Friday, 26 April 2013

The Lost Brothers - Upstairs At Cunningham's, Tuesday May 14

The Lost Brothers play their debut show at Upstairs at Cunningham's, Kildare Town on Tuesday May 14. Doors 8pm; Showtime: 9pm sharp. Tickets can be reserved from the venue at 045 521780

For videos, etc. check the website:

The Irish Times described this Irish duo thus: "Sounds like the ghost of Hank Williams whispering a secret to The Everly Brothers" - I'd say that's pretty spot on. 
I simply use the word "superb" to describe the sounds these two young guys produce with the aid of just two guitars and two beautiful vocals. Accomplished musicianship, and tight vocal harmonies... yes, superb.

Here's some background:

The Lost Brothers first met in an old dusty library in Liverpool, England in 2007. From their first encounter, they noticed they had a lot in common. They’re both Irish (Oisin Leech from Navan, Mark McCausland from Omagh), and having both come from musical families, they had both played in various bands since a young age and had now come to Liverpool to seek a brighter future. The pair shared the same love of music (from the Carter Family to Sam Cooke, Mississippi John Hurt to Dion and the Bellmonts, Phil Spector to the Louvin Brothers, the Impressions to Van Morrison), and before long, were jamming together in the dive bars of Liverpool when not on the road with their bands. The pair were regular faces on the Liverpool music scene and when together, people began to call them, The Lost Brothers…

Feeling the pull from across the sea, however, the twosome decided to leave the bands they were in at the time and de-camp to Portland, Oregon. There they hooked up with producer Mike Coykendall (M Ward, Bright Eyes), and recorded in his attic, what would become their folk tinged debut album, TRAILS OF THE LONELY.

Returning to the UK, the duo headed for London where they started their own label, ‘BIRD DOG RECORDINGS’, and released TRAILS OF THE LONELY in November 2008. The Lost Brothers spent the next two years touring and writing, honing their craft both as a live act and a songwriting partnership, while building a steady fan base along the way. In 2010, they were off to Sheffield, England with a new batch of songs. These recordings turned out to be their second album, SO LONG JOHN FANTE, released in 2011 on Bird Dog/ Ace records.

More recently, the Losties caught the ear of Raconteur, Brendan Benson, who invited them to record their third album in his Nashville studio. The album is their best yet. It is called THE PASSING OF THE NIGHT and was released on Brendan’s READYMADE RECORDS in the US and on LOJINX RECORDS in the UK and  Ireland,  under a blue moon in September 2012.

Well alright!

Tokyo Rosenthal - Live in Mick Murphy's - Monday May 13

Tokyo Rosenthal plays his debut BAG show at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Monday May 13. Doors 8:15pm; Gig 9pm sharp. Admission is €12 on the door.
"This is Americana with real teeth in the lyrics"
... "Take Jackson Browne’s personal confessions and wrap them in Kris Kristofferson’s world weary tales of broken relationships and you have an idea of what to expect from Tokyo Rosenthal."
"Rosenthal can draw you into his lyrics much the same way that James Taylor and Don Henley can".
High praise, indeed- but well warranted; I've been listening to the new CD - 'Tokyo's Fifth' - and I can honestly say that I'm really looking forward to seeing Tokyo Rosenthal live and in person. Great songs filled with love, hope and compassion.

The quotes above, and more, is what the critics are saying about Tokyo Rosenthal. But it wasn’t an overnight trip. Hardly, as "Toke" has spanned the music scene for three decades. But it was in 2007 when recognition finally reached him through the recording of his CD, "One Score And Ten".
In a career that started with the country rock boom, Rosenthal has honed his craft and "Rootsy/ Americana with a little blues thrown in" sound to perfection.
2012 was busy both on the touring front and recording. Tokyo headlined at The Bitter End for the third time while extensively performing all over the East Coast including The Avalon Theater in Easton, Maryland. He also returned to Austin, Texas to perform at SXSW and was web cast live from Threadgill's on Music Fog. But the highlight of the year was his Ireland tour where Toke covered the land from County Clare up to Belfast getting rave reviews everywhere he gigged.

Finally he returned to the studio to record "Tokyo's Fifth". The early released single and video, "What Did I Used To Be?" went "mini-viral" as Toke once again took on sensitive political and social topics. "Tokyo's Fifth" is scheduled for release in January of 2013. Toke is joined on the record by Chris Stamey, John Teer, Charlie Chamberlain, Allyn Love, and Andrea Connolly, among others.

Always writing and always gigging, his musical journey continues, and now brings him to Ballymore; come and join him on his road.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Maria Doyle Kennedy - Upstairs at Cunningham's - April 23, 2013

Take from my front row seat in Kilkenny, 2012.
Maria Doyle Kennedy plays Upstairs at Cunningham's,  Kildare Town on Tuesday April 23. Doors 8pm. Tickets, available at the venue, are €15. To reserve tickets, phone 045 521780.

