Hey everyone !!!
Hope you’re all having a good week wherever you are in the world and enjoying the great music on offer everywhere.
It’s all about the rain here at the moment in Ireland, summer seems to have taken a little vacation. I was listening to this song today, written by Sonny Curtis ‘Im no stranger to the rain’ which was released by Keith Whitley in 1989. Country Music duo from Co Derry Ireland covered it in 2008 and it seems only fitting that on this summers day in June whilst the rain is pelting down in Ireland that I share it with you !!
With a host of festivals and concerts planned for the summer and the beginning of Summer holidays this weekend here’s hoping the rain will go away and be a stranger if just for a few weeks !!
When I started this blog I tried to explain my concerns about mixing traditional and country music in the same blog to Stevie Connors. Some of the traditional musicians I know don’t like country music, and some country music fans aren’t fans of traditional music. I have no idea why that is to be honest??
It’s said that country music originated in folk music of working class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic, traditional ballads, cowboy songs and various musical traditions that came with immigrants from Europe to America.
I’ve said this many times, I don’t care what genre someone wants to place their song. I want to be told a story through music. With so much musical talent on offer it is necessary to play what your audience wants to hear. I am delighted to hear so many different genres being thrown into sets now. It’s refreshing and adds a little bit of diversity, although again many may disagree.
Ridiculous comments can be overheard on the scene at the moment that well known talented artists are bailing out of the country scene and moving to pop or rock music, I believe that’s a mixture of fear and jealousy. These artists have crowds hopping at gigs!! They’re the gigs I want to be at.
Just some food for thought............................Don’t bore me with the same old same old, entertain me. Country, trad, Irish, folk, pop, rock, blues, fusion.................... The beauty of music is freedom of choice and expression.
With all that said who doesn’t love an old fashioned song !!!
Niamh Lynn is one to watch in 2017. Originally from Dublin now living in Cavan with her husband and two children, Niamh has had a great 2017 so far. Her debut album ‘Sing me an old fashioned song’ reached number one on the Itunes download charts and she has received great response to singles that followed.
Originally recorded by Billie Joe Spears and also covered by Daniel O’Donnell, ‘Sing me an old fashioned song’ Written by: Slate, Johnny / Henley, Larry: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing BMI ISRC USCGJ1531211) has had over 400k hits on facebook since Niamh released it in 2015.
Niamh has always had a love affair with the 1950 Retro Style according to her management company LCM Promos. Niamh says “I’ve grown up listening to all types of music but one of my favourite singers of all time is the wonderful Patsy Cline. I loved the purity of her voice and her almost velvet tone! As a teenager, I would listen to her in my bedroom along with Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and June Carter”
Niamh claims her musical taste is quite varied; she loves the Beatles and even Doris Day but country music is where she can show her vocal ability.
Recently Niamh took to facebook to share a clip of her singing a well known classic written by Dean Dillon ‘Tenessee Whiskey’ originally performed by George Jones live from her home. What a lovely job she did as well. To see this one log onto her facebook page
Niamh’s live theatre show, ‘A Tribute to the Classic Ladies of Country music’ is a popular sell out in theatres around the country. She has opened for Nashville Country star Phil Vassar on his Irish Tour, and has performed alongside Nahtan Carter.
You can catch Niamh performing alongside Miranda Lambert, Charlie Pride and many more at the Harvest Country Music festival in Enniskillen and Westport in August, 26th – 27th.
Niamh will also be performing with Emmylou Harris at the Rendez-vous Country Festival in France in July.
Niamh can be contacted for interview at: Tel. 087-290-9960
or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The dance scene in Ireland has become hugely popular and successful in recent years. With dances taking place nightly across the country you will never be stuck for a venue. There are facebook pages dedicated to providing dates and venues such as Social Dancing Ireland https://www.facebook.com/socialdancingireland1/
I try to share the posts whenever they come up on my timeline
on #lovingallthingscountry facebook page.
Originally an Irish dancer, I decided I wanted to learn how to jive whilst on a country music holiday, and found a local class when I got back home. Pat and Patricia Brady hold classes in Swords Co. Dublin on a Monday night as well as at another number of locations in North Dublin. My friend and myself decided to try them out. Details can be found on
Unknown to us at the time Alley Cats Productions had decided to make a show called Stetsons and Stilettos/ Keep er Country, following the dance scene in Ireland. So it was then that I learned how to dance, only it was on national TV!! From jiving, line dancing, quick step and waltzes I soon found anyone can learn. It was great fun and a brilliant form of weekly exercise during classes. Then it was time to take our new found skills to the dance venues.
First up was the Red Cow Hotel on Thursday nights where the Dublin Country Club hosts different bands and artists throughout the year. Details can be found on https://www.facebook.com/redcowcountrydance/
We found that we loved the scene so much we ventured onwards to Johnny Brady’s music weekend in Galway where we got to dance the weekend away to Johnny and his band, along with Jim Divine, Mike Denver and Marty Mone.
The Well in Moate also has dancing weekly, and this became a regular spot on a Saturday nights details on https://www.facebook.com/The-Well-Moate-120945531302801/
Venues are great for meeting like minded music fans, dancers and dance teachers from all over the country. Amongst the many that we met along the way were Terrina and Emma from TAE’s school of Dance details of their classes can be found on
https://www.facebook.com/learntodance1/ and also Olive White who runs Cross Country Jive https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=cross%20country%20jive
The music, the dance, the people, the fashion and the craic are all brilliant at these classes and events; so why not head over to some of the pages find a venue and give it a go for yourself !! You might even be good enough to take part in many of the dance competitions some day. Regardless have fun and enjoy........
The Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is a weeklong summer school in Traditional music and set dance held annually at Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. It was set up to commemorate the towns best known uilleann piper Willie Clancy, and has been running since just after his death in 1973. The idea was initiated by Clancy himself and focuses on the teaching of instruments and set dancing in formal classes. In addition to classes and workshops you will also find impromptu sessions and ceilis.
There are classes in uilleann pipes, flute, tin whistle, concertina, fiddle, button accordion, harp, banjo, harmonica, singing and dancing.
This years 45th Summer school will take place between Saturday July 1st and Sunday July 9th 2017 with details to be found on the website
http://www.scoilsamhraidhwillieclancy.com/about.html or for more information and queries email email@example.com
If you are attending the summer school and want a change of scenary you can also find some country music at the Ocean Marquee from Monday 3rd-Saturday 8th July. Music from PJ Murrihy, Seamus Shannon, Olivia Douglas, Brendan Shine Band, Phlomena Begley, Susan McCann, Patrick Roche Band, Patrick and Conor O’Sullivan and a few more. Jive classes also available daily.
Details on www.armadahotel.com
Following are a few venues and dates for your diaries over the coming week or two.
Have fun !
The McWilliam Park Hotel
Clarmorris, Co. Mayo
9th July Gerry Guthrie,
14th July John McNicholl.
Allingham Arms Hotel
Bundoran, Co Donegal
hosts Robert Mizzell 1st July,
Paul Kelly 2nd July,
Michael English 8th July
and Mike Denver 9th July,
The Indians 10th July,
Mick Flavin 11th July.
The Well in Moate
Declan Nerney 1st July
official opening of the outdoor dance floor with Robert Mizzell and John Molloy 2nd July.
Shane Owens 8th July,
Cliona Hagan 15 July,
Patrick Feeney 21st July
Mick Flavin 22nd July
Racket Hall Hotel
Roscrea Co Tipperary.
Gerry Guthrie 1st July, John McNicholl 8th July, Jimmy Buckley 15th July.
The Lisdoo Bar and Restaurant
Dundalk 00353 43 9334829
1st July Paul Kelly,
8th July Robert Mizzell,
22nd July Gerry Guthrie
Killarney, Co Kerry.
an evening in concert with Michael English with special guest Brendan Shine 22nd July.
Friday 7th – Sunday 9th Jull Country Music Weekend with Dominic Kirwin, Jimmy Buckley, Gerry Guthrie, Patrick Feeney, Derek Ryan, Robert Mizzell. Package available.
2nd July Patrick Feeney,
9th July Michael English.
2nd July Michael Collins, Derek Ryan, Stuart Moyles.
Harvest Country Music Festival
26th and 27th August,
Enniskillen and Westport.
Miranda Lambert, Charley Pride, Nathan Carter and over 40 artists.
That’s all from me for this week, as always savour every musical note, listen to the story in every song and enjoy every magical musical journey that comes your way.
Hello and welcome from a very hot sunny Ireland !! Imagine that..... For those of you unfamiliar with Irish Weather we don’t get too many sunny days unfortunately, so everyone is making the most of it. Long may it continue.
It’s Tuesday morning as I write this blog and I’d like to apologise for the absence of last week’s entry. Unfortunately this was due to the death of my uncle last Tuesday, Rest in Peace Tommy.
You may have guessed by now that I love music of all sorts, I write lyrics often but the only time you will probably hear me sing is at an open session, or in the folk group where I can hide ! I didn’t know I had secret fans in my aunt and uncle though, but apparently they thought I was good enough to sing at Tommy’s funeral. It wasn’t a request but a given ! It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I had the help of my friend and fellow folk group member, singer Clara Bollard. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for helping me. I couldn’t have done it without her.
I always think about the meaning behind every song and over the past week I have been more reflective than usual as a result. So, this week I would like to introduce you to another of Irelands finest talented musicians, singer and songwriter, the wonderful Derek Ryan, along with a review of the Nashville gig in Dublin I went to last night, and a few dates for your diary over the next week or so.
As always I hope you enjoy, and if you haven’t had enough you can head over to my face book page ‘Loving All Things Country’ and catch up on the wide variety of events and news that I share there daily.
Derek Ryan from County Carlow in Ireland, started his musical journey in traditional music taking part in Fleadh Ceoils when he was a young child. At the age of twelve he started playing the drums, and then progressed to playing in local pubs before joining the boyband D-Side at the age of 17. He remained with the band until for a number of years before deciding to embark on his solo career in country music.
His Debut single ‘Gods Plan’ has gone from strength to strength on YouTube, and has since been recorded by many artists including Daniel O’Donnell. Derek has to date released six best selling albums, has sold out many venues home and abroad, and has numerous awards to his name.
An extremely talented song writer Derek has a large repertoire of songs, and releases music often. In October 2016 he released two brand new singles in one day !
‘This is me’ was the title track from the album Nashville Songbook, co written with Eleanor McEvoy and recorded in Nashville, and the second single was written by Christy Moore
‘ City of Chicago ’ from the album ‘Happy Man’.
One of my own personal favourite Derek Ryan’s songs is ‘Sixty Years Ago’. This track was Derek’s first single of 2017 and taken from ‘Happy Man’. This song was co-written with Seamus Doran and is an emotionally charged beautiful song which I believe many of us will identify with over the course of our life time; the love and loss of a loved one. It has been on my mind this week so I wanted to share it with you.
