Formed in a cellar during a howling storm, The Blood Reds have been popping up at festivals all over Ireland for the last couple of years. Singer Mark introduces us to The Blood Red Mountain Band
1. Who are you?
Mark Flynn, from the Blood Red Mountain band. Guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Blood Reds are a 5 piece Alt Country band.
2. Where are you based?
We’re based in Dublin, but we tend to end up at the far ends of the country a fair bit
3. What achievements do you want me to know about?
We just released our first single ‘All The Times’ and it went to number 1 in the iTunes Country Charts. A few years ago we won the Best Musical Group award from the national festival association- AOIFE; a film we did music for won a few awards. That’s all cool, but playing for people as much as possible is the achievement we strive for most. Oh and we finally finished our album, which will be out in September.
4. What are you up to now?
Putting the planning in for our album release, we’re going to play a couple of shows during the Summer, but September/October sees the serious touring happening.
5. Name something unique about you or/and your product?
People generally talk about the standard of our vocals- all five of us sing and we love getting that wall of sound going with the vocals. Also our use of fiddle as our ‘lead guitar’ really stands out. It’s great to believe in yourselves, but I truly think we have some of the best musicians in the country (I’m still playing catch up) The songwriting’s pretty decent though! J
6. Tell us about a song/album/artist who changed your life.
Thin Lizzy’s Borderline made me realise I was born for country music and I fell in love with the fiddle on Fisherman’s Blues. (Joeby and Sarah May asked me to add- Japan and Marty Robbins respectively)
7. Have you found any unsung heroes recently? If so tell us about them.
JP Kallio is a great lad. Brilliant musician and songwriter, but he also spends a lot of time helping other people through his blog- check him out at www.jpkalliomusic.com/
8. What are your future plans?
Releasing the album in the autumn, tour, visit lovely places (with my fishing rod too) meet deadly people. Play lots and lots of music. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud and Youtube, all the usual places. We also have a blog on Wordpress were we talk about stuff we personally like.
We’re also playing in The Harbour Bar in Bray on the 13th June
10. Last question, ...... Make Us Laugh
Growing up in Darndale as a musician is tough enough, the kids on the corner slag the hell out of you- ‘Elvis’ and ‘hippy’ are the standard (if a little unimaginative), but we’ve also been called ‘scientists’ and the strangest one- ‘perverts’. Odd kids around here! Also- Joeby’s been bitten by dogs 8 times!
After a number of years on the singer-songwriter circuit touring all around Ireland and performing on many a festival stage, Sinead White has 'Finally' released her long awaited debut album. 'Finally' gets launched on Saturday May 30th with a gig in The Sugar Club with a full band and a large choir of 'Kazoo' performers [Sinead's audience participation part].
I've enjoyed listening to 'Finally'. The 10 tracks are varied, some are acoustic guitar based songs, others feature an amount of jazz piano style that reminds me of Michelle Shocked while on every track there's opportunities for Sinead to extend her amazing vocal range. Sinead has the ability to effortless switch from being charming to being full on dramatic to nail home the importance of the lyrics. It makes for a mood changing, swooning feel throughout the album.
The subject content of many of the songs are relationship based. 'Poor Little Rich Boy' and 'Rollercoaster Man' have no holds barred lyrics that hit the spot. "Sometimes" is my favourite song on the album. It's simply gorgeous with it's amazing heartfelt lyrics with Sinead's vocals shining through.
There's a few pop songs in there such as the radio friendly opener 'Better', previous single 'Flat Battery' and the kazoo assisted 'Mouth Organ'. 'Finally' also finished with the most ambitious full band song on the album entitled 'the End' which delivers a highly satisfactory close to a really good album.
When Greg Marshall decided to climb, uninvited, upon the stage already occupied by Darren Morrissey, and his (former) band to accompany him, the ensuing combination of two vocals created the magical moment....namely the birth of "Morrissey and Marshall". They have been writing and performing together ever since.
Hailing from Dublin, the pair were already no strangers to the world of music, but it was when they teamed up as frontmen for a previous 'Rock n Roll' band, that people really started to sit up and take notice. Playing to sell out crowds and scoring an Irish chart hit single.
