website to retrieve it’s data from and the new website is built on a different server technology, the Mary Black app may give some issues for a few days. The problem is that I cannot test and submit an updated version of the app to Apple for review until the new website has gone live. But when the new website goes live, the current iOS app version does not work anymore. I’ll test the updated app as soon as possible and hope that the review by Apple will also be swift. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

To celebrate the new website, we have set up a contest in which we will give away 10 signed copies of the Down The Crooked Road album combined with the Marguerite and the Gambler promo CD. And three winners even win a rare LPs, each one with at least one track that is hard to find. For all the details regarding the contest click here.

Mark van Setten

"Mary Black Sings Jimmy MacCarthy" album release

"Mary Black Sings Jimmy MacCarthy" album release

Mary is happy to announce the release of her new album “Mary Black Sings Jimmy MacCarthy” on November the 10th. 

The album contains eleven songs written by Jimmy, 6 previously recorded by Mary, 4 brand new recordings by Mary and a TV recording of a Mary and Jimmy duet.

  1. No Frontiers
  2. Adam At The Window
  3. There Is No Night
  4. Love’s Last Chance
  5. Bright Blue Rose
  6. What We Came Here For
  7. Wonderchild
  8. Katie
  9. Mystic Lipstick
  10. Another Day
  11. As I Leave Behind Néidín (with Jimmy MacCarthy)

The album will be available on 10 November in shops in Ireland, on Mary’s website and on digital platforms such as iTunes and Spotify. 


“A while ago I got a call from Jimmy. He asked me how I would feel about this project 'Mary Black Sings Jimmy Mac'. Without hesitation, I said yes and loved the idea, but it was only when I got to his place in Kilkenny and heard him sing his new songs that I got really excited. What a joy after all these years to have such great lyrics and new songs to sing from Jimmy Mac.”  - Mary

More details about the album can be found in the Discography section.

"Mary Black Sings Jimmy Mac" Irish Tour

"Mary Black Sings Jimmy Mac" Irish Tour

Cover of Mary Black Sings Jimmy MacCarthy

Mary is happy to announce her annual Irish tour in the first months of 2018 - “Mary Black Sings Jimmy Mac”. These concerts will highlight material from Mary’s forthcoming album of Jimmy MacCarthy songs - and lots more besides.

  • 15 February 2018 - Cork - Opera House
  • 16 February 2018 - Cork - Opera House
  • 23 February 2018 - Dún Laoghaire - Pavilion
  • (24 February 2018 - Utrecht (The Netherlands) - Vredenburg)
  • 30 March 2018 - Belfast - Opera House
  • 31 March 2018 - Belfast - Opera House
  • 6 April 2018- Killygarry, Cavan - Kilmore Hotel
  • 7 April 2018 - Limerick - UCH
  • 13 April 2018 - Killarney - INEC
  • 14 April 2018 - Waterford - Woodlands Hotel
  • 20 April 2018 - Dublin - Vicar Street
  • 21 April 2018 - Dublin - Vicar Street
  • 27 April 2018- Carrick-on-Shannon - Landmark Hotel
  • 28 April 2018 - Cookstown - Burnavon Theatre
  • 4 May 2018 - Derry - Millenium Theatre
  • 5 May 2018 - Galway - Town Hall Theatre

For more details and ticket information visit the Concerts Page.

30th Anniversary release of By The Time It Gets Dark

30th Anniversary release of By The Time It Gets Dark

Hi Folks,

Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the release of "By The Time It Gets Dark" in 1987. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then and how time flies when you’re busy and having a good time! As it’s always been one of my favourite albums I felt that it deserved to be revisited to celebrate it's 30th anniversary. With that in mind we sent the old 24 track tapes to be baked (a process to preserve them) allowing us to do a complete remix and remaster the album.

We enlisted the services of my great friend and sound engineer Billy Robinson to do the job and I’m delighted with the outcome - it sounds great, even if I say so myself! We added a few bits where needed and I’m happy to see it being released on vinyl again.

It’s been a nice journey revisiting that time and remembering the sights and sounds of life back then.

As we listened closely to some of the tracks, the beautiful voice of Mandy Murphy came through and I felt so sad that she passed away, so young, last year. I wish to dedicate this release to her memory.


The 30th anniversary edition CD and digital release will also contain a couple of bonus tracks:

  • A remixed version of "Moon River".
  • A remixed version of "Copper Kettle", which was previously only available as a b-side on the vinyl "Once In A Very Blue Moon" single.
  • "Wounded Heart", a newly recorded song for this release.

The 30th anniversary edition of By The Time It Gets Dark will be released on 17 March.