Eileen grew up in Ottawa, Canada, as the fourth in a family of six children where she learned to raise her voice to be heard above the din. She picked up her first guitar at sixteen. In the real world, she studied social policy and worked in the mental health field and in politics (the latter was the "crazy" setting). Her last respectable job was chief of staff to a cabinet minister in the Ontario government.
Eileen met her husband, David Allester, when he returned from a two year cruise of the South Pacific on a boat he'd bought with a couple of buddies. David was the only one to come back single, so she had to marry him.
Eileen and David left Toronto in September 1994 aboard their Bayfield 36 sailboat, Little Gidding. For the next twelve years they cruised the eastern seaboard and circled the Caribbean.
Eileen Quinn is a cruiser, songwriter and recording artist. With over 40,000 sea miles and countless beach bar performances behind her, few singers are as qualified to describe the ups and downs of the cruising lifestyle.
Eileen has five cruising CDs: No Significant Features, Degrees Of Deviation, Mean Low Water, Not To Be Used For Navigation and Miss Inclined. Her music has earned high praise in the sailing press and a place of honor on the shelves of almost every boater who has heard her perform. For those who like to make music themselves, she also has a digital songbook.
Early on in her sailing adventures, Eileen discovered that there wasn't a lot of music describing the life she was experiencing. Traditional sea shanties don't quite do it. She began writing songs about the really important, but neglected aspects of cruising: how anchoring leads to marital breakdown; why weather forecasters shouldn't be trusted; what it is about comfortable harbors that seems to scuttle any plans to leave.
Eileen has performed at everything from local beach bars to international regattas throughout the Caribbean, and for national boating associations and boat shows in North America.
Eileen's musical style falls under "adult contemporary". While a clear folk influence runs through her music, her songs reveal hints of everything from country to blues to pop. "You've heard of 'bluegrass' music. Well, I call my music 'bluewater'. That's what really influences me the most."