Irish rockabilly artist Imelda May’s new album, Tribal (Verve Records), won’t be released in the U.S. until the fall, but it’s already reached into the Top 5 in Ireland and the UK.
North American fans can get a preview of her new material this summer, as May headlines dates in clubs and theaters, as well as a few festivals, including Ontario’s Hillside Festival and Edmonton Folk Festival in Canada, and Outside Lands in San Francisco.
Mixing May and her hot four-piece band is front-of-house engineer Trevor Gilligan (Grace Jones, Beverley Knight). The production is using venue-provided consoles and P.A.s this time out. However, Gilligan, who has an endorsement deal with Sennheiser, carries May’s e965 vocal mic to every date on the road.
“Her vocal mic is the only thing we’re carrying right now,” Gilligan says. “The sound of this condenser is very clear. Imelda can go from whisper-quiet to quite loud, and the mic will still be precise. It can handle those dynamics with minimal proximity effect.”
Otherwise, Gilligan says, the band is so tight that all he really needs is “my fingers and ears—no snapshots—and a good system tech.”