Monday, 12 December 2016


Music knows no boundaries, and music fans of many nationalities and cultural identities have, and continue to support this little gig. The reach of this Blog, now, is quite extraordinary, and in the past week, the greatest number of views has originated in Russia!
So, as we come to the end of another successful year for BAG, may I just say thank-you to everyone involved in making it so. To all the wonderful acts who came and played for us; to local B&Bs for providing home comforts to musicians far from home; to various local press outlets for helping to publicise gigs; to the Murphy family for hosting us; and, finally, to all of you who come along on a Monday night to listen to great music, and support touring musicians - I offer my heartfelt thanks.
We take a break now until early February 2017, when we'll be back with a terrific schedule of gigs for the Spring. Until then, whether or not you celebrate the impending festivities, and however you mark the turning of the year, may I wish each and every one of you peace and joy until we meet again.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

6th Annual 'Vibe for Larry' - Friday, Dec. 9th

Photo by Mike Lindauer - bassist, friend, and former golf partner of Larry's!

The BAG year wraps up with the 6th Annual 'Vibe For Larry', which will take place in Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Friday, December 9th at 8pm. No cover charge. All welcome.

The purpose of this night is to bring together friends and family of the late Larry Roddy, to honour his memory by doing some of the things that made him happiest - making music, singing songs, telling stories and raising a few glasses while doing so. The night takes the form of an open, fully acoustic session that any performer can join in, play a tune, sing, give a recitation, tell a story, raise a toast, etc.

So, for those who didn't know him: who was Larry Roddy?

Well, firstly, he was my friend. One of my dearest friends. He was a gentleman; a gentle man. A quiet, humble man; a man beloved and missed by so many since his death in 2010.

Those who didn't know him privately, probably best knew him as a music promoter. But that term does not adequately describe his contribution to the live music scene in Ireland. Since the mid-60s when the great Blues Revival began in the UK, Larry brought to Ireland some of the cream of the American Bluesmen, including Mississippi Fred McDowell. Later, he branched out into Folk and Roots music too, booking tours, and acting as Irish Agent for many overseas acts from the four corners of the globe. Names like Jeff Lang and Bruce Mathiske from Australia; Chris Smither and Geoff Muldaur from the US; Johnny Dickinson and Paul Lamb from the UK; John Spillane and Ger Wolfe from Ireland, and so many more. Names, and music, that many of us may never have heard, but for Larry's love of the music, and a desire to bring it to fans who shared that love. He continued to put on gigs, through loss and illness, right up until the end.

The gig in Ballymore Eustace was started by Larry nearly 25 years ago, and with any luck will continue for the same again! So, on Friday Dec. 9th, we'll come together to celebrate music, with music, and to fondly remember Larry, and the many, many, magic nights he gave us.

See ye in Mick's!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

I Draw Slow - Monday, December 5th, 2016 - ** 2016 Finale **

I Draw Slow play BAG @ Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Monday, December 5th. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €15.

This is the last gig of 2016, so come along and let's finish this year with a flourish!

I Draw Slow fool many people at first listen - their alt-country/Bluegrass/Appalachian sound is so authentic, one could be excused for assuming this Irish band is actually from the U.S. But, there is no affectation in their sound; it is honest, respectful to the musical traditions that underpin it, and distinctly original.
At times, you hear an old time string band; at others, an Irish Trad session. Throughout it all, you hear superb musicianship, tied together with the vocal ribbon that is Louise Holden's rich voice, and to further embellish the package, lush harmonies abound.

With three albums under their belt - 'Downside' 2008; 'Redhills' 2011; 'White Wave Chapel' 2014, I Draw Slow, who are currently signed to U.S. Bluegrass label, Pinecastle Records, are in the process of recording their fourth album, 'Turn Your Face To The Sun', and there's a crowd-funding campaign where you can get involved. Details, here:

Ten years of recording and touring the world have honed this band into one of the finest folk/roots/Americana acts this country - or any other, for that matter - has produced, and it is in live performance that they are at their best. So, here's your chance to catch them locally. Spread the word, come along, and be prepared to be blown away!

