RTÉ Folk Award for Clare’s Susan O’Neill

RTÉ Folk Award for Clare’s Susan O’Neill


Clare singer-songwriter and musician  SON (aka Susan O’Neill) and acclaimed singer-songwriter Mick Flannery have won ‘Best Original Folk Track of The Year’ for their duet, ‘Baby Talk’, at the third Annual prestigious RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards.

Speaking about the win, Mick said: “I’m very grateful for this award. I’m fond of this song so it feels good to know that it’s been received well and I’m grateful for all the publicity it has received.

I was delighted that Susan O’Neill liked it, and was willing to sing it, as I feel her voice makes it what it is. The song was produced and arranged by Tony Buchen in Los Angeles, and since then Susan and I have recorded a full album of duets with Tony producing. I’m very much looking forward to it’s release. Working with Susan, Tony, Christian Best, and all involved has made the last year pass much more easily than it might have. I’m very grateful for this. Sincere thanks to my manager Sheena Keane also, it was Sheena’s idea that Susan and I would work well together and she was very right, true to form.

Since recording the song proper there has also been a recorded event with the Cork Opera Orchestra, arranged by Cormac McCarthy and conducted by John O’Brien. I’m also very happy that this recording exists as I feel it showcases Cormac’s wealth of talent. Thank you again to all involved.”

Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill (SON) – Photo: Susie Conroy

Susan added: “It’s been really class to be a part of the recording of Baby talk with Mick Flannery, Christian Best, Tony Buchen and Sheena Keene.

Thank you Mick for asking me to sing on it and to RTE Radio 1 for acknowledging it. Feeling very grateful.”

Flannery’s songs are fluent in expressing layered aspects of the human condition, its flaws, triumphs, and general uncertainty. The sum is greater than the parts when matched with SON, who’s soulful, husky vocals are on full display, resulting in an affecting ballad of he said, she said.

With “Baby Talk,” when they each sing “real is in the feeling,” it’s felt here tenfold, through the moving performances of both artists. The song was produced by revered Australian Producer, Tony Buchen (Courtney Barnett), it was recorded between Los Angeles and Ireland.

There’s something exciting about seeing a chart-topping artist at the top of his craft, with his familiar heavy-hearted approach to the verse, met by a fresh-faced, wise beyond her years new talent, that makes the song so compelling.

Mick Flannery and SON have recently finished recording an album of duets, which will be released Summer 2021.

Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill (SON) – Photo: Susie Conroy

Susan O’Neill

SON is the stage name of Susan O Neill, a woman who merges through song, a transnational melding of musical styles, encompassing the old and new. The basis of her first album ‘Found Myself Lost’ saw Susan find her voice amongst peers, introducing her unique and otherworldly style.

It was one of Hot Press magazine’s ‘Albums of the Year’ and garnered her a number of opportunities, including joining Sharon Shannon on her sold out tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Hailing from picturesque Co. Clare, the enigmatic singer-songwriter honed her musical skills as one of the youngest members of the Ennis Brass Band and gained her first gospel influences with the Really Truly Joyful Gospel Choir. Later venturing to Waterford to study a BA in Music, SON has been collaborating with festival favourites King Kong Company, Propeller Palms, and now Mick Flannery.

Her solo career as SON has begun to pique critical and industry interest. Eclectically fusing traditional Irish folk with rock, soul, gospel and blues, her live performances are quite simply electrifying. The amazing range of her husky vocals combined with her superb guitar technique, her loop pedals and trumpet, have wowed audiences everywhere from Stradbally to Sydney, Glasgow to Glastonbury, Manhattan to Milwaukee, and many places beyond.