In 2011 and, by now, consummate composers with a considerable arsenal of songs, the pair left their hometown and established themselves in London as a duo. The irresistible harmonies drew comparisons with The Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel with an Irish twist.
Their debut album 'And So It Began' is out now!
Who are you? Morrissey & Marshall
Where are you based? Originally from Tallaght but living in London
What achievements do you want me to know about? Our debut album reached the top 10 last year and were really excited to be working on our follow up with John Reynolds.
What are you up to now? Right now we're at a wedding in Kerry with some of our close pals Damien Dempsey, Ian Prowse. Lumiere and John! After the craic we head back to the studio on Monday to finished the new album.
Name something unique about you or/and your product? Our very close harmonies and 60s soul tinged with folk n roll style brings a unique edge to our performance.
Tell us about a song/album/artist who changed your life. It's a bit of a cliche but when we were growing up just listening to The Beatles influenced us so much. Their huge catalogue of different styles and constant progression is something that's always remained in our minds while writing. We're both also huge Damo fans and drew influences from him....to eventually end up with the same management and label is awesome.
Have you found any unsung heroes recently? If so tell us about them. We've recently started our own monthly club night at The Garage in London where we book 4 artists to perform so we're finding lots of new talent. There are so many great upcoming artists out there. One to look out for is a young guy called Ben Cipolla, he's got an amazing jazz style voice. His stuff is really original and has a great vibe. We've just booked him to play as it happens. I could talk for hours on new talent coming through!
What are your future plans? Future plans at the moment: just concentrating on finishing the new album. We're really proud of it so far, it's a message of positivity and love. John Reynolds is producing the record and really pushing us. Along side that is the monthly club night we run 'Good Vibrations' and Salmon Leap Festival this weekend in Leixlip.
Where can I spend money on you or your product? You can spend your money on various Morrissey & Marshall souvenirs at www.irl.bigcartel.com I'm told there's going to be a sale on throughout the festival period. Or you can buy our cd from all good (and some bad) record shops in the high street and online!
Last question, ...... Make Us Laugh Make us laugh....now you're putting us on the spot...wait here we'll be right back to you.....
There are far too many reasons for me not to like this album. It's a short, uncomplicated album of folk/rock songs that are one dimensional, lack depth, style and finesse. However in truth I really enjoyed listening to 'A Little Sense' by Galway band 'Amazing Apples'.
The songs are simple tales of love, lust and relationships. The vocals are pleasant throughout and often enhanced by backing vocal harmonies and the uplifting style of the fiddle and the brass section. While simple many of the songs are brimming with charm such as the debut single 'Lullabye' and the opening track 'On Your Own'. This is the current single with the official video here now:
'Amazing Apples' are filling the void left by The Saw Doctors and you can hear influences that range from The Waterboys to Bruce Springsteen. For most of 'A Little Sense' I hear many quality songs. The final three tracks on the album really shine through. 'Skins' is such a great positive song about being brave in this world. Equally good is 'Two Steps' and 'Battle' which bring the album to a satisfying end.
I'm surprised I enjoyed the album as much as I did. The quality of the songs and the atmospheric qualities of the violin elevates this album above the ordinary ..... Amazing Apples - A Little Sense [7 out of 10]
In the intimate room of the Workman's Club, Dar Williams's light shone brightly with her mix of clever humourous tales, beautifully written songs, expert delivery and a love for the Emerald Isle. It was a pleasure to be in the company of Dar and her wonderful music.
Beginning with one of Dar's anthem tracks from her debut album 'The Babysitter's Here', she had the crowd where she wanted ready for the new tracks on her current album 'Emerald'. I love the honesty with which Dar delivers little nuggets of information about each track which creates a gorgeous friendly atmosphere. Standout tracks from the new album include 'Man River', 'Slippery Slope' and this one 'Something To Get Through':
Overall I love Dar Williams and with more justice in the world she's be a popular folk artist rather than being preserved for the lucky cult few. The highlight for me was hearing 'The Ocean' from Dar's breakthrough album 'Mortal City'. It's such a great love song with three voices, the girl, the boy and the ocean.
YouBloom Music Festival and Conference hits Dublin's Dame District from June 12th to the 14th with over 60 Irish and International acts to delight your ears , performing over 5 stages and all gigs are FREE!
