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The Deer’s Cry is a Nashville based band named after an old Irish prayer. We play and sing original music inspired by Irish, Bluegrass, Jazz, and other world traditional genres.

Our debut album, Rise with the Dawn, is both a haunting invocation and joyful praise, expressing the power of light in the darkness.

This album has been a journey of the soul. Over the past two years, it has expanded from a small collection of original songs with harp into a larger, more diverse collaboration!

The Deer's Cry band is Karen Ballew (Vocals, Celtic Harp, Portative Organ), Bryan Brock (Percussion), Patrick Atwater (Double Bass), and Will MacLean (Banjo), but we also collaborate and record with other artists.


The soundscapes on this album are enriched by the unique voices of our collaborators: friends here in the US, Iceland, England and Ireland. Together, we journey through various hues of light and dark which culminate in our final track, The Deer's Cry prayer.


The Deer’s Cry is incredibly grateful to our album producer Ren Renfree (Sound Catcher Recording) and to all the friends and family who contributed to this project! Our debut album is not just about the music; it’s also about community and a celebration of friendships, both old and new.


Working with Icelandic folk musicians Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster on “Oh Blessed Light” was a wonderful experience, and it was an honor to have Owen Ó Súilleabháin record and produce our spoken word track!


The title track, “Rise with the Dawn,” is a collaboration between Karen and three long-time friends from the Texas Irish music community. Joseph Carmichael worked with Karen on the arrangement, adding his incredible guitar, whistle, and flute playing while Heather Carmichael and Cierra Brannies recorded beautiful vocal harmonies!


“The Child of Glory” was recorded with former members of the Gaelic Youth Chorus Karen directed in Dallas from 2013 - 2017, and “The Deer’s Cry” song includes the church choir she sang with there. Others in Texas and many Nashville artists contributed as well—We hope you enjoy our creation! 


© 2019 by The Deer's Cry.