Monday, 14 January 2019

The legendary Jim Page - Monday, Feb 4th 2019

Another year, and off we go again!

To bring the curtain up on another BAG year, I'm delighted to announce the return to Ballymore Eustace of the legendary Jim Page, for the first time since 2005, to Ballymore Acoustic Gigs at Mick Murphy's, on Monday, Feb 4th. Doors open at 8:30pm for a 9pm show. Admission is €15
While Jim Page is perhaps best known to Irish audiences for having written the Moving Hearts' hit song “Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette", there is much that many Irish music fans may not know of his far reaching influence across many musical genres.

Read on.....

Jim Page was born in California in 1949 and grew up into the 1960’s in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The music and artistic experimentation of those days left a lasting impression on him. The politics and social awareness was a part of everything that was going on and it has stayed that way in Jim’s music ever since. 

Jim got his start in the bars and coffee houses of the lower Bay Area in 1966. On New Years day of 1970 he headed to New York City by thumb, arriving one frozen day in January with a broken fleece lined jacked and 34 cents in his pocket. He soon borrowed a guitar and started hitting the clubs of Greenwich Village, sometimes playing as many as three in the same night. But the scene had gone and the Village a shadow of it’s former self.  A year later he headed to Seattle. 

The last folk club in Seattle closed soon after he arrived and Jim took the whole town to be his stage.  Wherever there were people he would play: the streets, the college campus, the bus station, the bars, and at the city council meetings.  One day he walked into the TV station and said “I’ve got a song you should put on the news,” and they did.  Including the streets, the campus, the cocktail bars, and the rock and roll clubs Jim would play from 11am in the morning to 2am the next morning, with time out for traveling across town, often playing 5 clubs a night.  In 1974, after being threatened with arrest, Jim took on the Seattle city government and legalized street performing.  It was a landmark case and Seattle is now a famous city for buskers of all styles.

In 1975 Jim recorded his first album of original music, a vinyl LP called “A Shot Of The Usual”, released on his own label.  Two other albums followed in rapid succession.

In 1977 Jim journeyed to the UK and performed at the Cambridge Folk Festival. The response was instant and overwhelming and he walked away with a feature in the national music press, two booking agents, and a European tour for the next year. He was off and running and spent the next 6 years almost constantly on the road. He recorded two albums for a Swedish label called Nacksving and one for WEA Ireland.

It was in Ireland that Christy Moore first heard Jim’s song “Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette,” and made it a permanent part of his repertoire.  When Christy formed the great Irish band Moving Hearts “Hiroshima” was their first single and a centerpiece to their shows.

Jim returned to the States in ’83 and began reestablishing himself as a solo artist and as a player in the northwest music scene.  He experimented with duos, trios and more. In ’85
he recorded an album in Portland produced by the great Irish musician Micheal O Domhnaill.

Back in Seattle he began to experiment with electric music.  1988 saw the creation of the legendary band ‘Zero Tolerance’, named after George Bush’s draconian anti drug campaign. It was a four-piece rock and roll band with the exception that the music was focused on the songs and not on the dance.  They made one recording and broke up, as rock bands often do, leading Jim to more experimentation, this time with the internationally famous spoon player Artis the Spoonman who was himself the subject of a Grammy award winning song by Seattle grunge rockers Soundgarden.  It’s a small musical world.

Fast forward to the 21st century and Jim is busy with multiple projects in simultaneous array – constant solo performance, plus various ensemble configurations, leading to more albums. Jim was one of the founders of the Pike market performers Guild, Seattle’s first street performers union. They organized and ran the first and only Busker Festival to be operated entirely by buskers, and he again petitioned the City Council, this time to created Buskers Week.  Another Seattle first!

In 2005 Jim was invited to Taiwan for the first time, and again that next year.  In 2007 Jim was included in an all-star cast of the “50 most Influential Musicians In Seattle History,” a position shared with Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana.

