Archive for April, 2012
Well, its finally come to the time where I am able to tell everyone about my brand new show which will kick off here in my home town of Carlow on Thursday the 17th of May. Its taken a little while what with one thing or another but we are finally well on the way to what will hopefully be a great night.
After being lucky enough to win Glor Tire 2011 it was always my intention to try and fulfill a dream I had always had. This dream was to do a series of shows around Ireland to introduce myself to people and have a band with me. I have been singing and playing music and doing my own one-man gigs since 2000 and my first recording was a 4 track tape in 1997. God! I can still remember recording that now as I write. We spent a couple of Wednesdays in the Studio and it was recorded in John Street studio in Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford. I was still in school at that time and this recording was done during the summer holidays. It was all very exciting at the time for me and all I wanted to do was to be able to get myself played on radio and to possibly be able to look forward to leaving school when I had done my leaving cert and be able to consontrate fully on a musical career. That was only the start though and I did have to wait another few years before I could start properly devoting more time to gigs and doing my own shows myself, just me and my keyboard.
On the 17th of May I will launch a brand new show which will kick off at the Seven Oaks hotel here in Carlow. This will be a completely new step from the one I took all those years ago when I went into studio for the first time. My aim with this show is to introduce myself and the music I like to sing to as many people as possible. This is my own independent production. I want to get my own name out there and I am thrilled that I have some friends in the business that are going to come along and support me on the night and sing a few songs. Appearing with me on the night will be my long time friend Mary Darcy. Mary has been so influencial in terms of my musical career. I remember going to see her when I was small and listening to tapes of Twos Company which was the duo that she was a member of with Eamon McRory. My parents took me to see them many times and we formed friendships with both Eamon and Mary. I later worked on an album with Eamon before he moved from Ireland to where he now lives in Australia. Mary has been the one person over the years that has been able to give me that little bit of confidence or point me in the right direction when it was needed. All I would have to do is pick up the phone to her and she would be able to advise me on the best way to approach things whatever the situation. It was due to her that I started playing and singing on the Gertrude Byrne All Star Irish-American Cruises. She also took me to New York twice with her for gigs and has opened doors for me to other opportunities also. I am delighted she is going to come and be the MC for the evening and to sing a few songs also. Also appearing with me will be Trudi Lalor who I worked with for Glor Tire and who I have been friends with now for over ten years now. We have always enjoyed working on different tours together and especially when we got to work on TV for the Glor Tire competition. Des Willoughby is a fantastic singer and a guy that I have great respect for. I am delighted that he is coming along also. Adrian Ryan is the brother of Derek Ryan who is making a big name for himself on the country scene in Ireland and in Britain at the moment. I have known both Adrian and Derek for many years and remember them as the Ryan Brothers and what great work they did with each other in the music scene years ago. I am delighted Adrian is able to join us on the night. He is bringing out a new album of his own and I am also delighted that he has ask me to come along and support him later in the month. Unfortunately Derek can not be with us this time but hopefully he will for a future show. Teresa And The Stars are a wexford based group. Again I have known these guys for quite a number of years now and Tony Kehoe will be known to a lot of people in this area for his programme on Southeast Radio in Wexford. I am delighted they will join us on the night. also, I am delighted to have Damien Bowe coming along. I have only gotten to know Damien over the past while but have enjoyed appearing at a few different functions with him and like all the other people coming along he is an extremely nice guy and its always important to have people like that in this business. My MD on this occasion is going to be Ollie Hennessy and myself and Ollie have worked on many different projects. I enjoy sitting with him and listening to his creative ideas and it really is great to work with someone like him. I know that he is putting together a band of great musicians at the minute and it promises to be a great night. I do hope that both Ollie and myself can create a show with some little surprises and also with songs that people will all know and love and will want to sing along too. There are one or two little songs that I want to do and I have been having great fun with Jennifer as she tries to guess what they are. I know though that there are going to be a few songs that I am going to do that she is hopefully going to like.
Shows like this one can’t happen with just myself. I am so lucky to have the help and support of my family and its going to be all hands on deck from here on in. Tickets are going to be on sale later this week at a cost of €15 and I am tweeting and posting to my Facebook page as to the places that they can be purchased in. People can always email enquiries to me also and I will be happy to get back to them that way. Only time will tell and I have had an amazing year where music is concerned and people have been so good and supportive. Hopefully we can raise the roof here in Carlow and get things off to a great success.
Its been a little while since I wrote in here but musically there hasn’t been too much to tell you all about. I have been busy working on different things and in ways not getting far, or as far as I would like but, at the minute I think I can finally say things are starting to take shape.
A few weeks back I got a call from Liam Kett who presents a show on Kfm which is a radio station in Kildare to tell me that I had been chosen to receive an award at the Leinster Entertainment Awards. I was surprised and delighted at this news. I had heard that the awards were taking place but didn’t know much about them. This is only the second year that they have been running so they must have just slipped me by last time round. The awards were to be held on Monday last the 16th so I selected the songs that I wanted to perform on the night and got myself ready for the big day.
Last week was a nice busy music filled week here in Carlow with the Pan-Celtic festival taking place in the town. This festival is made up of all the different celtic regions coming together for a week to play music and dance and show off their different traditions. Find out about this years festival which has just ended by visiting the Pan-Celtic website and it will probably explain it all much better than I will.
Anyway, Darragh, who you will have heard me mention here before decided to come down on Saturday to play a few tunes and join in some of the sessions that were taking place in some of the pubs in the town. Jennifer was coming for the weekend and so it worked out nice that they could travel together on the train to Carlow. We left him get more or less straight to the music when he got here and spent a while chatting and took ourselves to a local Indian restaurant where we had a nice meal and then went in search of him afterwards and enjoyed listening to a session he was playing in. More tunes had to be played in another part of the country so it was up early enough for Darragh on Sunday morning and we just relaxed for the rest of the day and spent some of it with my family before going to see the Hunger Games in the cinema on Sunday evening. Both of us read the book and are now on the second book of the three in the series. Jennifer kindly came with me to see it as she had already taken her nephew Jack to see it in Derry about two weeks ago. It was nice to get to see it but I do prefer the book and some of the characters were not how I would have imagined them to be played.
Monday was like any other day really except I was not working and Jennifer was still here. I remember her commenting to me that she had been talking to someone on the phone and they wanted to know was I excited about the awards and she told them I was “so laid back you’de think that nothing was happening at all that evening”. Well, I wasn’t thinking about it all too much but yes, of course I was very pleased about it all but slightly nervous also. This was the first time that Jennifer actually came to a live gig with me that I was performing at so I was hoping she would enjoy it.
I think that I was number 8 to perform and the audiance were superb. Liam had asked me to consider singing Noreen Bawn as he really liked my version of it for Glor Tire. I was totally surprised and really happy when the audiance stood for me at the end of the performance and having been only asked to originally sing two songs I was asked to finish off with one more. It really was a brilliant night and there are some pictures on my Facebook page for anyone to see. I am glad to report that Jennifer did enjoy herself and it was fantastic to have her there with me. She is, and always has been very supportive to me during our time together in all I do where my music is concerned. I would also like to just thank the organisers of the Leinster Entertainment Awards for putting on a great show and considering me for “male vocalist of the year”. It really was an honour for me to be able to accept the award.