I have met Derek on a number of occasions this year. He comes across as a quiet, shy type of person, but how that changes when he takes to the stage. I would highly recommend seeing him perform live if you get the chance, and watch out for his new single being released this Friday, ‘Heaven Tonight’.
Derek can be followed on: Facebook
Twitter @derekryanmusic and on his website for upcoming dates and gigs
Wishing him continued success in his career, and looking forward to catching him at a venue during the summer.
Although Nashville the TV series has been on the go since 2012, I had never watched it until two months ago. To say I am hooked now is an understatement. I’ve managed to watch four series back to back in that short time. When I heard some of the cast were coming to Ireland for a concert I kept meaning to purchase tickets and put it off and
off. Last week I saw a competition with Hem Country
https://www.facebook.com/hemcountry/?ref=br_rs and thought sure why not and entered. The Gods were looking down on me and I secured two tickets for myself and my friend for last night in the Three Arena in Dublin.
Charles Esten aka Deacon opened the show looking very nice (!) in a flash suit, he was swiftly followed by Chris Carmack aka Will, Jonathan Jackson aka Avery, Sam Palladio aka Gunnar, and finally Clare Bowen aka Scarlett took to the stage.
The fantastic band remained on stage throughout the night whilst the cast members performed solos and duets.
Jonathan Jackson, for me was absolutely outstanding. His amazing unique voice captivated me as he performed every song from the heart with such passion, energy and soul. A lovely touch was the dedication of ‘Unchanged melody’ for his wife of 15 years who was sitting in front of us with their three children. The audience sang along with him, and Jackson received a standing ovation. It truly was amazing.
When Clare Bowen performed ‘little by little by little’ with who she said was the ‘Love of her life’ Brandon, it was simply stunning. In fact every song that Clare Bowen sang was mesmerising including ‘Black Roses’
Chris Carmack treated the audience to a fantastic blues number whilst Sam Palladio took to stage with Irelands own
Una Healy performing their duet ‘Stay my Love’ before Palladio sang the beautiful ‘Wake me up in Nashville’
Charles / Deacon dedicated ‘Everything to Me’ to his son and wife, before introducing the talented band, and giving us a taste of ‘Danny Boy’ with Clare Bowen.
The audience was treated to ‘At the end of the day’ as part of the finale, and the cast appeared to be overwhelmed by the audience’s reaction to their performance.
Nashville the programme has an ever growing fan base here in Ireland, as one could see by the delight and engagement of the Irish audience in the Three Arena last night. Long may it continue.
As for Nashville itself, it has always been somewhere I would love to visit, and is on the ever growing ‘to do’ list.
I keep saying when the kids grow up or I win the Lotto. Dreams do come true ..... Don’t they?? To get a chance to visit the Blue bird or the Grand Ole Opry, to hear the many artists perform, or to fulfil a dream of one of my own set of lyrics being recorded by an artist in Nashville would be a dream come true.
Watch this space.........................
A little bit of traditional music news for you now. Ennis will be the host to this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann from 13-21st August, where Musicians, singers and dancers will compete for a coveted All Ireland Champion title.
Last year the Fleadh drew over 400,000 visitors to the town for this amazing event. This year a co-operative effort involving Comhaltas branches, local authorities, business people, sporting organisations and local volunteers will work together to make the event even better.
There will be a hive of activities during the fleadh from concerts, to ceilithe, singing, dancing, competitions, along with Scoil Eigse 2017, where participants can get involved in workshops lectures and sessions.
Details of the event can be found on www.fleadhcheoil.ie or on the facebook page. There is even an app that has details on concerts and fleadh planning info.
Should be a fantastic event, good luck to all involved!
Here are a few venues and dates for your diaries over the coming week or two, if you make it to any please send me a photo or a quick review and I will share it on the facebook page.
The McWilliam Park Hotel
Claremorris, Co Mayo www.mcwilliamparkhotel.ie hosts Lisa McHugh on 24th June, Robert Mizzell on 27th June, and Declan Nerney on 30th June
Allingham Arms Hotel
Bundoran, Co Donegal www.allinghamarmshotel.ie hosts Robert Mizzell 1st July, Paul Kelly 2nd July, Michael English 8th July and Mike Denver 9th July
The Well in Moate
www.weellmoate.com hosts Johnny Brady 24th June, Declan Nerney 2nd July and the official opening of the outdoor dance floor on 2nd July with Robert Mizzell and John Molloy.
presents Midsummer’s day with the Stars on 25th June featuring Nathan Carter, Big Tom, Michael English, Jimmy Buckley, Philomena Begley, Margo, Patrick Feeney, Lisa McHugh, Johnny Brady, Jim Devine, Cliona Hagan, Gerry Guthrie, Lee Matthews, Ciaran Rosney, Marty Mone, Daniel O’Double and Jake Carter see
www.Roscommonchamber.ie for details.
Ardboyne Monday Club
Ardboyne Hotel, Navan Co Meath hosts Cliona Hagan 26th June
Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, Co Cork. Weekend of Dancing with Derek Ryan from 23rd – 25th June. Guests include Johnny Brady, Patrick O’Sullivan, Adrian Ryan, Cliona Hagan. Details on www.facebook/DerekRyanmusic
Knocknarea Arena Sligo
Nathan Carter records his series Wednesday 28th June – Saturday 1st July. See www.nathancartermusic.com for details.
Harvest Country Music Festival
26th and 27th August, Enniskillen and Westport. Miranda Lambert, Charley Pride, Nathan Carter and over 40 artists.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s instalment. Catch you next time, until then savour every musical note, listen to the story in every song, and enjoy every magical musical journey that comes your way.