To date Jim’s songs have been covered by The Doobie Brothers, Christy Moore, Moving Hearts, Dick Gaughan, Roy Bailey, David Soul, Leftover Salmon, and Michael Hedges.

He has received awards from Artist Trust and Jack Straw Productions.  His music has been included on many compilations, including the Grammy Nominated “Best Of Broadside.”

As of this writing Jim continues to write and to perform and to experiment with form and ensemble, and his songs continue to be pertinent and expressive of our times. 
To quote the late Utah Phillips:
“Jim Page’s songs get right to the point. He looks at the world clearly and reports what he sees with compassion, humor and a biting sense of irony. And boy! Can he sing and play. If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.”

Every now and again I encounter a singer who gives me a glimmer of hope. Jim Page carries the light.” - Christy Moore

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

BAG - Spring/Summer 2019

BAG Spring 2019 Schedule looks so far, for Monday nights in Mick Murphy's Bar in Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare:

Feb 4 - Jim Page (USA) - Yes, that's the same Jim Page that wrote "Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Russian Roulette" recorded by Moving Hearts.
Feb 11 - John Blek
Feb 18 - Cormac O Caoimh/Sean Millar Double bill.
Feb 25 - Megan O'Neill and The Dunwells
Mar 4 - Frankie Lane & Paul Kelly
Mar 11 - Albert Niland
Mar 25 - Dana Cooper (USA) Gillian Tuite opens.
Apr 1 - Mike Hanrahan & Leslie Alda Dowdall
Apr 8 - Southern Fold
Apr 15 - Grainne Hunt & Brendan Walsh.
May 13 - Pat Coldrick
May 20 - Kathy Barwick & Pete Siegfried

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Niall Toner Band - Wrapping up BAG for Christmas! Monday, Dec 3rd

The Niall Toner Band - Dick Gladney; Richie Foley; Niall Toner; Paddy Kiernan; Johnny Gleeson
The Niall Toner Band play BAG at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Monday, Dec 3rd. This is the last BAG gig of 2018, and it'll be a special one! Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €15

The Niall Toner Band is perhaps the foremost band on the Irish Bluegrass scene, and Niall Toner has been performing American traditional music, old-time songs and bluegrass since the very early 1970s. With various bands and collaborations to his credit - Lee Valley String Band, Sackville String Band, Hank Halfhead and The Rambling Turkeys, he formed the Niall Toner Band in the early 2000s. A hard-working outfit, with several line-up changes over the years, the current five-piece outfit have recently signed to Pinecastle Records in the US, making Niall, in his own words: "An overnight sensation, after 40 plus years!"
Those of us familiar with his impact on the Roots/Country scene in Ireland, consider it his just reward for a lifetime dedicated to the truth and honesty of the music.

Full five piece band!
Niall Toner: Vocals/Guitar/Mandolin
Richie Foley: Mandolin
Dick Gladney: Upright Bass (Bull fiddle!)
Paddy Kiernan: Banjo
Johnny Gleeson: Dobro/Guitar/Vocals

Press quotes:

Toner writes Bluegrass and Country songs that ring true, and would not be out of place on any Bluegrass Master's Albums. This Irishman knows his stuff. 5 Star Review.
Maverick Magazine

I admire the way Niall's deep affinity for Bluegrass and American Country Music blends seamlessly with his Irish sensibilities. It makes him a uniquely appealing Artist, and Pinecastle Records are lucky to have him.
Pete Wernick - Doctor Banjo

Great original Bluegrass Songs and Instrumentals. We are delighted to play Niall Toner anytime.
Brian McNeal Prescription Bluegrass

Niall makes great open-hearted music and his tributes to Bill Monroe and Jimmie Rodgers are just superb. His 'Ocean of Teardrops', composed in-the-style-of The Blue Sky Boys and The Monroe Brothers, is a duet song that just kills me.
Paul Williams Songwriter & President of ASCAP

Thursday, 25 October 2018

BAG Gig Listing - November/December 2018

Top Roots/Folk/Indie Acts from home and abroad, presented on Monday nights in Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare.

