Reviews of Connie Dover's Music
The Border of
Heaven | If Ever I Return | The
Wishing Well | Somebody
"The Border of Heaven" (2000)
Top Ten Folk Release of 2000 - Boston
Top Ten Folk Release of 2000 - Scene
A Midnight Special Favorite CD of 2000
- WFMT-FM, St. Louis/Chicago
Best Celtic Vocal Album of the Year -
91.5, Kansas Pubic Radio
Top Ten for 2000 - WRUR-FM 88.5, Rochester,
2001 4th Annual New Age Voice Music Award Finalist
Featured on Soundtrack of PBS Documentaries "Last Stand
of the Tallgrass Prarie" and "Water and Fire: A Story of the Ozarks"
(Two Emmy Awards for music)
"America's finest folk ballad singer traces the Celtic roots of
this country's folk music. Evocative, wistful and wonderfully sung."
- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
"Connie Dover has become an American treasure who has rediscovered the
musical synergy that existed between the British Isles and the American
West . . . Her fourth album, The Border of Heaven, focuses entirely
on American folk songs with roots in England, Ireland and Scotland . .
. Songs like "I Am Going to the West," "The Water Is Wide" and "The Streets
of Laredo" never sounded so heavenly. - Cowboys
"Stunningly lovely . . . This is another triumph from one of America's
finest traditional singers."
- Rick Anderson, All-Music Guide
"A bit of musical heaven. As you might expect, combining Dover's fine
vocal talent with Phil Cunningham's ear as musician and producer results
in something special . . . I could listen over and over for weeks without
tiring of Dover's voice . . . her "Water is Wide" is achingly beautiful,
aided by Cunningham's sublime piano part . . . Categorizing this recording
would be a quandary . . . it transcends genre. Be warned, it's seductive
and it's more than Dover's pretty voice." - Sing Out!
"A sumptuous bounty of mostly traditional songs in a lush, yet faithful
setting, sung gorgeously."
- Rich Warren, Midnight Special, WFMT-FM, St.
"Celtic Music's Girl of the Golden West has here created an album
that sums up what she is all about. There is integrity in the integration
of the artist's personal vision with the legacies of the past, and in her
solidarity with the outstanding supporting band . . . Connie rings heart
rending here. Her singing indeed is a great communicator. Like
a Renaissance history painter, Connie Dover masterfully brings this historic
legacy to life with the beauty of her voice and the skill of her delivery
coupled with the accuracy of her research . . . A painter once
said that to arrive at truths you have to lie a little. Here, Connie
Dover has told the truth and arrived at artistic truth at all levels of
understanding." - Art Ketchum, Celtic
"Any accolades that Connie receives are only deserved and long overdue.
Her voice is the future of our tradition."
- Willliam Ramoutar, Irish Ways Programme, WFCF-FM
"Connie Dover's fourth album confirms something that, on one hand, has
already been discovered by anyone who has listened to her three previous
discs: that we have before us one of the best singers in folk music
today, and probably, one of the female voices of this generation who is
destined to stay at the forefront for a very long time. In The
Border of Heaven, Connie achieves her already high artistic benchmark
. . . interpreted with emotion and an exotic, enduring passion."
- Salvador Rodriguez, Faro Del Ocio, Spain
"Magnificent . . . Good traditional music, an angelic voice and a perfect
sound." - M. Montes, Amazing Sounds
"The Border of Heaven is really a gem, a superior musical project
from a clever and sensitive performer who never stops amazing my ears .
. . it is all priceless stuff!" - Massimo Ferro, Radio
Voce Spazio, Italy
"Missouri-based singer Connie Dover has long been comfortable in two
very different worlds - as an angelic interpreter of traditional music
from the British Isles who also works as a trail cook on Wyoming cattle
drives . . . The Border of Heaven, her fourth solo album, focuses
on these Celtic/American connections, and like all her other work, it's
sweetly sung, beautifully produced, and consistently uplifting in spirit."
- Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen
"Heavenly songs bridge the Celtic tradition and the American West.
Connie Dover's shimmering soprano is as pure and clear as the Western sky
. . . Songs like Brother Green, a heart-wrenching Civil War
ballad, and Last Night by the River, a touching Irish/Shoshone love
song, transcend the boundaries of history and culture. Music this
heavenly should not be missed." - Kansas City
"There are frequently albums that excite me, but never has one so utterly
enchanted me. As soon as you finish reading this article, put down
this newsletter and run to your local record store and buy The Border of
heaven. You will thank me."
