The Voice Squad is an Irish vocal trio consisting of tenors Phil Callery and Fran McPhail and bass Gerry Cullen, who together have a unique style of a cappella singing. They bring their brand of close harmonic singing to Ballymaloe Grainstore for the first time on Sunday 4 March.
Some listeners will hear echoes of British groups such as The Watersons and The Copper Family in their unaccompanied harmony style. The Voice Squad’s approach is highly unusual in the Irish tradition, and the effect is spectacularly lovely. Callery, whose voice is clean and strong, sings lead most of the time, while McPhail sings high harmonies in his warm, muted high tenor, and Cullen glides and rumbles below. The group's arrangements are complex, yet utterly and effortlessly beautiful. Anyone who loves the traditional music of Ireland and Britain will fall instantly in love with their sound.
As a group they are much in demand as studio session musicians adding their vocal textures and melodic colour to the recordings of artists including The Chieftains, Christy Hennessy, Elvis Costello, Jimmy McCarthy, Sinead O’Connor, Liam O’Flynn and Dolores Keane.
They are equally in demand as live performers. ‘We did the Steeple Sessions at the Unitarian Church in Stephen’s Green in Dublin recently and it was sold out,’ says McPhail. ‘What we do is what it says on the tin. That’s why people keep coming back.’
‘The Voice Squad’s harmonies eking subtleties in one another’s interpretations that would most likely be lost in a solo performance. They are, unquestionably, a force to be reckoned with.’ - Siobhan Long, The Irish Times
Pre-show cold buffet dinner in Ballymaloe House is available at 6pm for €50 per person. Please ring Ballymaloe House on 021 465 2531 to reserve.