Following two weeks of missed blog posts, a search party was dispatched. I received numerous messages asking had I deserted my post! Ooops..... Please accept my sincerest apologies.
I had been asked to do a little bit of promotional work with Aiken Promotions for the Harvest Country Music Festival. This took me to the Marquee in Cork, The Iveagh Gardens and then on a two day bus tour around Ireland, more to follow on that one. In addition to all of this the kids are off school for the summer holidays, I took on a bit of exam invigilation for a week, and I had to finish my college course with The Park Studio in TV production and presentation. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement.
This week’s blog contains a little bit on the Harvest Festival, a piece on Don Mescal, details of festivals/weekends away, new releases and events for your diary.
I hope you enjoy, and as always please feel free to email me on
The Iveagh Gardens is a hidden gem located between Clonmel Street and Upper Hatch Street not far from Dublin’s National Concert Hall. The park itself has been in existence since 1865 and measures about 8.5 acres. On concert/event days the grounds can hold approximately 5,000 people.
In July 2017 crowds at the Iveagh Gardens were treated to an entertainment extravaganza as Aiken Promotions hosted Future islands, Aslan, Olly Murs, Fleet Foxes, Dropkick Murphy’s, Bell and Sebastian, Damien Dempsey, Passenger, Nathan Carter and a Comedy Festival.
On 15th July I abandoned a college lecture early and went to the Gardens to carry out some promotional work for Aiken Promotions. I have to admit that I hadn’t been to the Iveagh Gardens before, was a little excited, and wasn’t disappointed.
People of all ages descended on the venue for the evening gig which started about 7.15.
Ruaile Buaile took to the stage around 7.30pm and the venue lit up with lively music and song. Nathan Carter as always entertained the masses, who were evidently delighted with his performance. My own parents hadn’t been to either the Gardens or a Nathan Carter Gig before and enjoyed the night immensely.
From my vantage point at the Harvest Country Music Festival stand I got to meet lots of people and had a great evening singing and dancing; whilst mingling and working. The only one complaint I heard all night was maybe a few seats might have been welcomed by some people; perhaps that will be taken into account next year!!
That aside I’m looking forward to next year already, can’t wait to see the line up.
The Harvest Country Music Festival is another one of the reasons why I have been missing in action recently. On Wednesday 26th July I went out on the road with the Aiken Promotion crew. At 8am a 50 seater bus all decked out in the lovely festival cover drove up to the Apple Green Service Station in Lusk. Out hopped Cliona Hagan, Jake Carter and two dancers.
The Aiken's Team and myself had been in the venue from 7.30 getting ready for their arrival. Cliona and Jake treated everyone to some lively early morning musical entertainment as delighted fans and customers watched on and some even danced with Eddie and Geraldine our Harvest Dancers. Keyrings and leaflets giving details of the festival were given out, which is happening on 26th and 27th of August in Westport and Enniskillen. Some lucky fans even walked away with some free tickets.
I was delighted to catch up with Eddie Rowley from the Sunday World and Shay Byrne from RTE radio at the first stop, who as you can see from the photo were also in flying form for the early morning start!
After Lusk we all set off on a journey which took us to Castlebellingham, then onto Templepatrick, Lisburn, and finally Lifford. We had a quick stop at Harvey’s point to drop Cliona off to her gig and have a quick bite to eat then, we were off to the Allingham Arms for the night and a well deserved rest. We met some fantastic people and I enjoyed the day’s events.
It didn’t end there as the next day after some lovely breakfast views in Bundoran we set off to Swinford where we met up with Midwest Radio and Hurricane Highway. Again fans were treated to music from Ed Holland and his crew, along with Jake and Cliona before setting off to Athlone were we held up the traffic on the main street for a little while.
The Apple Green in Enfield saw the last performance of the evening where I was happy to bump into two rather important Roscommon GAA players, with Shay Wade who runs the Mysterious Fun Nights out with the Country Bands Face book Page.
As the time to the festival draws closer the excitement is building and acts are being added daily, Barry Kirwan has just been confirmed so congrats to him.
With 2 days, 2 venues, 4 stages and over 40 acts I reckon it’s going to be one of the gigs of the year!!! Hope to see you all there.
Carmel Mannion at Jump the Moon PR has been telling me all about Don Mescal’s upcoming events and I can’t wait to catch up with him next month when he returns to Ireland.
Don’s songs have been covered on over 10 million records worldwide and received more than 16 million hits on YouTube.
“You” is the new single from Dons new album due for release in October 2017. It’s been 11 years since Don’s debut album ‘Innocent Run’ in 2006 (on the US Curb Label) since then his reputation as a songwriter has truly skyrocketed. Don has recently signed to Notting Hill Music Group.