All gigs start at 9pm sharp; Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission price: Generally €12, unless otherwise indicated. All gigs are pay at the door.

For artist info, click on their names.

Nov 5th - Luan Parle, with Clive Barnes. €12

Nov 12th - Carsie Blanton (USA) €12

Nov 19th - Patrick Barrett(Hedge Schools)/Niall Thomas - Double bill. €15

Nov 26th - Ger Wolfe. €12

Dec 3rd - Niall Toner Band. €15

Friday Dec 7th - 8th Annual 'Vibe for Larry' - Free admission, with a voluntary collection for Dublin Simon Community.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

BAG Gig Listing - September/October 2018

Top Roots/Folk/Indie Acts from home and abroad, presented on Monday nights in Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare.

All gigs start at 9pm sharp; Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission price: €12, unless otherwise indicated.

September 3 - The 4 Of Us - €15 -

September 10 - Melissa Greener (USA) -

September 17 - Donal Clancy -

September 24 - Ed Romanoff (USA) with Clive Barnes - 

October 1 - The Remedy Club -

October 8 - Shane Joyce/Tim V Smyth (Double bill) €15

October 15 - John Statz/Megan Burtt (USA) (Double bill) €15 -

October 22 - Kris Drever - €15 - 
plus Special guest: John Blek

Saturday, 18 August 2018

A New BAG Season - A call to arms!

Welcome back to the start of another season of BAG - the eighth year of top Acoustic Roots acts from home, and abroad, presented on Monday nights in the intimate surroundings of Mick Murphy's Bar, in Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare.

Between early September and the end of May 2019, we will be treated to some of the best acts on the Roots/Folk/Indie scene, some at the top of their game; others emerging - many dates are already booked and confirmed, with more in the pipeline.

In order for this concert series to continue to work, I need you - Dear reader/listener - to keep coming out, and supporting Live music. I could also do with some help spreading the word, and there is no substitute for a personal recommendation. Social media has it's place, but let's face it: many of us began coming to the gig because a trusted friend told us about it, and opened us up to amazing nights of music. All those wonderful memories, just because someone said: "We have to go to this!"

So this is your chance to make memories for a new batch of BAG followers. Please spread the word, share this post via your social media, email it to selected contacts, but above all - talk to your friends about the gigs, and encourage them to come along. Now, more than ever, Live music needs support. Musicians need places to play - this is their life's work - without venues, there are no gigs, and nowhere for artists to perform; without fans of live music coming out to support gigs, there is no reason for venues to bother putting on gigs. It's all connected.

So you are vital to the future of Live music. Your support over the years has been terrific, and is the reason why I can continue doing this. Please keep it up, and bring a friend as often as you can. This year promises to be the best yet, and I'm looking forward to sharing many more wonderful nights of music with you all.

See ye in Mick's!


Saturday, 28 April 2018


Buddy Mondlock and Mike Lindauer are almost as much 'favoured sons' of Ballymore Eustace as the locals themselves, as they have been coming and playing music in the village for 20 years. So it is always a personal pleasure to welcome them back for their (pretty much) annual visit ever since.

They return to play BAG at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Monday May 21st. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12.

Buddy Mondlock is one of the finest songwriters of our generation, and if you've never seen or heard him before, I can tell you that he has written songs that you almost certainly do know, for his songs have been recorded by the likes of Janis Ian, Art Garfunkel, Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, Garth Brooks, and others...
I can also tell you that once you've seen a Buddy and Mike show once, you'll want to keep coming back! Mike Lindauer is, without doubt, one of the finest Fretless Bass guitarists, and harmony vocalist you'll get to see live. He regularly tours with Al Stewart.

So come along; I can promise you a wonderful night of songs and music - but most of you already know that!

Video: 'Coming Down In The Rain' -