Lisa O'Neill at Colony House in Newport

Lisa O’Neill of County Cavan, Ireland, arrived at The Colony House Saturday April 29 with her band, Mic Geraghty on harmonium and Joe Doyle on bass for a Newport Live concert. O’Neill plays guitar, banjo, harmonium, and shruti box to accompany her voice. She is a unique presence using fascinating storytelling to introduce each piece with her entrancing brogue. O’Neill used each instrument through the program to support her catalog of original material, much of which was composed during the pandemic. The nearly sold-out house strongly supported O’Neill with spirited applause and whoops in recognition of the next song being announced.

O’Neill clearly embraces a notion of unity, community and connection. She indicated our universal connection to one another, the animals and plants, as well as the stars. Her stories were mesmerizing covering topics as diverse as the mating practices of the cuckoo and the biographical story of Mary “Mother Jones” Harris, the “most dangerous woman in America” according to a district attorney when she was put on trial for ignoring an injunction banning meetings by striking miners in 1902. She also sang about the impact of mechanization on the loss of job opportunities for people. Her voice is very unique and commands the attention the lyrics deserved.

O’Neill spoke highly of her reception into Newport and how much she enjoyed the town. She stated that she observed a strong sense of community, “you can feel it” and expressed her desire to return. The audience very heartily agreed.

Check out some photos of the show from WUN contributor Jack Casey below.

More From What'sUpNewp


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.