Hi everyone and welcome to Blog number 2 #lovingallthingscountryandtrad
It’s been a whirlwind kind of a week, and I’d like to thank each and everyone one of you who have been in touch. We’ve had a great reaction to our new Blogs worldwide, so thank you!!
The purpose of this blog is to keep you updated with what’s going on in the music scene in Ireland at the moment. I am dizzy with the amount of news I would like to share, but unfortunately I can’t get to everything.
I think it’s important to achieve your dreams and I was delighted to fulfil one of mine this week. I got to visit Rome. Four days in an absolutely amazing city, full of history, unbelievable monuments, art, food, wine and lots lots more. I even found a Music shop near the Pantheon that had Johnny Cash and Enya CD’s for sale, and a brilliant Shoe shop selling a range of cow boy boots catering for all tastes!!
I have to admit I was a bit concerned about travelling this week as I’m sure many of you were the world over. The recent horrendous Terror Attacks over the past number of weeks, in particular the Manchester attacks have been very frightening.
In my opinion, Music is something that unites people, regardless of genre. There should be no discrimination when it comes to music. Everyone should be free to enjoy it. Everyone should be free to express their musical preference. Everyone should be safe attending a concert.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.
We all have dreams and hopes for the future. Many of them for you reading this page may be music related, whether it be playing, singing, or going to a concert to see your idol. So sticking with the theme of dreams, I have named this week’s blog
I am in awe of those of you out there who are indeed living your dream, you should be very proud. Again I can’t focus on everyone or everything, but I promise to get to as many stories as I can over the coming weeks.
Enjoy and remember as CS Lewis said
‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream’
This week I have come across two inspirational ladies. The first one is Mandy Harvey. Now I know you’re probably saying she’s not Irish and has nothing to do with Country or Trad but the message in this video clip speaks for itself.
This youtube clip is taken from Mandy’s audition for Americas got talent. In my opinion she is one truly inspirational lady and shows the world what can be achieved if you believe in your dream.
Congratulations Mandy!! #livingthedream
Sabrina Fallon #livingthedream
For those of you who aren’t too familiar with Sabrina Fallon, I’ll be honest I didn’t know too much about her until this week, but let me tell you she is some woman!! I feel like we have known each other forever after our chats, and I’ve procrastinated on this write up for fear it won’t do her justice. Here goes.
Sabrina Fallon hails from Portumna, Co. Galway and comes from a family of seven children, all musicians. Her Dad, a drummer, performed with Larry Cunningham and ‘The Mighty Avons’. Her three brothers are also drummers, one of them drummed with the legendary Joe Dolan for five years. Sabrina grew up in a musical house, always sang but struggled to think she was any good.
When Sabrina finished college she travelled to San Francisco where she got married and had a beautiful little girl. Life dealt her a harsh blow when her husband passed away, so she returned home to Ireland with her daughter. She then found the courage to follow her dream. She went back to college and studied Textiles for five years.
Sabrina told me “she knew she had music in her system and wanted to put 100% into it”, so she busked Galway streets and says that’s were she found the confidence she has today.
She gained inspiration watching her first cousin Mike Denver grow as an artist, through his hard work and dedication, and Sabrina was determined to work hard at her music and her art.
Sabrina travelled to schools with a large textile piece she made when she was in college. This piece was based on Alcoholism, a subject very personal to her. She knitted 2000 stitches using hospital sheets and crutches. This piece represented 2000 hospital beds, used each night in A & E across Ireland for alcoholism related issues. She wanted to create awareness.
Below are a few photos of the results.
It was during this time she applied for a TV programme called Glor Tire.
She never told her cousin Mike that she was applying as she said that she didn’t want to put him on the spot. She was in San Francisco when she received the phone call to say she had secured a place, and that Mike would be her mentor. Sabrina told me “I cried all the way out in San Fran”.
Another dream was achieved for Sabrina; she told me what a beautiful journey she had on the show and how many lovely people she met along the way.
Here’s a clip of Sabrina with Mike Denver singing ‘Woodcarver’
Sabrina relayed how her Daddy took out his drums after twenty years for her first song recording ‘Deeper than the Holler’.
A self confessed ‘Daddy’s girl’, Sabrina told how it ‘melted her heart’ to see him in her first ever music video. Her parents are known as the Honeymooners and they also danced in the video.
I’m sure that her parents are very proud of their little girl. Not only is she still recording songs, and performing, Sabrina also has her own etsy shop. You can view some of the art work she has on offer at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SabrinaFallontextile
The following link will take you to Sabrina’s new song ‘Send it on down’.
Sabrina says this song includes a piece of her soul. She heard it first whilst travelling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She was eating a steak at a restaurant when the song was played. After hearing the first few lines of the song she stopped eating and cried. She had difficulty finding out the name of the song, but wrote down some lyrics. When she got back to the city she researched the song and swore she would record it some day. Sabrina says that she has buried loved ones due to alcoholism, ‘so the song cuts deep, It is from the heart. Exposed and vulnerable, I give you my rendition of Send it on down”
From my conversations with Sabrina Fallon it is clear she has a bright future ahead of her. She had a dream. She is now #livingthedream.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish her all the best. If you want to follow Sabrina Fallons journey head to her face book page
Moving on to a young man we mentioned last week when we wished him a very Happy Birthday – It’s Nathan Carter.
Nathan is definitely #livingthedream at the moment; he even released a single recently entitled ‘Livin the dream’!
On 28th May he played a sold out gig at the London Palladium, what a way to spend his Birthday!
For those of you not yet familiar with this now household name in Ireland, you can be sure he will be playing at a venue near you soon!!