From The Black Velvet Band and early performances with Hothouse Flowers, to starring in Alan Parker's movie, 'The Committments', and more recently in 'The Tudors', MDK is one of Ireland's most multi-faceted and talented performers.
Together with her husband and guitarist, Kieran Kennedy, MDK is recongnised as one of this country's finest singers and songwriters.

MDK live is a joy to behold, so I recommend you don't miss this one-off intimate show 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dan Walsh Banjo - Live in Mick Murphy's

Dan Walsh plays BAG at Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Monday April 29. Doors 8:30pm. Adm: €12 on the door.

Quite how a kid from the English midlands so thoroughly gets the whole vibe of American banjo music is in itself a wonder, but that wonder is eclipsed by the musicianship of this kid. Quite simply: stunning - as you will see from the videos below.

Touted as one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dan Walsh is described as 'the real deal' (Uncut) and 'taking the banjo into the stratosphere' (Froots) with a unique and eclectic style taking in folk, funk, bluegrass, jazz, rock and even Arabic. Having toured the UK many times, Dan is also taking his innovative sound further afield with appearances in Germany, Canada and New Zealand to come as well as recently performing in India as part of a groundbreaking collaboration project.

 As well as his solo work, Dan is fronting the Dan Walsh Band and performing with the legendary Alistair Anderson. He's also recently been on the stage or in the studio with Seth Lakeman and the Levellers as well as receiving fantastic reviews and radio airplay on both sides of the Atlantic for new album 'The Same But Different'. He also retains a passion for outreach work and through the prestigious Live Music Now scheme has performed throughout the UK in hospices, hospitals, special schools and care homes. He also teaches banjo both in person and over skype.

'The real deal, a demon picker' - UNCUT

'Eclectically inspired and consistently brilliant' - FROOTS

'Incredible, you must see him' - JANICE LONG, BBC RADIO 2

Ken Perlman - Live in Mick Murphy's

Ken Perlman plays BAG at Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare on Monday, April 15. Doors 8:30pm; Adm: €12 on the door.

A master musician, Ken Pelman is considered, by those who know, to be the finest 'clawhammer' style banjo player in the world. Having watched him play, I'd find it very difficult to disagree! Take a look at the videos below, and you'll get a flavour of what I mean.

About Ken Perlman
"the Heifetz of the Banjo"
The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Superb instrumentalist, acclaimed teacher of instrumental skills, gifted performer, award-winning folklorist, Ken Perlman is surely a welcome addition to any festival or concert-series lineup. Ken is both a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as "melodic clawhammer," and a master of fingerstyle guitar. He is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic tunes to the style. On guitar, Ken's sparkling finger-picked renditions of traditional Celtic and Southern fiddle tunes are simply not to be missed.

He draws his material from traditional sources -- the music of Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and the American South. His approach to the music, however, is highly innovative. He has developed many new instrumental techniques, and much of his repertoire has never before been played on 5-string banjo or guitar.

Sarah McQuaid - Live in Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace.

Photo: Colm Henry
Sarah McQuaid plays Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Monday April 22. Doors 8:30pm; Admission €12 on the door.

Folks, we're in for a treat with this show - superb musicianship, beautiful voice, and a wide range of styles in her repertoire. Highly recommended.

Rising star Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine” (Minor 7th). A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument.

Her musical output reflects her own eclectic background: Sarah was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and now lives in rural England. Refusing to be pigeonholed, she spans the genres with both her beautifully crafted originals and her interpretations of material from around the globe and down the centuries. Sarah’s third solo album The Plum Tree and the Rose has drawn critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic: “Impeccable,” wrote fRoots (UK), while Midwest Record (USA) called it “low key but glorious and incendiary” and Hot Press (Ireland) said it “should feature on many end-of-year best-ofs.”

For videos of Sarah performing live click on this link:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Paul Tiernan - Live in Mick Murphy's

Paul Tiernan plays Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Monday April 8th. Doors 8:30pm. Adm: €12 on the door.
The following review of Paul Tiernan's 2012 release gives a good insight into Paul, and his music, so I'm borrowing it!
Album Review for ‘Painkillers’(Hot Press)
Paul Tiernan has been around in various guises for almost three decades, including stints in outfits like Flex & The Fastweather and Interference, as well as performing with ‘60s legend, Donovan. With a following in Europe, particularly in Germany and France the sometime Cork resident does most of his playing outside the country. His style has, over the years, varied but Painkillers is a largely pastoral, almost elegiac affair, with sumptuous arrangements and more than enough well wrought songs to make it his best work in aeons.

With gently plucked banjo and Beach Boys (Smile-era) instrumentation and Tiernan’s voice barely rising above a whisper, ‘Driver’ is a breathtakingly beautiful tune with a gorgeous melody. ‘Boneseekers’ is carnival music, while ‘Flowers’ is another low-key gem. Elsewhere, the poignant, ‘Painkillers’ and evocative, ‘Shooting Fish’ are standouts, while ‘Boxcar Ballerinas’ with electric guitar and heavenly harmonies makes for yet another highlight. Powerful stuff.
Colm O'Hare
Hot Press, June 2012.