This years youbloom Conference takes place in The Central Hotel Dublinon Sat June 13th and our big hitter Keynote Speaker this year isGlastonbury Festival (official) head booker Martin Elbourne, founder of The Great Escape Festival and legendary booking agent for The Smiths and New Order. We also have master classes,speed sessions and discussion panels with a host of top industry professionals. This Conference is fundamental for any aspiring artist or ambitious music marketeer. Tickets for our conference are €20 and are available from http://www.youbloom.com/dublin-2015/
Check out 14 acts from the line-up including Youth Mass, Buffalo Sunn, Elevation Falls, Able Archer and Amano
Goitse is one of the most talented young Traditional bands in Ireland and they now are making a name for themselves abroad. We caught up with them to hear more about the band and their music.
You are 5 very talented and accomplished musicians in the band. Can you introduce yourselves and tell us more about your music? So there are five of us in the band; Tadhg Ó Meachair on piano accordion and piano, Colm Phelan on Bodhrán, Áine Mc Geeney on fiddle, James Harvey on banjo and Conal O’Kane on guitar. We play a lively mix of old and contemporary traditional Irish music with a focus on high energy and unique arrangements. Our music is influenced by a range of musical genres and our instrumental pieces are interspersed with some vocal numbers where Áine’s distinctive style of singing takes centre-stage.
When did you start playing together? We are all graduates of an undergraduate degree in Irish music from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick in Ireland. When a few of us were asked to play for a charity event during the first few weeks of college, we noticed a definite energy and spark to the music and we decided to start a band and it just went from there!
Goitse has a unique and distinctive sound that is not only influenced by Traditional Irish music but from music all over the world. Can you say more about that? Everyone in the band would have a variety of different musical influences. From teachers and tutors we’ve had individually to all of the different styles of music we listen to. During a typical journey in the band’s tour bus, the radio tends to flick from Irish music to bluegrass, from to jazz to classical music, and even to some rap and rock. Over the years we have recorded music from Brazil, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States. Apart from that, we’ve also collaborated with bands from all over the world including bands from Malawi and Guinea. So I guess there is a definite awareness there of a range of different musics, although we keep ourselves rooted firmly in Irish music.
You find the lyrics and the meanings behind the songs very important when you choose old traditional songs or write your own songs. In your opinion, what are good lyrics and a good song? I think for us, because most of our music is instrumental, and therefore without lyrics, what we try to convey are different feelings and moods, with a big focus on channelling some fun and energy and getting that across to the crowd. When it comes then to choosing vocal numbers, we’re looking for a good story or message to engage with and maybe also something that might provide some contrast to other parts of the show.
What can people expect to hear when they come to a Goitse concert? People should expect lively, energetic music and to have good fun! They’ll hear some original music mixed with some very old music and some nice songs as well. But most of all, people should expect an all-round good time!
You have toured in many countries already and this summer you will be playing at the Cambridge Folk Festival for the first time. How do you feel about playing at one of the best Folk festivals in the world? This is definitely a busy summer for Goitse for sure. We’ve our first-ever Spanish concert, as well as some festivals in Germany, Italy and the US. But Cambridge is definitely one of those ones that you hear about all of the time in music circles. We’re just delighted that our debut English gig is such a prestigious one and are very excited altogether.
What are your plans for this year? New record or touring? We’ll head in to the studio towards the end of the year to hopefully have an album ready to go for next year. That’ll be an exciting process as always. I think for most musicians, after performing, the best part of the job is that creative process and getting into the mode of composing and arranging and digging out old tunes and songs as well. Apart from that, we have a Danish tour and a German tour lined up for later in 2015. So it’ll be busy, busy, busy!
Goitse is an informal Gaelic Irish greeting meaning “come here”. I am sure the non-Irish audience wonder how to pronounce it and even in Ireland I heard itpronounced in many different ways. Having an Irish name for the band, has that created problems when touring abroad? I think the different pronunciations of the band-name are a great talking point everywhere we go! It definitely isn’t the easiest to explain to non-Irish-speakers, but the fact that it is that little bit unusual makes it memorable in its own way. For us as well, we are very proud of our culture and that doesn’t stop at the music. A few of us would have played Gaelic sports growing up and Tadhg and Áine are both fluent Irish speakers. So it’s good to promote the language and show off not only the things that make Ireland unique, but also the unique ways that we as a band can explore our Irishness.