- Nancy Abrams, Humboldt Folklife Society Newsletter,
"Connie Dover is both a commanding singer and student of Celtic folklore
. . . While scholarly in thought, the warmth of her singing and exemplary
choice of material yields moments of supreme pleasure . . . The
Border of Heaven is a stunning musical journey." -
"When you can sing like Connie Dover, anything you record is going to
reflect some natural beauty. Dover, though, isn't just a pretty voice
looking for a means of expression. She's also a musicologist and
a lover of traditional folk music. On Heaven, a collection
of Anglo-Scottish, Irish and American frontier ballads, Dover documents
the hopes, rewards, tribulations and heartaches that attended the Westward
expansion . . . Dover's voice as usual, is radiant, and the production
is majestic thanks to producer Phil Cunningham, who is the Daniel Lanois
of Scotland . . . but Border is ultimately the sweet fruit of Dover's
love and toil." - Timothy Finn, Kansas City Star
"Connie Dover has captured hearts for years with her haunting Celtic
ballads, but she never lost sight of their American connections.
This recording is a primer on Celtic music's relationship with America's
folk/cowboy music. . . Everything about The Border of Heaven feels
good." - NAPRA Review
"Here is your opportunity to hear the voice of a Celtic Angel, Connie
Dover. In The Border of Heaven, Connie sings wonderful songs
from Scotland and Ireland juxtaposed with familiar American frontier songs
of Celtic origin. The result is a delightful album of inspirational
and adventurous tunes that transported this reviewer to a placed bordered
by the old west on one side and heaven on the other. The vehicle
for my journey was Connie's shimmering and pure soprano singing lyrics
that touched my heart . . . Connie Dover is as fine a ballad singer as
this reviewer has ever heard. And the proof is The Border of Heaven,
her fourth and best album to date. If you've been seeking an angelic
voice singing moving lyrics and music, look no further. -
Richard Fuller, Senior Editor, Metaphysical Reviews
"As a Celtic performer, Ms. Dover seems to be sent from central
casting - long, flowing blond tresses, an ethereal presence and the voice
of an angel. What she achieves through God-given and self-driven
talent is enhanced by her pairing with producer and multi-instrumentalist
Phil Cunningham, who has produced her previous three albums. Dover
and Cunningham score big time on the new release, The Border of Heaven
. . . Dover has crafted a recording that functions as a primer to Celtic
music and its relationship to American folk music . . . Everything about
Border of Heaven feels good. As a line in the opening song says,
it is "a gentle soothing to my mind's distress, when a verse reminds me
of the glens."
- Rick Smith, Horse Fly, Taos, New Mexico
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"If Ever I Return" (1997)
1998 AFIM Indie
1998 Creative Achievement
Award (Time Warner/Hollywood On Line)
"If Ever I Return must surely classify as world music. And yet,
it's so proudly precious it seems to be not of this earth. Let the word
go out, Connie Dover's voice has been touched by angels. " - Jeff
Brown, Pitch Weekly (Kansas City)
"A spellbinding experience - sublime vocals and celestial arrangement.
Connie Dover is one in a million . . . hear If Ever I Return and
find out why." - John O'Regan, Radio Limerick, Ireland
"A voice as clear as a fresh drop of dew on a blade of grass in the
morning light. A voice as brilliant as a full moon rising behind a stand
of fir trees near midnight . . . Connie Dover is one of the finest singers
of her generation . . . If Ever I Return is a walk in beauty. "
- Joseph Guida, KVMR-FM, Nevada City/Sacramento, CA
"Every selection, no exception, is impeccably crafted. Just listening
is an exceedingly rich and rewarding experience."
- Lee Stott, WKYU-FM, Bowling Green, KY
"For all you gonna-be Connie Dover fans . . . Aly Bain and Duncan Chisholm
on fiddles, Manus Lunny on guitar and bouzouki, Ian MacDonald on the big
pipes, flute and penny whistle, Christy O'Leary on uilleann pipes, Jamie
MacIntosh on percussion and David Paton on bass . . . all backing up that
gorgeous clear voice on eleven classics or gonnabes. Despite all that talent,
it's a clean, purely uncluttered album, if anything, a step beyond the
previous two, Somebody and The Wishing Well, in addition to her earlier
work with Scartaglen. Magic Stuff. " - John McLaughlin, Roots
& Wings, WESS-FM,
E. Stroudsberg, PA
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"The Wishing Well" (1994)
1995 NAIRD Indie Award Finalist
1994 Living Tradition Album of the Year Nominee
"Inventive, elegant and extremely enjoyable after a thousand listens,
The Wishing Well is an impressive addition to the local, and national,
music culture." - Elizabeth Siddal, Pitch Weekly, Kansas
"I have become besotted with this album . . . having listened to The
Wishing Well so many times that I have completely blown my reviewing schedule."