From a very young age, Nathan who originally comes from Liverpool but now lives in Ireland, started playing the accordion. He went on to win All Ireland medals for singing and playing. John Farry, a very talented singer song writer in his own right, took Nathan under his wing and he went from strength to strength.
Wagon Wheel was a huge hit for him in 2012
Since then he has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, has given countless interviews and released seven studio albums. He has also had his own TV series ‘The Nathan Carter Show’ with RTE, and has travelled to Nashville this year to record a documentary.
I have met Nathan, his family and his band mates on numerous occasions over the last year, and have to say he is a genuinely lovely friendly young man, surrounded by a great group of people. He always has time for everyone, and often spends hours after shows with fans, signing autographs and posing for photographs. He does quite a bit for charity as well and very kindly provided an interview for Global Christmas FM last year when I met him at the TLT in Drogheda before a gig. Less said about these questionable photos the better !!! lol
Today Nathan has announced that he will be doing his first North American Tour in September, details below.
I hope this tour doesn’t wear him out too much as lots of fans will be looking forward to seeing him on his Carter on the Costa Tour at the end of September. Details available from http://www.enjoytravel.co.uk/package/nathan-carter-on-the-costa
Here’s a clip of a video Nathan recorded in the Costa del Sol last year ‘Skinny Dipping’.
You can find details of Nathan's upcoming tour dates in Ireland on his website http://www.nathancartermusic.com/dates and if that isn’t enough of an introduction here’s a clip of his recent single ‘Caribbean Feeling’ which is taken from his new Album ‘Livin the dream’ out on 16th June.
Nathan Carter definitely is #livingthedream and is proof that hard work and dedication gets results!!! We wish him all the best for the coming year.
Sometimes all you need is that push to go out there and start #livingthedream, so if you’ve ever wanted to be a Country Singer here’s an opportunity to give it a go. Below is some details of a competition taking place in the Birds Nest Bar Bundoran, sent into us by Brian and Nicola Gavigan.
The 5th annual “Sounds like Country” singing competition starts on Tuesday July 18th at the Birds Nest Bar, and applications are being accepted now. This competition is all about recognising the country music talent that’s out there and giving performers a step onto the platform. Country music is hard to break into, so this is the opportunity to start, make an impression and make great contacts.
The prizes are amazing!
1st prize is a CD production of a song of the winner’s choice, recorded by Brian Kerrigan at Harmony Studios, Letterkenny. A video production by Steve Bloor, to be shown on all country music programmes and played on all the country music radio stations. Also included is a paid performance at The Birds Nest Bar and a weekend break for two. The winner will also perform at many award shows during the year.
2nd prize is the same as 1st Prize without the weekend break!!
The judges are all major figures in the country music scene. Previous judges have included Charlie McGettigan, John Farry, Jim Devine, Richie Remo, Paul Kelly, Packie Keaney, Anthony McBrien and many more.
Winner Lauren McCrory 2015
If you don’t want to participate you can come along and enjoy a great night’s entertainment, every Tuesday during July and August.
See The Birds Nest Face book Page for more details on
Watch out for ‘The Back Axels’ coming soon to a venue near you. Fronting this band is Stephen Rosney on vocals/acoustic guitar, along with David Hawkins on dobro/harmonica, Shane Dunne on double bass and Michael Devine on banjo/mandolin. Stephen tells how they were playing music around a fire at a traditional session of singing and storytelling when a local priest suggested the name. The music of Old Ireland plays a big part in bands music and song writing, and the band members come from all parts of Ireland bringing with them their own style of music.
Stephen is a rising song writing star, and has written recent hits like “Old Turf Sod” for his brother Ciaran Rosney, and “God Bless the Farmer” for Robert Mizzell.
“O’Reilly was a Hero” is the debut single from The Back Axels. The video was filmed in the deep south of the United States and has an American Civil War theme that makes for a beautiful and heart touching video.
The band previously known as “Roslyn” released songs like “Red Haired Mary” and “Maid in the Garret”
Further details can be found on the website https://www.thebackaxles.com/ or on their face book page https://www.facebook.com/thebackaxles/
There’s a lovely little pub on the south side of Dublin, in a place called Booterstown, called the Punchbowl. I would regularly go there on a Tuesday night, bringing along my guitar and take part in the open trad sessions. Everyone is welcome, regardless of talent and ability. No pressure, no stress, just sharing the love of music.
One of the regulars Lar Flynn (no relation), sings for a group of American Tourists who come to visit the punchbowl on occasion. He felt that the room upstairs would make a great venue for intimate gigs for approximately 70-80 people. He had previously seen John Spillane perform in a similar venue and made contact with him with a view to performing at the Punchbowl.
On April 23rd 2016 John Spillane played to a full house and the #seaviewsessions were born. John has been back three times since then. Mick Hanly followed, and in November 2016 the legendary Christy Moore was welcomed to the Sea View Sessions for a fantastic evening of music and song.
The Sea View Sessions provide an opportunity for singers and songwriters to show case their talents in front of an audience. Many of these people may not get the opportunity to do that too often alongside seasoned professionals, such as the great Wally Page. Support slots are given out to similar acts and Lar told how they had a 'Poetician' one night who brought the house down, the brilliant John Cummins.
Lar says ‘We have been very lucky with a very loyal, and local following with many people returning to gig after gig, and we are gaining plenty of newcomers with each show, and with help of The Punchbowl owners, Joe & Catherine O' Rourke, we will continue to bring the best of Irish talent to The Seaview Sessions’.