'Cry Help':

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

John Blek (Solo) - Monday, November 28, 2016

John Blek returns to BAG @ Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, to play a solo show on Monday, November 28th. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12
John's previous BAG appearances have been very well received, and its a pleasure to welcome back this gentle giant (he's six foot five!) from Cork in support of his cracking second debut album. There's an old soul in the body of this young man, that manifests itself in a sound that could easily take root somewhere between the deep South, and the great mid-western plains of America. Known for some time now as a fine songwriter and singer, on 'Cut The Light' John Blek's guitar playing comes to the fore. His efforts to further develop his already considerable guitar talents have paid off, and the listener is treated to some fine, fine playing and instrumentation.

Watch/listen to 'Little Sparrow', here:
and 'Take Me Home', here:

John Blek roots pic.jpg

John Blek has announced the release of his highly anticipated second solo album entitled “Cut the Light”. This sophomore outing will be hitting shelves and online stores on the 30th  September 2016.

The album was recorded in Bantry, West Cork, Ireland over a period of four days in early spring. A collection of eleven original contemporary folk songs carefully crafted and documented with the help of Davie Ryan (Drums), Brian Hassett (Bass Guitar) and Brian Casey (Producer). With a sound that harks back to that of Bert Jansch and Liege & Lief era Fairport Convention, “Cut the Light” is likely to become a favourite amongst both new listeners and existing fans.

“Cut the Light is an album I have wanted to record for quite a while. I pushed myself to become a better instrumentalist and songwriter on these songs and really focused on creating a collection of pieces that could live together on a cohesive album. It’s something I’m very proud of...…. “ John Blek

Blek is constantly proving himself to be a prolific writer of some of the most beautiful folk music being created today, both solo and with his band John Blek & the Rats. It is less than 12 months since the band released their last record and already John is ready to share his latest work “Cut the Light”.

The album is being put out independently in Ireland on John Blek and the Rats own WARR label and through Tonetoaster Records in Germany. It will be available on CD, 180 gram Vinyl and MP3.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Jeff Finlin/Peter Bruntnell/Clive Barnes - Monday, November 21, 2016

On Monday, November 21st, an incredible lineup representing three corners of the globe will perform in Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare. That lineup is: Jeff Finlin (USA), Peter Bruntnell(UK), and Clive Barnes(IRL). Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12

Jeff Finlin and Peter Bruntnell are two songwriters at the very top of their game, and two of the best out there; Clive Barnes, as well as being a fine songwriter in his own right, has established himself as one of the most sought after guitar sidemen, and has toured the world in that capacity over recent years with many international acts, including both Finlin and Bruntnell.

Of Jeff Finlin, Peter Cooper of the Nashville Tennessean - “Some folks come to Nashville, amble over to Music Row and look for a cookie-cutter solution. Hand Jeff Finlin a cookie cutter, and he’s liable to melt it down and then forge it into something sharper and more dangerous.”

"Finlin writes with the minimalist grit of Sam Shepard and Raymond Carver. Tune in and you will hear an illusive magic!" - Dave Hoekstra-Chicogo Sun Times


Video: 'I Killed Myself Last Night' -

Of Peter Bruntnell, MOJO said: "Bruntnell has a remarkable knack for turning out big, dreamy, melodic, memorable songs".

"His songs should be taught in schools" - NME


Video: 'Mr. Sunshine' -

Of Clive Barnes, Harry Guiren, RTE, said: "Clive is a guitarist who can make one acoustic sound like six. Barnes transported the entire, hushed venue across the Atlantic to where the paths taken by the Delta Blues, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen all led to his own special territory."

Exuding a throat catching melancholy, and romantic and bleak in turns, it sounds like an album
made for all eternity. Hotpress **** 4/5 (Review of 'The Ghost Country')

Video: 'Crossroad Blues' -

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The 4 Of Us - Monday, November 14

Photo (c) Connaught Telegraph


I'm thrilled to announce that The 4 of Us play BAG @ Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare on Monday, November 14th. Doors 8:30pm. Admission is €15. No advance ticket sales, so do come early, and form an orderly queue!

