My Journey so Far
An Endless Passion for Music,
I remember as a very young boy sitting in a local bar at 3am one morning waiting for my Dad and cousins who were home on holiday to bring me home, as it was late for a child to be in a pub at such a young age , when shortly before we left my Aunt asked me to sing a song , I was shy but managed to sing a Bunch of Thyme to my Aunts delight and she even cried a few tears of joy which made me feel sad but happy at the same time that she had enjoyed the song ,it was at that moment I felt a deep emotional connection to singing and performing all be it my first time.
At the time my sister was learning guitar from Sister Sally a Nun who was a teacher in the primary school in my home town of Cahir. I was always asking my sister to show me what she had learned and was excited to see if I could play and sing at the same time.
I asked if I could get lessons, to my delight it was agreed I could take lessons from Sister Sally and did so for a short period of time and learned a few basic chords which was all I needed to get me started. Shortly after that I started to take lessons from another local School teacher (Pat O Malley) who lived across the green from my house in Avondale Court in Cahir.
This was where I grew up as a boy and where I spent my childhood days and generally being a happy young lad. After a short period of time learning a few Bar Chords and one picking pattern I thought it a good idea to write to The RTE show Anything Goes. A children’s Tv program aired every Saturday morning and ask if I could appear on their Talent slot singing and playing, a short time later I remember when my mother handed me a letter one evening when I arrived home from school. The envelope had RTE stamped in big writing on the front in blue ink and I was so excited, the letter asked If I would go to a hotel in Kilkenny city on a certain date for an audition, over the moon I remember running upstairs to tell my sister who was thrilled for me and asked what was I going to sing?
So I learned a song called the wind in the willows and prepared myself for the big day, to make a long story short I did the audition and got a letter back a few weeks later to ask if I would go to Dublin to record for the show, that was my first ever experience of singing into a microphone and after 3 takes and a lot of nerves it was recorded and that was the start of my musical career.
I worked many jobs over the early years of my life and music was always there in the background, I started gigging from the age of sixteen to present day, playing in bands and solo gigs all over Ireland, Europe and America and many other parts of the world. Gigging and working at the same time was tough but I just loved the joy and emotion I felt from playing and singing and it’s what has made me the person I am today.
For me songs have a way of connecting people with their own lives and in doing so it can bring a sense of clam in times of elation or sadness, I hear so many people just sing to be heard and in the process the emotion is lost. Some Irish songs have stories that immediately bring you straight to heart of another person’s life without ever knowing them that’s the beautiful part of music for me.
I have always had a love for traditional Irish music. The rhythm, emotion and energy that it creates along with subtle nuisances that you hear from different players playing tunes that are shared throughout the island of Ireland and every part of the world. It just grabs me internally every time I play or just listen, it’s all magical to me.
Some of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard have come from Irish songwriters and musicians. The stories within the music and expression can at times take my breath away. I have had many influences outside of trad through my musical journey, from Paul Brady and Van Morrison to Billy Joel and U2, Mary Black to Willie Nelson.
I have a love for all music it all speaks the same language at the end of the day, emotion, energy and feeling.
I listened to the Bothy Band, Stockton’s Wing , Moving Hearts, Christy Moore and a little later Danu and Lunasa and all the big names in Trad and Irish music when I was learning to back tunes and understand the different rhythms and progressions within the music . I would like to think that I bring some of that energy and emotion to my songs and music.
I have a philosophy about singing and playing music, if you don’t do it with feeling the music and the lyrics can lose the connection with the story within. So often to much emphasis is placed on ones ability rather than ones connection with the music. So, I always play from the soul and sing from the heart.
Over the years I have been lucky to play and tour with some amazing friends and musicians too many to mention , the fun and craic as we say here in Ireland is just wonderful and the story’s I could tell would make you laugh and the odd time cry but it was all amazing and I enjoyed and still enjoy every moment and the friendships I have made are what makes me smile when I reminisce back to Banter and pure devilment I got up to over years all thanks to the great friends I have met through the music and it’s amazing power to bring people together in so many different dimensions.
The most amazing thing that happened to me in my life was the birth of my beautiful daughter Katie Bo, the most important person in my life and someone I respect and who I adore, from carrying her tucked into my jacket through the streets of Bath with her head popping out ,to standing beside her in front of a microphone in Doon Studios recording a song for my new Album Songs and Tunes.
Every single second is pure love and joy and it’s what makes me very proud and happy to be her Daddy.
It was a wonderful experience to record with Katie Bo. She is very special, a great guitar player and sings and plays with emotion and feeling. I would like to think she learned something from me, whether it was just sitting in our kitchen at home playing together of her sitting beside me at a session in McGann’s Bar Doolin she has the music embedded in her soul and that makes me happy .
Which brings me to present day and my New “CD SONGS AND TUNES”. After a chat with my long time friend Benny McCarthy I decided to record an album up in the Mountains of Co Waterford in Doon Studios.
My idea to record songs and tunes came after a three year period of ill health and soul searching in my home back in Tipperary. I have always done things my own way and I guess that’s just how I am.
I don’t want to sound like someone else, I want to be me and I think I have achieved that in my new recording. Along with all the guys and Benny we got it done and I am so happy with what we have achieved.
The lads playing with me are all friends and that makes it more special. Touring and Gigging is such great fun but when you are in a recording studio it’s a different experience all together.
Doon Studios was the perfect place to allow me to be myself and over time with help and encouragement from all involved we got the record down. My musical journey has been one huge adventure all the way and one I wouldn’t change.
It never ends
Music is my passion.
Magic in Music
Music is my life my passion and for that I am grateful. music is special, musicians are special, the listener is extra special because they are the ones who are hearing the story and feeling the emotion.
I have been very lucky in my life to have had the pleasure and privilege to be a part of music and music is the biggest part of me. My family have played a big part in my journey and I am blessed to have them in my life.
Finally I would like to thank all the people that have helped me along the way, each and everyone of you have had an influence on me. You have helped me become the musician and performer I am today, with that said all I can say is I hope you enjoyed my short Bio and my Website.
Thank you for stopping by, I look forward to playing a Venue near you sometime and sharing some of my Songs and Tunes with some amazing musicians.