Mick Hanly plays Friday 7th July at 8.30pm Tkts : €15 on 0868659814 to reserve or for further information.
If you happen to visit Ireland and a Seaview session isn’t on that week try attend one of the sessions on a Tuesday night, tell them Deirdre said hi !!!
I had the privilege of seeing Ruaile Buaile support Nathan Carter at his weekend in the INEC Killarney lately, and they were spectacular.
Described as a young Irish based, four piece modern day trad/pop/folk group from Offaly, Ruaile Buaile are four friends; Niall on vocals/guitar, Arthur fiddle/banjo, Shane vocals/bass and Jack Cajun/banjo. Ruaile Buaile formed in 2011 and are going from strength to strength.
Gaining support from music fans and festival goers across Ireland, UK, Germany, Holland, France, UAE and America to date, there is interest from festival organisers in Sweden, Austria, and Australia coming on board next year.
They have their own style and released their first album ‘Commotion’ which entered the Irish ITunes Chart at number 3, within weeks of release. They have since recorded their second album ‘This Very Moment’, and have a very exciting year ahead.
Details of upcoming dates can be found here http://ruailebuaile.ie/live-dates/
Below is a link to their take on ‘Maniac’ and the classic ‘The Foggy dew’
Definitely ones to watch for the future #livingthedream
Another Irish Band #livingthedream at the moment are ‘The Whistlin Donkeys’, who have been on the road for the last five years and are also going from strength to strength. They have built a strong following throughout the north of Ireland, playing in clubs, music venues and large outdoor festivals. The Whistlin Donkeys have a unique sound. Fronted by Fergal McAloon, alongside Stephen Corrigan, Tomas Quinn, Oscar Bradley, Daniel McCormack and Michael Kerr, you will hear a sound rooted in their strong traditional Irish Basis; the sound of a banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
Influenced by artists such as The Pogues, The Dubliners and Flogging Molly, The Whistlin Donkeys have been lucky to work alongside legendary celtic rock guitarist Johnny Fean of the Horslips.
Here are two of my favourite songs ‘Sweet Sixteen’ and ‘Grace’, beautifully done !!
The Band has travelled to festivals in the America such as The Boston Irish Festival, and the East Durham Irish Festival in New York. Coverage of them performing at the Park Fest 2016 can be viewed on their facebook page
When they come to a venue near you definitely go see them, you won’t be disappointed !!!
More details can be found on https://www.thewhistlindonkeys.com/
Last but not least on this week’s blog, I want to share details of a local group which I have been proud to be associated with over the years, Rinecoil Fingal.
The following short piece has been submitted by Paul Dowling, an extremely patient, kind and lovely man from Rineceoil Fingal.
Rinceoil Fingal is a non-profit organisation that promotes, teaches and performs Irish traditional music, song and dance. Rinceoil are based in the small seaside town of Rush, in north County Dublin, Ireland. The name Rinceoil is made up of two Irish words Rince agus Ceoil, dancing and music. The group is over twenty years old and has grown successfully during that period. There are now over 100 members of all ages involved in classes, workshops, dancing and performing. Rinceoil has performed at various events both in Ireland and abroad over the years.
A highlight was playing music and dancing for the Special Olympics when they were held in Ireland. We have visited and performed in Canada, Scotland, France and Belgium. Rinceoil Fingal has a proven track record in promoting Irish traditional music, song and dance, not only in Rush but also in the wider Fingal area. 2017 also sees us presenting our eighteenth “Scoil Samhraidh Chris Langan” (“Chris Langan Summer School”). This is an annual music festival in memory of Kitty Langan.
The main reason for visiting Toronto stemmed from our music connections. Chris Langan was a piper from Rush. He immigrated to Canada in the '50s and lived in Toronto up to his death in 1992. During his life in Toronto he spread Irish music and taught uileann pipe playing. He contributed hugely to the Irish music scene in Toronto and played a major part in establishing the Langan-Gorman Toronto Branch of Comhaltas Ceoilteoiri Eireann (Association of Irish Musicians). His house was always open to musicians to come and learn and play together, “Kitty’s Kitchen” as it was called. In order to honour his memory and contribution to Irish traditional music in Toronto, an Irish music festival is held in Toronto each year, the Chris Langan Weekend. This is a major festival attracting musicians from all over Canada and North America.
While we were in Toronto, Rinceoil gave performances at Yonge/Dundas Square and also at the Exhibition, The X, on the international stage. We also had some mighty sessions in the Galway Bay and Dora Keogh’s pubs.
This year Rinceoil won 1st place in the Rush St Patrick’s Day Parade with a Viking theme and some lively music.
The Annual Chris Langan Summer School takes place this year from Friday 23rd June to Sunday 25th June 2017.
For information see www.facebook/rinceoilfingal.rush or call Paul, 087-2308546Friday 23rd June: 7pm. St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush, Official Opening by Mayor of Fingal followed at 8pm by Annual Rinceoil Gala Concert featuring pupils, Rinceoil and Tumbleweed. (free admittance)
Seisiún Cheoil 8.30pm till late, in the Michael Collins Bar, with CCE Craobh Seán Treacy, Rinceoil and guests.
Saturday 24th June: 1pm-5pm. Music, Singing and Dance Workshops in Rush National School, Millbank, Rush. Cost: 20 euro. Per workshop, reductions for families. Refreshments provided. Tutors; Sean Nós Dancing Ronan Regan, Singing Mary Murphy, Bodhrán Rob O’Connor, Flute/Whistle Mike Perigoe, Piano Accordion Seamus Meehan, Fiddle Imogen Gunner, Guitar Mairtín Ó’Muirí, Banjo Seán McElwain, Concertina TBC.
