Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hello again.....its been a long time..... but theres been lots going on.The Big Band UK dates went down a storm.The show was a new departure as it featured the fantastic Camille O Sullivan on guest vocals as well as Shane Mc Gowan. Shane also was on top form and while the dates were great,Manchester was the highpoint for Sharon and the Gang. Camille debuted the single with Sharon Mama Lou, a cajun type song, written by Shane.This went down a treat.Look out for a digital release of this in Ireland in June and UK in July. Camille is incredible...check her out! This will be the first single from Sharons new collaboration....working title Saints and Scoundrels,scheduled for release in September.
Some tracks have already been recorded Mama Lou above, a song with Shane...and some others.Recording is continuing at the end of May at Poets Corner Studios. Hopefully the album will be completed by early July.
Sharon has been busy writing and also been involved with various projects in the Galway area.
There was also an incredible show at the Olympia on May 1.Richie Buckley was missing from the big band line-up, but Mike Mc Goldrick came over from Manchester for the night and musical proceedings to a new high!! Joining Sharon on the night also was Shane Mc Gowan and Jerry Fish with Carol Keogh made a surprise appearance with two song from his new album! incredible. Speaking of surprises the great Seamus Begley arrived ,fresh from New Zealand and gained some new fans.Mundy also showed up,beaming with pride over his new daughter Eden and gave a rousing version of Galway Girl at the end with all on stage,including Shane and Jerry who were chasing each other around the stage.
There also was a great night of music for Leo Healy at Massimos,Galway on May 6th.No Banjo were the house band and were joined by Sharon, Camille, Seamus Begley, Eleanor Shanley, The Brennan Sisters, Don Stiff,Steve Gormally, Kelvin and Niall, Greg Cotter and Donogh Hennessy.
What a night!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Renegade Acoustic Tour 09

Renegade acoustic tour 09 finished up at the Dun Uladh Centre in Omagh last night April 5th.The 10 dates were all sold out and a great atmosphere at each show.The line-up was Sharon,Gerry'Banjo 'O Connor ,Mike Mc Goldrick,Dezi Donnelly and Tim Edey. Leon ONeill (Sharons sound engineer guested on mandolin and gave a great rendition of The Galway Girl during the encore each night).Last night was a particularily good one as Dezis family from his fathers side, all come from Fintona, a few miles down the road from Omagh.So the relations were out in force.
The weather was great for the tour and we met up with some old friends and gained some new ones.

Our new discovery was the Glenbeigh Hotel in Kerry which was just brilliant......surrounded by spectacular scenery.Mary Keary and her staff really looked after us.
At De Barras we met up with Bobby Blackwell and Brian O Regan, just back from New York.Also from the US,was our old friend Brian O Donovan from Boston along with his brother James. Another ODonovan brother Ray turned up at the Thatch outsideTullamore.
Next week its the UK...more then.....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Debuts, Awards, Grand Slams and World Champions

What a great week ..last week! In the midst of world recession,doom and gloom etc and anchored around St Patricks Day....Sharon Shannon gets the Lifetime Achievement at the Meteor Awards and what more,Galway Girl achieved the most downloaded single of 2008....this is the second year running for Sharon and Mundy. Further surprises for me were in store, when Sharon took to composing and acceptance speech backstage on the night.She normally would say a few words but this time defied my expectations and composed, revised edited and rehearsed in the dressing room backstage at the Meteors......a speech which Josephine Nestor of Meteors described as "warm, strong and couargeous" . Well done, Sharon. Then Sharon and Mundy and big band launched into a stomping version of Galway Girl before being joined onstage by Camille O Sullivan who took the place apart with MamaLou.

As if this was not enough, the Irish Rugby team thrilled and delighted the Nation with a Grad Slam victory after which President Mc Aleese presented the trophy to Brian O Driscoll while The Galway Girl played in the Millenlum stadium. Later on that night Bernard Dunne became super-bantam weight World Champion at the 02.On the same night, Katy(my daughter number 3) made her debut musical appearance on electric vilolin with boyfriend Craig Mulvaghs Six Foot Small at Eamon Dorans ,Temple Bar.The new Scarlett Riviera!!! Well done Katy!