- Lawrence Heath, Folk Roots, London
"The music is wonderfully atmospheric, and supportive of the lyrics
and the singer. Connie Dover sings with such great care and knowledge of
the emotional content of the words. She has the voice of an angel. In my
opinion we must now add Connie Dover's name to the list of the great singers
of our time." - Joseph Guida, KVMR-FM, Nevada City, Sacramento,
"Her second album is so achingly pure, so timeless, it transcends the
mundane world and transports me to a better, finer place . . . it just
tears at me with its loveliness." - Beth Ann Koelsch,
"A sumptuous listening pleasure. The Wishing Well reaffirms
the fact that Connie Dover has talent by the bucketful. Essential listening."
- John O'Regan, Radio Limerick, Ireland
"The Wishing Well is a gorgeous and endlessly interesting set of music
abetted by many of the foremost instrumentalists in traditional Celtic
music. Dover has achieved the task of making an album of quiet beauty,
without leaving out the passion . . . you'll want to listen to this one
all evening long. And for many evenings to come. - Bob McWilliams,
"A collection as radiant as its predecessor . . . always elegant
and sensual . . . the logical musical progression of an outstanding performer
. . . this second CD, like its predecessor, absolutely belongs in your
collection!" - Massimo Ferro, La Voce, Italy
"The opening track is a stunning mix of pop and tradition, and the
rest of album only gets better . . . Play it!!"
- Cliff Furnald, CMJ New Music Report
"An excellent work with true feeling. A rare find!" -
Chinese Press, Singapore
"Connie's unforgettable voice, along with her own thorough knowledge
of traditional music and consummate singing skill, finds its way into our
hearts, soothing us like a slowly moving, crystal-clear stream. You should
not overlook this compact disc: the composition, singing and recording
are all of excellent quality." - Laser, Republic of China
"If Connie Dover's wish was to make a brilliant CD, it certainly came
true! Her exceptionally pure and evocative voice wraps itself around a
wonderful collection of songs . . . one of the most delightful releases
imaginable." - KANU-FM 91.5, Flint Hills Special
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"Listen to her! Calling all singers and aspiring vocalists - This is how
to sing! This album is a revelation, and Connie Dover's voice is the most
formidable I have come across in a very long time . . . a selection of
songs that demonstrate to capacity her magnificent control, superb diction
(you can hear every word) and ravishing style that is very rarely heard
Best of 1991 Top 10 - Tower Records PULSE!
1991 Top 10 Winning Favourite - The
Scotsman, Scotland's National Newspaper
Michael Roberts, Celtic Connection, Canada
"In all honesty, two words sum up everything that needs to be said:
Buy immediately . . . The status of best female folk singer, long in closed
contention between Black, Prior, Tabor and Keane - is no longer an unattainable
goal for Miss Dover. She has a sparkling, crystal-clear, mellow voice that
can only spring from another world: pure magic . . . an unparalleled female
"She may have arisen from the land of hamburgers, cowboys and cola,
but Celtic musical blood runs through her veins."
Marius Roeting, New FolkSounds,
"Connie Dover's singing and voice can be compared to the great female
voices in modern folk music."
Claus Iwersen, Jydske/Vestkysten, Denmark
"A superlative work . . . the vocals are impeccably lush; the production
is magnificent, the choice of material superb."
Brian O'Donovan, WGBH-FM, Boston
"Connie Dover is an astonishing talent; Somebody, her first album,
is required listening for everyone who loves traditional vocal music .
. . it is simply enchanting . . . Dover has a mesmerizing voice."
"This is an extraordinary album of superb singing; a pulsing, vibrant
joy from the very first track to the last."
"Connie sings like a nightingale, with a persuasive, crystalline
voice . . . One of the best Celtic music productions of the 90's, Somebody
puts its creator on a plane with the greatest interpreters of the genre,
and unabashedly so. A must have!
Massimo Ferro, La Voce, Italy
"A gentle, splendid album."
CMJ New Music Report
"Dover's voice is a wonderful instrument, rich in tone with a sadness
in it as old as the hills. Somebody is truly an auspicious debut."
"I have fallen in love with her songs . . . her timbre is silky
and serene. Listening to her voice, I am enraptured by her."
Li Fen-De, Sound & Sight
"Her voice is without doubt the innovative element that distinguishes
her work . . rich in nuances . . . This is a new vision of the enigmatic
musical world of the Celts, which is treated with respect and a great deal
Chip Montagut, CD Compact,
"Her forte is certainly the interpretation of music from England, Ireland,
Scotland and Wales, which she does here with a freshness rarely captured
"This well-balanced, intelligent and exciting package will usher
a fresh, angelic voice into a new decade of folk music . . . once you hear
this angelic voice, you'll want to buy any recording she's on . . . the
proof is in the hearing and I'm sure all will love it as I do. I want to
personally thank Connie for sticking to her dream so we can all share in
Saul Tucker, Pitch, Kansas City
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