Seisiún Ceoil Mór in Rush Sailing Club, 9.00pm till Late. Hosted by Tumbleweed with special guests Craobh Seán Treacy’s. Everyone and all musicians welcome for what has always been a great night. Refreshments provided.
Sunday 25th June: Traditional Mass 11.30am. In memory of deceased members and friends. St Maurs Church, Rush.
A huge thank you to Paul Dowling for submitting that information. I took part in the Scoil last year and am really looking forward to it again this year. Over the years I have taken part in concerts with Rineceoil Fingal, learned the Tin Whistle with Lenny, the Bodhran with Paul and even attempted to play the fiddle at one stage. There’s a long story behind the fiddle classes and why I had to give up !
Groups such as Rineceoil Fingal play a vital part of small communities, and should be commended for the tireless work they carry out with children and adults, enabling all to #livethedream learning how to play traditional musical instruments.
I could have kept going but I think maybe I’ve overloaded you with news from Ireland for this week. Next time on #lovingallthingscountryandtrad I hope to bring you some more music profiles, news, single/album releases and gig guides. There is an event calendar being compiled as we speak which is pages long, so if you have an event you want to share please send me a pm or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to it for you. Also if anyone has any event videos or photos or messages for artists please drop me a line.
Until next time I’ll leave you with this one from Mark Twain, remember keep #livingthedream
So here it is......
the first #LOVINGALLTHINGSCOUNTRYANDTRAD blog !!!
My name is Deirdre and I am delighted and privileged to be joining the Blues and Roots Radio team to share as much as I can from the Country, Trad and Folk music scene in Ireland.
I used to spend hours on end lost on social media catching up with all things Country, and I mean hours !! It seemed such a shame not to share my findings with others, so The Loving All Things Country Facebook page was set up as a result #sharingiscaring after all. The page is updated daily with all things relating to the Irish Country Music Scene, feel free to head over and check it out.
Loving All Things Country & Trad - Facebook
If I was to be honest, I have procrastinated something terrible over the last few weeks about this first blog, I’m sure poor Stevie Connors nerves aren’t the better of it....apologies Stevie !
I love music, singing, song writing, any genre, anytime anywhere, so knowing where to start became an issue. I just couldn’t choose who to start with............
The immediate plan is to share as much as possible on a weekly basis, anything goes really. From the latest news, single releases, gig guides, festival dates, trips in Ireland and abroad, venue profiles, dance venues, social dance classes throughout Ireland, artist profiles, links to videos, charts and of course as many interviews as I can get !! There will also be a link to a calendar where I will log as many events as I can. The blog will be varied from Country to Folk to Trad, please be patient and remember there is only so much time and so much blog space!
A fan area will be up and running shortly, where photos will be shared and people can chat and comment on posts. There’s no set format to this blog so please send me a message on email@example.com if there’s something in particular you would like more information on.
I hope you enjoy what is to come in the future and I look forward to hearing from you all.
In the meantime I’ll leave you with these words from Plato
‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything’
So on that note let’s start sharing #lovingallthingscountryandtrad from Ireland with the world #sharingiscaring
Music festivals and weekends away have become a regular occurrence in Ireland with events happening weekly. So far this year fans have been treated to the Jamboree in the Park in Fintona, Jamboree Letterkenny, Country fest in Monaghan, The Wild West Country Fest in Kilconly, Tuam as well as dancing weekends in hotels across the country and beyond. There are countless music festivals to look forward to over the course of the summer with lots of music song and dance; therefore lots of dates for your diary so best get planning.
I have no idea how these artists keep going travelling the length and breadth of Ireland to entertain the masses, but fair play to them as I know from experience that they each give 200% at every show regardless.
You will be spoiled for choice this June Bank Holiday weekend with a variety of things happening on the Country Music Scene. The Cowboys and Heroes Country Music and Americana Festival kicks off Friday 2nd and continues until Monday 5th June in Drumcoura City, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim. This is a unique festival set in an amazing location beside a beautiful lake. The saloon and indoor arena will host a variety of competitions in song and dance in addition to some of the most talented singers and musicians to be found on Irelands Country Music Scene. There will be something on offer for everyone, a children’s play area, American car show, horse demonstration, line dancing and much more.
The 2017 line up includes the following: Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Declan Nerney, Michael English, Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney, Johnny Brady, Lisa McHugh, Ritchie Remo, Cliona Hagan, Keegan McInroe, Lou Rosgen, and Shauna McStravock to name a few. Head over to the website www.cowboysandheroes.ie or to the Facebook page for more details.
Also happening this weekend is the Sheerin Family Shindig. This event takes place on Monday June 5th at The Lumber Shack, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath and is sure to be another fantastic day out. The line up includes the following: Nathan Carter, Robert Mizzell, Lisa McHugh, Matt Leavy, Olivia Douglas, Dan and Mary Sheerin. There will be a kids entertainment play area and food and bar facilities on site. For more information head over to the Sheerin Shindig Facebook Page.
The Balllyroan Festival is happening on 3rd and 4th of June at Ballyroan GAA club in Ballyroan, Co Laois. Details of this indoor marquee event can be found on Ballyroan 2017 Facebook page. The line up includes Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Cliona Hagan and Lisa McHugh. Facebook
Feel Free to send in your photos and reviews to
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to the fan area coming soon.
Ok so I promised you a profile area each week and I agonized over who to start with. There is so much talent in Ireland at the moment and I would never say that one artist is better than another. Music is a personal choice and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Each one is unique and has something to offer.
