The Panti Personals S2 E7 Edel Meade
Edel Meade is a jazz singer turned contemporary folk artist, She hails from Clonmel but has made Limerick her home and her latest album ‘Brigids and Patricias’ tells the stories of what it is to be a woman in Ireland from myth to misogyny; with songs about the true, though still unbelievable story of Bridget Cleary, whose husband burnt her to death saying he believed she was a changeling, and a powerful spoken word piece called’ Long Way to Go’ about gender violence, which chimes with an Ireland which has just mourned Ashling Murphy.
With the announcement that Feb 1, St Brigid’s Day, will become a new Irish national holiday from 2023, Panti Bliss explores why Edel is so fascinated by Brigid and how she is a cross between the pre Christian Celtic Goddess Brigit and the Christian saint,much loved in Ireland, who is so associated with the arrival of Spring, the feminine and womanhood, and why the new national holiday chimes with the public debate around gender violence. ‘It’s going to become ireland’s women’s day’ says Panti while Edel connects it to social justice, seeing it reaching beyond the male and female, towards aspirations of fairness, equality and justice.
Edel tells Panti Bliss her family roots, in Co Tipperary, are in farming not song but her will to sing was shaped by a couple of incredible nuns in her schools who encouraged and gave her confidence. A career path to journalism brought her to Chicago but instead of radio she studied the blues and came back to take a degree in jazz music and spent a decade performing as a jazz artist. She is a vocal coach, now teaching people to sing, in the University of Limerick, and her lockdown was spent developing new strings to her bow; learning to play the tin whistle, sing sean nós and play Irish traditional music. She’s a committed life long learner and her track in 2022 sees her finally touring with the album, and getting to the Smithsonian in the USA to research cross over between Appalachian music and Irish traditional music there.
In the show Edel performs live two of her songs for the Queen, accompanying herself on the gorgeous grand piano.
Hear her sing ‘Song of the Seal’ and ‘Not For This World’
Other songs included are some of her jazz numbers
God Bless The Child
SideWays (from her jazz album Blue Fantastia)
and Song for Bridget Cleary and Long Way to Go from the album ‘Brigids and Patricias’)
You can find out more about Edel on www.edelmeade.com
And you can see her perform in gigs at The Belltable, Limerick on 10th Feb & at Riverbank Arts Centre on 12th Feb.
The Panti Personals is an independent podcast by Athena Media, produced by Helen Shaw, the digital editor is John Howard and our theme music is Knots by Lisa Hannigan, used with her very kind permission.