Any questions you wished I asked? Just make sure to check us out online at goitse.ie and on Youtube and Facebook and Twitter, etc. Our latest album ‘Tall Tales and Misadventures’ is available from our website, iTunes and CDBaby. All of our upcoming tour dates are at goitse.ie as well. Thanks very much!
Tour dates May, 23, Garter Lane, Waterford City July 17, Whelans, Dublin August 1, Cambridge Folk Festival (UK) August 2, Cambridge Folk Festival(UK)
Our favourite Glastonbury area is The Field of Avalon. The local cider, the friendly faces, the gorgeous food in the cafe and most of all the folk rock sounds of The Field of Avalon stage makes for the most wonderful of Glastonbury areas. Listen to 15 songs from acts confirmed to play over the Glastonbury weekend.
Included in the mix are tracks by Martha Tilston, 3 Daft Monkeys, Bear's Den, The Drystones, Ciaran Lavery and it kicks off with the awesome Lamb.
Nick Kelly, former frontman with The Fat Lady Sings and accomplished solo artist under his own name and with the moniker "Alien Envoy" kicked off last night's gig with a selection of songs from The Fat Lady Sings albums 'Twist' and 'Johnson'. We arrived half way through the anthem that is "Drowning Maud Land" and got to hear much loved songs such as "Deborah" and the majestic "Horse Water Wind" performed with assistance from Anthony Gibney on guitar, Colin J. Morris on bass and Ann Scott on backing vocals.
For the main course Nick arrived with a new shirt and the rest of the "Alien Envoy" band of Celine Carroll and Graham Hopkins to complete the line-up with Anthony, Colin and Ann mentioned above. The main set consisted mainly of songs from the new Alien Envoy album "Loads", as was expected, a few tracks from the previous "Gestation" album as well as a few firm favourites from TFLS. One of my favourite songs from Johnson, the second album from The Fat Lady Sings songs 'Alien' got an outing which pleased me big time.
I've been a fan of Nick's for a very long time going back to his initial solo gigs in Whelans in the late 90's, but I felt that bond waiver in the years from 'Running Dog' to 'Gestation'. However last night's gig brought it all back to my why Nick Kelly's music, words, humility and grace will always be special to me.
"Loads" is a positive reaffirming album which includes Nick's best songwriting since "Between Trapezes". Songs like 'Hold On To Your Soul', 'Nothing Left to do but Dance' and current single 'Breaking America' were performed with pride from a band who genuinely were grateful of being on a stage for their fans and friends.
It was a humble friendly gig with plenty of banter between Nick and Celine in particular as well as Nick providing just the right amount of a song's back story and information before each song. Who knew that Samual Beckett used to give Andre the Giant a lift to school or that after a four month tour of the US that Nick split up TFLS?
Last night's gig felt like a true master of the stage giving a rare performance with those in attendance feeling privileged to be witness to such a masterful display of songwriting and performane.
Iron & Wood out now from Dublin/Sligo band Old Hannah is one of those gorgeous EPs that tingles the senses and makes you proud that this band are Irish.
The 5 track EP is a lovely mix of alt-folk that's brimming with delicate charm, wonderful vocals and finger picking delights. I love the vocals of "With you I Adore" which does the slow gentle build up to a foot stomping folk vocal harmonies. It's a great song. The opening track 'West' sets the tone for the EP with it's deep south bluesgrass influences and glorious vocal harmonies. Listen to 'West' here:
'Oh My Love' is a charming love song that hints towards a traditional British folk sound while the lead vocals change for the track 'Boats' from Lucie to one of the three lads with great effect. 'Boats' offers that spark of contrast to keep up the interest before the EP launches into my favourite track 'With You I Adore' which I wrote about above.
Overall for this EP, roots and folk charm along with those harmonies and great lyrics are enough for me to really enjoy the EP. If it were an album I'd long for more depth, a change of tempo and a fuller sound in addition to the dobro, guitar, banjo and mandolin.
