A Lynn solicitor who once performed with the late Joe Cocker has gone back to her musical roots to help a town-based charity.
By day, Eileanora Ni Charthaig is a director with the Hayes+Storr law firm in County Court Road, specialising in commercial and residential property law.
But, for the past 18 months, she has spent her Saturdays recording a CD, called the September Sessions, in aid of homeless charity, the Purfleet Trust, of which she is a trustee.
She said: “They’re such a worthwhile trust. It’s upsetting to think people are sleeping rough in The Walks behind my office. It’s really distressing.”
Eileanora, who is originally from Cork in the Republic of Ireland, had initially aimed to raise £500 for the trust through sales of the album, which contains re-workings of some of her favourite songs, as well as some original compositions.
The record was made at the Clenchwarton studio of fellow musician Richard Lockwood and players from across Norfolk played on the album.
And Eileanora has already raised £1,500 for the trust after her original fundraising target was matched by donations from two leading figures in West Norfolk’s business community.
She said: “My challenge was to sell 50 CDs at £10 each and make £500 for the Purfleet Trust. Wilson and Betts said they’d match it if I could do it.
“One of the people who bought a CD was David Flux (senior partner of Adrian Flux Insurance Services) and he loved it and said he would match it. I’m really very pleased about it.”
Before she began her legal career in 1993, Eileanora was a professional pianist and singer-songwriter. And her main claim to fame is that she played with Grammy award-winning singer Joe Cocker, who died last month, in the late 1980s.
She said: “I was playing in Berlin. It was all by accident really. His piano player went down with acute appendicitis and Joe asked if I could cover his concerts. He was just the salt of the Earth, a great guy.”
But, although she hopes to make a follow-up album, Eileanora isn’t yet planning a full-time return to the studio, despite the success of her latest recording,
She said: “Right now, it’s a hobby and if I can do something with it, that’s great.”
Copies of the CD are still available, priced £10, contact Eileanora on 07807 917967.