In August 1989, The 4 of Us released their debut album - 'Songs For The Tempted'. A month later, I took the boat to England for the next three years, bringing the album with me - on cassette. It was to become part of the soundtrack of my time away, and, so, holds a very special place in my musical memory. For years, songs like 'Mary', 'Drag My Bad Name Down' and 'Fool For Temptation' seemed to be on repeat on the radio back home; they were certainly on repeat in my head, and on my Sony Walkman!
Happy days, indeed.

Four further studio releases over the years - 'Man Alive' - '92; 'Classified Personal' - '99; 'Heaven and Earth' - '03, and 'Fingerprints' - '06 were all critically acclaimed. After a ten year recording hiatus, the brand new record - 'Sugar Island' was just released on October 28th. It's chock-full of fine songs, drawing on the Murphy brothers' experiences growing up in Newry. Brendan's trademark soulful vocal has aged well, and has lost none of its impact, while brother, Declan's intricate acoustic guitar work drives the sound.

“With twelve songs in all, ‘Sugar Island’ offers a little bit of everything that we have come to love and expect from the band – the soulful voice of Brendan against a backdrop of Declan’s stunning acoustic guitar playing.” – FOLK & TUMBLE album review.

A full Irish Tour in support of the new record is scheduled, with many of the shows in a stripped down acoustic format with just 'The 2 of Them'! - brothers, Brendan and Declan Murphy with two acoustic guitars. And it works; oh, boy, does it work!

So, here's your chance to catch the band in an intimate setting, re-live late-80's memories, and hear a set that showcases the depth of the band's back catalogue, and introduces the new material.

This one will live long in the memory - don't miss it!

Videos: (Check 'em out!)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Remedy Club (Formerly B & The Honeyboy) - Monday, November 7th, 2016

Back in April of this year B & The Honeyboy played their BAG debut, and went down a storm! Now they're back, re-named as The Remedy Club, and with a hat-ful of new material, from their forthcoming third album. This high energy duo is not to be missed, and they return to play BAG at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, on Monday, November 7th. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12

The Remedy Club are a harmony-heavy alternative country folk duo from Wexford and Dublin, composed of Aileen Mythen and Kj McEvoy.  Formed in 2006 under the previous name of “B & The Honeyboy’ they released & toured their first two albums throughout Ireland & Europe playing festivals such as Electric Picnic, Westport, Longitude & Sligo Live.  Following a relaunch under the new name - The Remedy Club - they are soon to release their new album ‘Lovers, Legends and Lost Causes’.  This album sees them working with musician/producer Ian Doyle and a collection of other exceptional musicians including Lorcan and Cillian Byrne from Basciville.  Their new album combines threads of country, folk, soul and blues. The marriage of delicious harmonies, raw guitar sounds & honest, mature songwriting create a vintage Americana sound that is fresh and authentic.

The new material, as its' title suggests deals with themes of love, in the tracks, ‘Last Song’, ‘I miss you’ & ‘This is love’, legends in the songs ‘Django’ (inspired by Blues/Jazz musician – Django Rynhart), ‘Listening to Hank Williams’ – a homage to the country legend and ‘When Tom Waits up’ – a song inspired by Tom Waits, conjuring up an atmospheric, smokehouse feeling.  Other songs like ‘Get away with it’ and ‘Bottom of the hill’ relate to the final part of the title ‘Lost Causes’, where the material further amplifies the honest and raw nature of the album.

''The Remedy Club delivered a set that displayed their delicious harmonies, McEvoy's nimble guitar playing and a marriage of folk and country with a hint of the blues. As a devout sceptic I never realised that going to church would be so rewarding''.   ( Jackie Hayden)

Videos - and I recommend you watch 'em all!

'Now and Then' -
'Image on My Retina' -
'Far Away From Love' -
'I Got You' -