Stop Press!!! On Thursday September 8th at Vicar Street, Dublin we will perform a Concert in aid of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre whose funding has been cut substantially in recent years. The work of the Rape Crisis Centre has been severely compromised by these cutbacks. We fully support the essential service they provide. Every cent raised on ticket sales will go to support the RCC. Tickets are available HERE.
Another project completed, another basket of songs dispersed. It has been a joyful experience – gathering, learning, chording, arranging, rehearsing, recording, re-recording, mixing and mastering these 10 songs before releasing them to fly away upon the air. Declan was at my side most of the way. His encouragement, his suss and his beautiful playing are a constant source of inspiration. As I’ve said before, Declan is the only guitar player I know to have said “this song does not need a guitar break “
Thanks to the writers who shared their work with me and allowed me leeway when required. To those writers whom I’ve never met, I also express my gratitude. 9 of the 10 songs have been performed and “Lost Tribe” is almost ready to roll. I had to dig my heels in with title, artwork and packaging. Now it’s all there for you to see. Brian Maguire’s painting of Lilies hangs above me on the wall as I write this chat. Some of you may remember Brian’s “Death of an American hero” from the album “Burning Times” which was dedicated to the memory of Rachel Corrie. Feedback for LILY has been positive in the main but there may still be naysayers lurking in the long grass – come out yiz feckers…
Many people maintain that reviews don’t matter to them, that they do not bother reading them. Not Me – I love to get a good review, it always gives me a buzz. I hate to get a bad review, but we gotta take the rough with the smooth. I still remember my first print review. It was in the Melody Maker back in 1969 and I still have it…
Last weekend at Croke Park Kildare played Wexford in the first round of the Leinster Championship. “Lily” was played over the Tannoy. What a moment that was. It reminded me of “Quinte Brigada” getting a spin at Parkhead a few years back. Myself and Michael Devine were in the stand and could not believe our ears!
For any of you who might be interested I’d like to share original versions of some of the songs on LILY as performed by those who wrote them;
My good friend Tony Small sent me Mandolin Mountain before he passed. I first met Tony in London back in 1969. A native of Galway, Tony devoted his life to singing, playing and writing. Click HERE for his version of Mandolin Mountain
I first met Declan O’Rourke when he performed with Planxty in Vicar St Dublin back in 2004. Click HERE for clip
Dave Lordan is a poet and activist whom I love to meet and hear. Click HERE for clip
Mick Blake, a teacher in County Leitrim, is writing some vital songs. I first met him on the net and since then we have performed together a number of times. Click HERE for clip.
Padraig Stevens has been at the hearth of Music in Tuam Co Galway for many years. Jimmy Higgins introduced me to his work. Click HERE for clip.
Here is the debut performance of Johnny Spillane’s memorial to the murdered Fisherman Patrick Murphy of Passage West, County Cork. Click HERE for clip.
I have never met Peter Gabriel but have long since admired his work. Click HERE for clip.
Click HERE for a new clip from Lynched. I had a lovely day with them some time back. We played “Green Grows the Laurel” together. I hope to perform with them at some time in the future – diaries and weather permitting….
Click HERE for a clip of John Reilly singing “True Lovers”, from the album “Bonny Green Tree” which also features “The Captain” AKA “Green Grows the Laurel”.
I had some fun with Moxie as we sought to uncover “The Lost Tribe of The Wicklow Mountains” and hope to perform it with them in the future. Click HERE and HERE for a couple of recent clips from Moxie – as fine a bunch of bowsies as a gunt could hope to meet.
RTE transmitted “Journey” over two nights last month. Filmed by Mark McLoughlin and his crew over a 5 month period it has been very well received (in the main). I viewed it carefully a fortnight before transmission. I feel privileged that the work of 50 years received such a documentation on RTE. ( Ireland’s National Broadcasting Station ).That so many of the songs were re-visited, that people associated with the songs were remembered gave me great satisfaction. Mark McLoughlin dealt sensitively with whole project and I wish him and his colleagues’ success in all their future endeavours.
Getting ready now to return to work. All the songs from LILY are now ready for live performance. I’m looking forward to a whole host of new venues when we return to work. Glenamaddy, Connemara, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Westport, Sligo and Ballinasloe all coming up soon. Then we have Killarney Festival and Cambridge Festival to savour as well as Bantry and two small club dates in London.
After that it’s an Ulster Tour in September and then back over to England and Wales in October.
We have our boots polished and trousers pressed. Points and plugs in order, brakes and tyre pressure all checked…we are read to Shimmy-Shammy once again.
See you along the way…
PS….all the above gigs are on the gig page here and LILY will be available at all upcoming gigs