So a brilliant week........now its down to Senor Trappatoni and the national soccer squad....next week with Bulagari and Italy!!!

Meantime Sharon ,Gerry O Connor, Mike Mc Goldrick, Dessie Donnelly and Tim Edey begin a 10 date acoustic tour of Ireland visting small music clubs, arts centres and community centres next Friday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Home from Charlies

Im just back from a week in Lanzarote where Sharon has been guesting with Skin and Hide at Charlies Bar over there as part of the Magners Irish Sessions.It was a brilliant week with sunshine during the day and great music every night! A huge thanks to Barry Murphy and the staff at Charlies and to Shaky,Sergie,Massimo,Widgeon and John(Skin and Hide)...Sharons mother, Mary joined her for the trip as well three friends from Galway,Sean Staunton,Jimmy Healy and Brendan Macken......who became known as The Craggys(after Ted, Dougal and Jack)
Sharon gained some new fans and became re-acquainted with some old ones.We also ran into Peter Kenny(head of RMG Distribution Ireland) and his wife Tina......and from Tralee ,Donie Moore....and Reuben Lynch from Cork.
Now its back to the grind and preparation for the Meteor Awards performance.After that Sharon with Gerry"Banjo"O Connor,Mike McGoldrick, Dezi Donnelly and Tim Edey are undertaking a small acoustic Irish Tour starting 27 March until April 5th....(see tours for details) and then heading for UK with the Big Band and guests Camille O Sullivan and Shane Mc Gowan......(see tours)
By the way, if any of you are ever in Galway of a Sunday ...check out No Banjo at the Roisin Dubh....incredible!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christmas Swim 2008

Hi there,

I Came back from Malawi to the best(or worst) winter for years. Dublin is in the grip of a very cold front and we have snow lying now for over a week.....(meanwhile Galway has had none!!)While it caused me no end of grief a few days last week,travelling around Dublin,I took great advantage of it last saturday,when i spent the day tabogonning near the Lead mines,at Ballycorus in the dublin mountains.it was fantatsic and brought me back to my childhood days and also to when my kids were young(except for the aches and pains of old age!!) I spent a few days in Galway with sharon(one day out in the studio,just checking on the recording that happenend in my absence).....Land Down Under with Decky the tecky and a ne wrecording by Deassie O halloran....both for the fortcoming 'scoundrels album) We are also in the process of finalising a two part acoustic tour with Sharon, gerry Banjo O Connor,Mike Mc goldrick,Dezi Donnelly and Tim Edey. The dates will be i irealdn in April and June.also putting the finishing touches to the UK tour with the Bg band and shane Mc gowan in late April and we are please to announce( as of yesteday) the amazing Camille O Sullivan to the bill......this is great news as
Camille is a brilliant performer........and theres is great chemistry
on stage between Sharon and Camille........more later..

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back from Malawi 29 Jan 09

Hey, just returned from Malawi last night after a 12 day visit. I have been sponsoring a music teacher for Umoza Childrens group at st John of Gods Centre, Mzuzu Malawi. These are street kids that are being educated at St John of Gods.

Last year I recorded a CD with Umoza and Justin Adams (producer of Tinariwen and guitarist with Robert Plant) added some percussion courtesy of two Zimbabwean percussionists, some guitar parts and Sharon also added some accordion parts.

I also brought over a film crew to cover some dance performances from the group as well as a documentary on the whole St john of Gods centre in Mzuzu and the associated Wells4Zoe project.

My youngest daughter Emily,accompanied me as part of a project for transition year at her school, Newpark Comprehensive in Blackrock, Dublin.

The ultimate idea is to bring these talented kids to Ireland in 2010.I will be getting some photos up soon and in a few months time, I will stick up a DVD of one of the tracks.

I returned last night and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage given to Sharon and her Meteor Lifetime Honour Award.

More updates later.