“November Man sees Fire and Mist, Wind, Rain and Winter Air “. (Dave Goulder)
Thank you for the feedback you offered after the last Chat. Many replied by email so I could not respond. Among those were Henriet in Holland, Justin in NZ, Brenda in Dublin, Awyer out there somewhere, Frances in Glasgow (and young Christopher), John Phelan (great memories there, I remember every gig you mentioned) Paul in Brooklyn and Dingle, Tricia in Boston, Robert and Effie in Southsea, Gerry McCarthy in Africa, Craig in Poole, Declan O’Donovan in Poulaphouca, Bridget in Sussex, John Joblin in Northumberland. I have already responded to those of you who contacted the guest page. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was reading my rambles. As I said before, much as I enjoy communicating random thoughts on songs, gigs, travels and whatever else comes up, your replies encourage me to continue the practice. When feedback is posted on the guest page, everyone gets to share which was the intention at the outset of this site
“Where I Come From” is the title of the forthcoming 3CD collection. On the Columbia Label (at Sony Music) it will be released on November 1st 2013. Since my first album in 1969 most of my repertoire has been gleaned from the Tradition or from the work of other writers. I have never been a prolific songwriter. My songs (and those co-written) have been thinly spread on albums across many decades. For years I considered gathering them together into a collection. Last year I decided to get singing and to record the songs while I’m still able. 18 months on and it’s ready to go. There are 43 songs recorded at various locations around the Island. Studio recordings from Dalkey, Ballymountain, Monkstown, Blackrock and The Factory plus live recordings from The Waterfront in Belfast, The Hall in Knocknagoshel, The Royal Spa in Lisdoonvarna and Whelan’s of Dublin.
It was an interesting process. I recorded most of the songs solo, stripped back and bare. Most of them flowed, a few struggled and some did not make the cut. Tim Martin engineered the recordings. He has recorded everything I’ve done this past 15 years so we have a good working relationship. Tim is focused and thorough and has a mighty pair of ears on him. That done Declan Sinnott came on board and began to lay his notes across the verses. I always enjoy this part of the job. Sitting back as Declan brings his palette of colour to the songs. Then we invited friends in to finish off the job. Happy hours spent in the company of Neil Martin, Jimmy Higgins, Cathal Hayden, Winifred Horan, Vickie Keating, Pat Crowley, Mairtín O’Connor and Seamie O’Dowd as they contributed to the songs.
I called upon Gary Farrelly to consider the songs and create art work for the sleeve. I have been a follower and collector of Gary’s work for the past decade. I feel the cover he has created connects with the work. Then there was the tweaking of all the various elements – Sleeve notes, mastering, sleeve design, packaging, promotion. I choose to be part of all these different processes. This makes for a busy time but it is a challenge I enjoy. When the package arrived from Columbia (or perhaps I should say “when the album arrived from Sony”) that was the final part of a two year process. When the album is in my hand, the job is done. All that remains is to place it on the shelf beside its predecessors. I always cherish this moment. I pick up the guitar, hit me a Minor Chord and wonder…what’s next!!
|Where I Come From
|North & South of the River
|Welcome to the Cabaret
|The Two Conneeleys
|Giuseppe /Away Broken Heart (Live from Belfast
|The Ballad of Ruby Walsh
|Easter Snow (for Seamus Ennis)
|Viva La Quinta Brigada
|The Boy from Tamlaghtduff
|The Stardust Song
|Song for Anne Lovett
|Riding the High Stool
|Yellow Furze Woman
|The Time Has Come
|On the Bridge
|Lovely Young One
|The Birmingham Six
|In Praise of Mullaghmore
|St. Brendans Voyage
|The Wicklow Boy (Live from Lisdoonvarna)
|On the Mainland
|Joxer goes to Stuttgart
|Minds Locked Shut
|Me and the Rose
|Song For Imelda Riney
|Arthurs Day (Live from Chevron’s gig, Whelans, Dublin
|Where I Come From (Live from Knocknagoshel)
Signed copies will be available from the shop on my website from 1st November. They will be priced at €24 including postage and packaging. Later I hope to do an online Q&A with anyone interested. I have not yet figured out how best to do this… I’ll keep you posted
Where I’m heading for….Some dates to ponder… (All details on the gig page)
1st – Late Late Show – RTE1 (Television)
7th – Cork Opera House
15th & 16th – Derry
22nd & 23rd – Trim
29th & 30th – Naas
7th – Athlone
15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th – Vicar Street, Dublin
24th & 25th – Bord Gais (Grand Canal) Theatre, Dublin
21st – Mullingar
28th – Clonmel
Drogheda – Date to be confirmed
28th – Kilkenny
10th – Edinburgh
11th – Glasgow – Barrowland
13th – Glasgow RCH
15th – Manchester
17th & 18th – London RFH
9th & 10th – Ennis
16th – Galway
29th & 30th – Belfast
5th – Marquee, Cork
We hope to add some more gigs in due course. Keep an eye out and, hopefully, we’ll turn up in a venue near you along the way.