Country Music singers and musicians in Ireland are very generous about sharing their music and send new releases to radio shows before their release. I have received music from the next two acts over the last while along with many others I hasten to add so let me introduce to you #Barrykirwan and #Hurricanehighway
Barry Kirwan hails from Omagh in Co Tyrone and is part of a very musical family. Son of the talented Dominic Kirwan, Brother of Colm (Nashville), and Jonathon (Glasgow), Barry studied in London and worked with many artists including Lisa McHugh and Derek Ryan as a drummer and backing vocalist, he has also spent time in Nashville.
In February 2016 Barry decided to pursue his own solo career and released his first solo single, “Keep it in the middle of the road” which was taken from his debut album “New Beginnings” released in June 2016. “Up the Jive” co written with his brother Colm followed in June 2016.
There is no stopping this talented young artist who can be found at different venues across the country on a weekly basis, he recently performed at the Country to Country Weekend which took place in March at the Three Arena Dublin.
Barry’s latest single release “She only loves me for my Willie” caused a stir for some fans on social media due to its title and the fact that it was released around April Fool’s Day. A brilliant song based on a Girls love for her man and his Tribute Act to Willie Nelson, well worth a listen.
I’ve met Barry at a number of venues this year, and in my opinion he is a genuinely nice, friendly, talented young artist with a bright future ahead. You can follow Barry on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to put some of his upcoming dates in your diary. You won’t be disappointed ! Visit him on Facebook
Hurricane Highway, fronted by Ed Holland are an exciting Irish Band featuring an American style of Country Rock. Formed in 2014 they released their first single “Your Man” followed by “Yeah” which were both very well received by audiences nationwide. “Keep them Kisses Coming” was a great success for the band and the YouTube video has exceeded 2 million hits and continues to grow.
The first song I heard performed by the band was “Hey Pretty Girl”, and they gained my attention straight away. Such a beautiful song which features an older gentleman reminiscing on his life gone by, a bit of a tear jerker to be honest but I absolutely loved it.
Hurricane Highway released their new album “Exposed” in April 2017, featuring 11 songs including 7 single releases. In my opinion it is definitely one for the collection.
Unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting up with the band just yet but hope to do so shortly. Details of upcoming gigs can be found on their Facebook Page
I promised you a little trad and folk as well and who better to start with than this brilliant young band “All Folk’d up”. The band was formed by lead singer and banjo player Pauric Mohan in 2009, who is joined by Daniel Doyle on Flute and Whistles, along with Stephen McElvogue on Guitar and Szymon Dwulat on drums.
All Folk’d ups sound is rooted deep in Irish Folk and Celtic Rock, they will take you on a fabulous journey into the depths of traditional Irish Music and American Folk as well as Rock and Modern Classics.
I had the pleasure of meeting some of the members of the band last September on the Costa Del Sol, where they played on Nathan Carters week long Carter on the Costa Tour. A very talented group I have to say, who had crowds dancing and singing along both poolside and into the early hours of the morning. The lads have recently finished their UK 2017 tour where they played to sell out crowds every night. Why not check out their facebook page or website for upcoming dates, you wont be disappointed !!
The country music world lost one of its well known singers and musicians this week as Noel Cassidy passed away.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at his parish church to say farewell to the man, who was described by the Longford Leader “as one of the wittiest men in Co. Longford”.
The chief celebrant Fr Hogan told how “Noels life was bound up in music and entertainment going as far back as the 1970s with his first band Wagon Masters”. Fr Hogan described Noels life as “mostly about song, music and storytelling” and told how “music was his passion and while he had other interests too, none of them were to the same extent as the music”.
Noel will be sadly missed by many. May he rest in peace and continue to sing loud and proud from beyond.
Sometimes it is easy to forget those who work behind the scenes and it becomes all about the artist on stage. Behind every artist is a hard working team of musicians, management, and many more people who support the artist weekly. Then there are the DJs and TV presenters who bring artists music to the airwaves on a regular basis. I hope to bring some news and interviews with some of these people over the coming months, as without them sometimes the show wouldn’t go on.
On this note I want to send a get well message to Howard Myers who is recovering from major surgery at the moment. Howard works in the music industry as a DJ and playing music in many dance halls around Ireland during the week. He also runs a weekly dance alongside Kathy Cullinan at Morans Red Cow Hotel, which plays hosts to all the biggest names in the Irish Country Music scene. Before the main act comes on stage Howard plays lots of tunes for the audience to dance along to.
Howard has been an absolute gentleman to me over the last few months, providing an interview for radio, along with information on upcoming acts performing at the Thursday nights venue. Howard has a long road to recovery ahead of him but with the support of his loving family and friends I’m sure he will be back in the Red Cow every Thursday playing tunes before the main act comes on stage.
Get well soon Howard we miss you already !
#Happy Birthday !!
Last week on 28th May, one of Irelands biggest Country Music Stars celebrated his 27th Birthday by playing to a sold out concert at the London Palladium. I would like to extend Happy Birthday wishes to Nathan Carter and look forward to catching up with him for an interview soon.
I hope you’ve enjoyed #lovingallthingscountryandtrad this week and get to experience some of the great events mentioned. Next week’s blog will focus on some Folk/Trad festivals and events. I hope to bring you an interview with ‘The Black Axles’ following their debut performance of Bluegrass and Country Music at Kavanaghs Bar on 27th May, there will be some more profiles, along with some country music news/events and some venue reviews.
Until then remember #sharingiscaring so please get in touch
via email email@example.com and let us know what is happening in your area so we can share events with the rest of the world.