Rae Morris has announced a headline show at The Academy Green Room on Friday May 15th. Tickets €16 incl. booking fee and are available to buy right now! **This is an over 18s show – ID required.
Rae Morris is a 22 year-old singer-songwriter from Blackpool. Learning piano at an early age and forever underestimating her ability, Rae recently found a voice she didn’t know she had. Make your own comparisons, but be sure to notice a woman of maturity beyond her years. Cleverly matching her inimitable voice to songs of new experiences, those defining challenges like love and not always being able to have the answers, Rae is the epitome of raw and claims nothing else.
1. Who are you? My name is Rae Morris. I’m a 22 year old singer and songwriter.
2. Where are you based? At the moment i’m based in East London. I originally grew up in the small seaside town of Blackpool.
3. What achievements do you want me to know about? The thing i’m most proud of to date is the release of my debut album at the start of this year. It’s called Unguarded.
4. What are you up to now? I’m currently sat in the back of our tour van. We just got off an overnight ferry back from Amsterdam to Hull.
5. Name something unique about you or/and your product? I guess the fact that i’m from Blackpool makes me slightly different from others. Growing up in the north-west of England made me grounded.
6. What is the best song ever written? I would say Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man.
7. What's the best album ever made? For me it is Kate Bush’s Aerial.
8. What are your future plans? My plans are to continue making music and writing songs. I want to travel as much as i can and open my eyes to new things. I have much to learn and take in.
9. Where can I spend money on you or your product? I think most small record stores should have my album in stock as well as the bigger places to buy like iTunes or Amazon. Or you could come to a gig of mine and buy something straight from me!
"The Mystery of Others" is Paul Tiernan's 7th album and it's been 20 years since his debut release way back in 1995. In this time he's performed with a number of our treasured artists such as The Frames, Christy Moore, Sinead Lohan as well as being a member of Cork band Interference and relocating to France. With a CV this respectable can Paul Tiernan produce relevant music for 2015 that'll push him to the level of significance with his peers?
I'll answer this with the simple statement that "The Mystery of Others" is the best album I've heard this year. It's got the folk swagger of John Martyn with the right amount of vaundville to produce beautifully written dreamy songs that deliver. In many ways it reminds me of the last 'Iron & Wine' album because the instrumentation circles and entwines the vocals so beautifully on all the tracks.
The songs that stand out include the single and opening track "A Kind of Boy" which you can hear above, "In The City of Thieves", "Holes" and my favourite song of the year from any act "Happiness". The swagger, dreamy folk feeling within "Happiness" ensures earworm status for days.
So with "The Mystery of Others" I'm close to announcing greatness. However after numerous listens my love for the album swayed a little. There's enough really great songs to entice me in but the album has a few songs which head off to dead ends and therefore the album suffers a little from inconsistency. All that being said ....
Paul Tiernan - The Mystery of Others [9 out of 10]
April's impressive line-up for The Purples Sessions consisted of Whistle, Fuzz Gigolo, Niamh Crowther with singer-songwriter Gar Tiernan opening proceedings.
Gar Tiernan is an excellent songwriter with commanding delicate vocals to compliment his tales of love and relationships. While not ground breaking there's enough from Gar's set to suggest he's well on the way to producing radio friendly meaningful songs.
18 year old Niamh Crowther from Ashbourne was up next. Boyles of Slane is the perfect intimate venue to hear songs from this emerging talent. Niamh's crisp delivery of her songs along with her on stage confidence made assured it was a competent charming performance. Niamh's recent single 'Origins' was a highlight as well as this song 'Bullets':
Fuzz Gigolo based in Drogheda are a good time bar band whose live performance was top quality. Normally at session gigs the five song rule is enough to get a satisfactory snapshot of a band but with Fuzz Gigolo I was left wanting more. There was energy, good old fashioned frontmanship from lead singer Fran as well as complimentary backing vocals from new band member Nicola. The standout track was 'Push' with it's positivity flowing out of the band.
Headlining the April Purple Sessions in Boyles of Slane was 6 piece folk band 'Whistle'. Bringing with them guile, experience, diverse instruments and a bunch of great Americana/folk songs 'Whistle' were the perfect act to finish off the night. Hopefully an album is in the works but for now check out the band performing in Abner Brown's a few weeks back: