I first heard Carlene playing when i was sitting in the Folk on two office going through cassettes submitted for the Young Tradition Award. What i heard on her cassette was clearly a mature musician steeped in the Irish tradition, so it was a bit of a shock when i looked at the entry form to find i was listening to a seventeen year old schoolgirl from Hornchurch in Essex.
Carlene's musicianship and her choice of material on the cassette won her the place among the eight semi-finalist's, and her performance in the studio took her throgh to the semi final audition in front of a panel of judges which included Kathryn Tickell,Paul James and Barbara Dickson. They were unanimous in giving her the Young Tradition Award 1993 which was presented to her by Anthony Everitt, Secretary General of the Arts Council of Great Britain.
It wasn't until we began working together and i got to know her better that i realised how deeply Carlene was involved in the irish music scene. Although living near London she was born into an Irish family. She entered her first competition when she was only eight years old and by the time she had reached the Young Tradition she had already won over seventy awards including the under eighteen All Ireland Fiddle Championship.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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