The Meeting Room.
A documentary to which I contributed. Click HERE to watch
What a debate. Getting to sing Arthurs Alcoholiday on the Prime Time Television certainly stirred it up! Most respondents were positive, some were incensed and a few were downright hostile.
What a contrast was Arthurs Day to RTE’s Music Train. It arrived into Newbridge, County Kildare on Monday Morning, September 30th. Thousands came out to welcome the arrival of this great initiative. A brilliant parade from the Railway Station down past Rathfield, into Charlotte St. left at The Bank Corner on down Main Street. At the head of the parade were the Army Band and a thousand school children from various schools. All were dancing and singing, laughing and jousting as they crossed The Liffey Bridge to turn in to The Patrician Secondary school where the performance began. Miriam O’Callaghan received a rousing Newbridge welcome as she mounted the rostrum. Introducing each performer she charmed the thronged Assembly. The concert featured Tammy Browne, Celine Byrne, King Modo, the Wednesdays, Luka Bloom, Paul McCormack and Frankie Laine. I sang The Curragh of Kildare accompanied by the entire audience. After that came Tea, Sangwidges and sweet cake before the Music Train puffed off to Carlow to do it all over again. Great praise is due to all those who put this project together. There were months of pre-planning by the RTE team. Local organizers in each town brought their communities together as the train moved on during this 6 day celebration of Irish music and song. I hope that The Music Train will roll again.
I’m here in the Town Hall, Leeds tonight. It is October 16th 2013. I’m thinking of all the Folk Clubs that were here when I first landed in this great City. My first gig in Leeds was back in 1967. John and Rita Wall ran Club Memphis in an R.A.O.B. Hall. They treated me very well, fed me, gave me a bed and paid me £6. I started to cross the Pennines frequently to play gigs at The Grove Folk Club (which is still running), at Bob and Hazel Spray’s club at The Adelphi on Leeds Bridge, at John Rennard’s who ran a bluesy/folk club, Bob and Carol Pegg ran an ultra Traditional Club and went on to form a band called Mr. Fox. I recall many great nights with a host of old friends. Singers like Jim Potter, Alma Ford, Roger Sutcliffe, Alan “Spud” Taylor, Geoff Woods and Brian Senior all contributed to what was the unique Leeds Folk Scene. The surrounding areas all had their own local clubs. I puttered around in a 1956 VW Beetle with guitar and sleeping bag in the back. I was happy as the day was long. Places like Pudsey, Headingly, Wakefield, Barnsley, and Bradford were all on my diary back then. If I did not have a gig I would turn up to hear whoever did. In 1968 I played in over 150 Folk Clubs and fondly remember most of them.
Leeds Town was the last of a 4 gig trip to England which also took in Liverpool, Newcastle and Warwick. It went very well. Declan Sinnott and I along with Paddy Doherty, Michael Devine, Dikon Whitehead, David & Johnny Meade played 4 very successful gigs. The local crews at each venue were excellent and the audiences were welcoming and inspirational. Declan and I are both very happy with the way the gigs are going. We seem to be finding the right notes these nights. I am still finding new things to do with my voice, new ways to play this instrument. Some old songs have resurfaced, “First Time Ever” “Dalesman’s Litany” “Van Diemen’s Land” all got a turn. After the Leeds gig Michael and I made a dash for Holyhead and boarded the SS Ulysses arriving home in time for porridge. We hope to return “over” again next April when, if all goes well, we will visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and London.
Over and out, until the next time