Don’s songs have been recorded by Geri Halliwell, Rascal Flatts, Backstreet Boys, Lonestar, Ronan Keating, Mackenzie Porter, French artist Marina Kaye, Nathan Carter, Sharon Corr, American Idols Clay Aiken, Boyzone, Canadian Idol Winner Theon Thams, Aslan, Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne (Westlife), Lulu, Kirsty, The New Cities, French Canadian artist Garou, Woodstock’s legendary Richie Havens, US Neal McCoy, Brian Kennedy, Luke Dickens, Jaydee Bixby, The High Kings, Frances Black, Grant & Forsyth and many many more.
Wow!!! I’m going to stop right there and say THANK YOU Don. Thank you for the stories, don’t ever stop, please.
On that note Don will be coming to Ireland in August on a short tour including appearing at The Harvest Country Music Festival in Westport and Enniskillen in August.
You can also catch Don at the following venues and dates:
16th August Rose of Tralee Festival – The Dome
17th August The Stores, Wexford
19th August St Patricks Gateway Church, Waterford
20th August Hole in the Wall, Kilkenny
23rd August The Blackbird, Ballycotton, Cork
24th August Monroe’s Galway
26th August Harvest Cafe, Harvest Country Music Festival, Westport House
27th August Harvest Cafe, Harvest Country Music Festival, Enniskillen
29th August The Meetings, Avoca, Wicklow
30th August The Irish Post Country Music Awards, Armagh City Hotel
31st August Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair Theatre, Gweedore
1st September Dolans, Limerick
2nd September Alice’s Kitchen, Naas, Kildare
3rd September Hole in the Wall, Kilkenny
If you have any queries please contact Carmel Mannion at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don is going to have a fantastic month in Ireland and I would like to wish him all the best with his tour.
I just mentioned that Don Mescall would be at the Irish Post Country Music Awards 2017, this takes place on 30th August on the Armagh City Hotel. The awards will be aired live on TG4 and streamed live across the worldwide platform.
I’ve been told there will be eleven awards up for grabs with more than fourteen artists performing live on stage including:
Cliona Hagan, Philomena Begley, Hurricane Highway, Keith and Lorraine McDonald, Louise Morrissey, Lee Matthews, Foster & Allen, Olivia Douglas, Dominic Kirwan, Don Mescall and Niamh McGlinchey, with many more acts to be announced.
Tickets on sale now from https://armaghcityhotel.quicktickets or go to the Irish Post or Irish TV face book page for more details.
Should be a great night; hope to see some of you there.
The Armagh City Hotel is always busy but from 1st to 3rd November Country Music fans are going to be treated to three fantastic days of music.
In conjunction with Phil Mack from Keep it Country TV the Armagh City will host the Phil Mack International Country.
Artists performing include: Declan Nerney, Billy Payne, Cliona Hagan, Mick Flavin, Marc Roberts, Eamonn McCann, Fiddler Adam, Marissa D’Amato, Barry Kirwan, Gerry Guthrie, Olivia Douglas, Keelan, Stephen Rosney, Ryan Turner Band, Sarah Jory, Ron and Leona Williams, Keith and Lorraine, Hugo Duncan, John McNicholl, Stephen Smyth, Patricia Maguire, Jacqui Sharkey, Shunie Crampsey, Ailish McBride, John Burns, Eileen King, Ged Graham, Tony Kerr, Ben and Carmen Steneker, Owen Mac, The Ward Sisters, Trevor Loughrey, Caitlin, Kerry Fearon, Billy McFarland, David James, Niamh McGlinchey, Ben Troy.
For more details about packages available head to www.armaghcityhotel.com
Two new releases to share with you this week.
First up is the talented Stuart Moyle with his latest offering ‘You aint going nowhere’ which reached number one in the iTunes charts on 31st July. I met Stuart at #Carteronthecosta16 tour and again at the INEC in Killarney in May, he is a lovely talented artist. Congrats to Stuart on this great number which can be downloaded on:
It looks like Jake Carter had great fun recording the video for his song ‘Having a Party’ a few weeks ago. Have a little look at this one!! Spot #Davy Maguire from Johnny Brady’s Band hiding in the bushes.......
Jake is having a whirlwind year with new releases, tour dates, and preparing for his first Panto ‘Aladdin’ this Christmas. A very talented young man with a bright future ahead of him. Wishing him all the best for the future.
With lots of festivals and events happening in Ireland weekly it’s very difficult to share them all with you. This weekend in Ireland is the August bank holiday and there are so many events to choose from.
I have to say that #Ballymore Country Music Festival, Co Westmeath on 6th August will definitely be on my list this weekend. Trying to entertain the kids during the summer is expensive and with back to school costs looming, days and nights out are few and far between. Thankfully this festival has reasonably priced tickets and U14s go free.
There’s a great line up of artists in store including Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Michael English, Robert Mizzell, Cliona Hagan, Barry Kirwan, Brendan Shine, Jake Carter, and Marty Mone.
Gates open at 12 midday, concert starts 1pm.
For more details head over to www.ballymorecountrymusicfestival.com
See you all there !!!
Also starting this week is #50THCLONMANYFESTIVAL. This fantastic festival starts on Saturday 5th August – Sunday 13th August.
