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.