“Several years ago I was having drinks with some friends at the Celtic Swell on Alki Beach when a girl siting on a stool to the side of the bar performed a cover of the Cranberries' 1994 Irish political lament, “Zombie.” Using only her vocals and her acoustic guitar, this girl delivered the song with a heartbreaking sense of tragedy and passion. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard, and not just because I had a few Guinnesses in me. The girl was Erin McNamee, a local singer-songwriter with one of the purest voices you'll hear in this city. McNamee specializes in traditional Irish music, and she still performs every Wednesday night at the Celtic Swell; the bar's proprietors tell me that “Zombie” is still on her repertoire.
ERIN K. THOMPSON Wed., Jan. 19, 8:30 p.m., 2011
photo by Nina Ruchirat”
- Erin K Thompson