The line up is as follows:
6th August – Gerry Guthrie & Band 8pm, Johnny Brady & Band 9.30pm
7th August – Jim Devine & Band 8pm, Lisa McHugh & Band 9.30pm
8th August – Shunie Crampsey Show 8pm, Mike Denver & Band 9.30pm
9th August – Dominic Kirwan & Band 8pm, Derek Ryan & Band 9.30pm
10th August – McCarron, Porter & David James 8pm, Nathan Carter & Band 9.30pm
11th August – Night of Nostalgia from 8pm – Philomena Begley, Ray Lynam, Brendan Shine, TR Dallas, The Conquerors Show Band, Gary Gamble, Highland Radio.
12th August – Barry Kirwan & Band 8pm, Robert Mizzell & Band 9.30pm
13th August – Jimmy Buckley & Band 4-6pm, Coyle School of Dancers 8pm, Michael English & band 9.30pm
More details can be found on email@example.com or on their face book page. Alternatively Enquires can be made on 086 3427373
#Thesaddleupcountryjamboree takes place at Naas Race Course on 6th August from 5pm till 10pm. Acts include Nathan Carter, Patrick Feeney, Louise Morrissey, and The Conquerors. Tickets can be bought at the gate for 27.50 and Nathan Carter will be doing a meet and greet after the gig.
A little early with this one but just to make sure people aren’t disappointed best check out details now. Stars in the sun will be taking place in the 4star Blue Sea Gran Cervantes Hotel Torremolinos, Wed 16th – Wed 23 May 2018.
Featuring top class entertainment from the cream of Irish and International Stars, Featuring Compere Sunday World Eddie Rowley, Sil Fox, Red Hurley, Linda Martin, Brendan Shine, Sandy Kelly, Paddy Cole, Dave Lawlor, Simon Casey, Keith & Lorraine, Riche Sampson – Drifter Show, Shaun O’Dowd, Noel O’Farrell and Kenny Hicks.
For early Booking contact 01-2941000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Two more quick dates for your diary ......... First up is the #Abbey Hotel, The Diamond Donegal Town. 8th – 10th September where you will find Cliona Hagan, Jimmy Buckley, Declan Nerney, Patrick Feeney, Robert Mizzell. Details www.abbeyhoteldonegal.com
Also #Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford. 10th – 11th November will host Michael English, Paddy O’Brien, Patrick Feeney, Barry Kirwan, Jimmy Buckley, Gerry Guthrie, Shaun Loughrey and Bands. Details email@example.com
Clonmany Festival, Co Donegal, 5th-13th August – Details above
The Well Moate, Co Westmeath. www.thewellmoate.com 087-6948827 5th August Patrick Feeney, 6th August Andy Feery, 7th August Johnny Brady.
Woodlands House Hotel, 13th August Barry Kirwan
Ballymore Country Music Festival, Co Westmeath. 6th August, Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Michael English, Robert Mizzell, Cliona Hagan, Barry Kirwan, Brendan Shine, Jake Carter, Marty Mone. Gates 12 midday, concert starts 1pm, u14s free www.ballymorecountrymusicfestival.com
Ardboyne Monday Club, 7th August Bernie Heaney Band Launch with Paul and Matt Leavey, Gary Gamble, CC Cooper and Tom Kerr.
Country Club, Hotel Kilmore, Cavan. 12th August Shane Owens.
Abbey Hotel Roscommon, 8th August Declan Nerney & Band
Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe. 7th August John Molloy 5-8pm, Michael English 9.30pm
Allingham Arms Hotel, Bundoran, Co Donegal. Robert Mizzell 7th August
Citynorth Hotel, Co Dublin. 11th August Robert Mizzell
Abbey Hotel, The Diamond Donegal Town. 8th – 10 September. Cliona Hagan, Jimmy Buckley, Declan Nerney, Patrick Feeney, Robert Mizzell.
Ryandale Hotel, Moy. 5th August Michael English, 7th August John McNicholl
Falls Hotel, Ennistymon Co Clare. 6th August Eamon Jackson
#Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford. 10th – 11th November. Michael English, Paddy O’Brien, Patrick Feeney, Barry Kirwan, Jimmy Buckley, Gerry Guthrie, Shaun Loughrey and Bands. Details firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympia Theatre, Dublin. 11th October Michael English and Band with Brendan Shine. See Ticketmaster or www.michaelenglish.ie for details
Howth Jazz & Blues festival, 4-7 August. Details on Howth Trad Fest Face book page.
Harvest Country Music Festival www.harvestcountrymusicfestival.com 26th and 27th August, Enniskillen and Westport. Miranda Lambert, Charley Pride, Nathan Carter and over 40 artists.
Well if I wasn’t exhausted before that I definitely am now. Exciting times ahead, the Irish Country Music Scene is a buzzing hive of talent.
Again, please accept my apologies for the last two weeks. The purpose of this blog is to share details of Irelands Country Music Scene with the World. So far the response has been great from Canada and America, as well as at home here in Ireland.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s offering and share it far and wide.
Until next week enjoy every magical musical note.