Ann Arbor-based singer/ songwriter Kitty Donohoe has always drawn influences from her Irish heritage, but her latest album, “The Irishman’s Daughter,” finds her really digging into her roots.
“I’m primarily a songwriter, and there’s a lot of Irish feel to what I do, but this is the first real Irish- American project,” Donohoe said.
Donohoe will be celebrating the release of “The Irishman’s Daughter” with a concert Friday in St. Johns. The show, hosted by the Wilson Center Auditorium, is also a fundraiser. Half of the proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the ongoing renovation of the historic venue.
The new album includes traditional Irish tunes, as well as original songs based on her family’s immigration from Ireland. Donohoe, who has worked as a professional singer and instrumentalist for over 40 years, released her debut album, “Farmer in Florida,” in 1986. “The Irishman’s Daughter” is her sixth solo album.
“After high school, I kind of decided that this is what I wanted to do and I pretty much stuck with it,” she said. “I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit more specifically Irish, so that’s what this is.”
Donohoe said she isn’t heavily influenced by particular Irish musicians. She is more interested in the vibe created by the traditional instruments.
“It’s more of like a feel than it is the specifics — like the fiddle, the accordion, the pipes, things like that,” she said.
While it took a while to complete “The Irishman’s Daughter,” Donohoe is happy to share it with the world.
“It’s been in the works for a few years, so it’s a relief to have it done,” she said. “So far it’s getting great responses and turn outs at concerts, so that’s nice.”
Even when she’s not performing traditional Irish tunes, Donohoe believes her work resonates with those who share her heritage.
“I think it rings a pretty big bell in a lot of people, and it’s a really fun thing for me,” she said.
Donohoe is excited to get on the road to promote the new album.
“I’m in the middle of booking a couple of tours right now, and I like to move that forward,” she said. “I’m getting as much mileage as I can out of this project.”
As for future projects, Donohoe is keeping her options open.
“It takes quite a while to do a full album, so I’ll see what will happen with this one, and then I’ll decide,” she said. “Maybe a few smaller things, maybe another big one — it’s kind of hard to say right now.”
— DIAMOND HENRY
Kitty Donohoe CD Release Concert
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31 $10 Wilson Center Auditorium 101 W Cass St., St. Johns wilsoncenterauditorium.org