Opium, the highly anticipated follow-up to Secret Sky's eponymous debut. Featuring the evocative vocals of Caroline Lavelle and the masterful guitar work of Brian Hughes, Secret Sky weaves together a tapestry of Pop and World music with exotic textures of the Middle Eastern Oud, Puerto Rican Cuatro, and the hypnotic Greek Lyra played by a contemporary master of the Lyra, Sokratis Sinopoulos. Opium takes the listener on a remarkable musical journey accompanied by an All-Star cast of musicians.
Caroline Lavelle and Brian Hughes have performed together for over 20 years when Caroline joined Brian as a member of Loreena McKennitt’s recording and touring ensemble. The idea for Secret Sky was born on a shuttle ride from their hotel to the Sao Paulo airport at the end of a South American tour with Loreena in 2013. After sending numerous songs and recordings back and forth via the internet, Caroline from Cornwall, UK and Brian from Los Angeles the result was their 2016 self-titled debut album Secret Sky.
Guitarist, Composer, and Producer Brian Hughes has been honored with the SOCAN / BMI Jazz & Instrumental Composer of the Year award seven times from 1997 to 2011 for his eight contemporary jazz recordings while his 36-year parallel career with Loreena McKennitt led to him receiving a Juno (Canadian Grammy) nomination as Producer of the Year for his work on her platinum-selling album, The Visit. Brian and Caroline’s skills as musicians are in the foreground on Loreena’s 2019 release "Live at the Royal Albert Hall" and on her 2012 Grammy-nominated trio recording “Troubadours on the Rhine”. McKennitt has sold over 15 million albums worldwide and Hughes along with Secret Sky bandmate Lavelle continue to appear together on numerous tours and recordings with Loreena.
Caroline Lavelle’s first foray as a vocalist was with Massive Attack, which brought her to the attention of William Orbit, who produced her first CD Spirit which garnered critical and popular acclaim. Among others, she has sung and / or played with Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Vangelis, De Dannan, The Chieftains, Muse and The Indigo Girls. Her two other solo CDs (Brilliant Midnight and A Distant Bell) have produced songs since used on film & TV soundtracks including Six Feet Under, Joyride (John Dahl), The Eye of the Beholder (Ewan McGregor & Ashley Judd).
On Opium, produced by Brian Hughes, Secret Sky is accompanied by Special Guests: Hugh Marsh: Violin, Tal Bergman: Drums & Percussion, Tim Landers: Bass, Sokratis Sinopoulos: Lyra, Matt Rohde: Hammond B3 Organ and Clare Kenny: Bass (track 8).