Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cormac O'Caoimh - LIVE in Mick Murphy's, Monday March 2, 2015

Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Monday, March 2nd. Doors 8:30pm; Gig 9:15pm. Admission: €12 at the door.

Second BAG appearance for Cork singer/songwriter Cormac O Caoimh who last year released his third solo album - 'The Moon Loses Its Memory' - to critical acclaim (see reviews below). A smooth, jazz/indie pop infused vocal and guitar style, is my best stab at descriptive terms for Cormac O'Caoimh's sound. Subtle, thoughtful lyrics, and that smooth, honeyed delivery, make his material a joy to the listening ear. Quite simply, it draws you in, and holds you there; where you are only too willing to give your full attention.
The new album has already been featured and received excellent reviews in The Sunday Times, The Daily Star, Hot Press, The Ticket and many many more. He has done live sessions and interviews on RTE Radio 1, NEwstalk, KCLR to name but a few and 12 of the 14 songs of the cd have already received airplay on national and local stations. A full gig of his - live from HMV (who are also stocking the cd in their stores) went out live on the RTE website. And on the success of this new cd  he has received endorsement deals with Godin Guitars, Schertler acoustic amps and Logjam stompers.

O Caoimh has picked up some well-known admirers along the way including Ron Sexsmith and Tom Robinson (BBC) and has shared the stage with fellow luminaries; Damien Rice (in the Paradiso, Amsterdam), Declan O Rourke, Josh Rouse - to name but a few.

Reviews for the album:

"Cormac's songs are like little sculptures... considered, shaped and honed into things of beauty that find their way to your soul."
- Fiachna Ó Braonáin (Hothouse Flowers)

“Cormac O’ Caoimh’s songwriting is akin to that of the ‘80s school of wordsmiths such as Lloyd Cole, Paddy McAloon and even Elvis Costello....a songwriter to be reckoned with" - Hot Press

"Acoustic Gems from the Cork singer-songwriter. Each song superglues to the memory " **** Mojo Magazine

"This is one album you should not ignore" - Folkwords

"O Caoimh has achieved something here that most songwriters aspire to" - Instrumentali

"will accompany me on my travels in the future, given it's uplifitng and strong pop-folk vibe" - Remy's Music & Film Guide

"An effortlessly charming album" - Songwriter Magazine

"a tour de force" - Americana UK

“a refreshingly broad album.. an amalgamation of art and music.. the result is intriguingly beautiful..I’m definitely a fan.”-

Videos - 

'Yellow Crumbs' - TG4 Appearance on the Roisín show:
'The Moon Loses It's Memory' - CD version, video shot in Kilkee, Co. Clare:

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Certain Three Tour 2015 - LIVE in Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Monday, Feb 23, 2015

The Certain Three Tour 2015
Joan Shelly(USA)/John Blek(IRL)/Vikesh Kapoor(USA)

Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Monday, February 23rd. Doors 8:30pm. Showtime: 9pm Sharp.

Very exciting triple-header of highly regarded artistes, whose careers are on the cusp of something really special. Three acts with a rich, folk/country/roots sound. Highly recommended, all. The running is mixed up for each show on the tour, and for Ballymore will be as follows: John Blek, followed by Vikesh Kapoor, followed by Joan Shelley.
Gig will start 9pm sharp.


'Electric Ursa' - title track from her current album: 
'Pain For Your Pleasure' - live in Dublin:

It's a pleasure to welcome Joan, all the way from Kentucky, for her debut BAG appearance.

From Joan's website: "Joan Shelley‘s music is startling, but not for its racket. It startles because of its closeness, the near-instant sense of familiarity we feel when we hear it. Her songs fill up the air around us, echoing like a voice lost in the later American and British folk revivals – some Anne Briggs here, a little Hedy West there. But none of them are “trad arr. Shelley.” Joan wrote them all. Listen to her sing and it’s evident. You’ve never heard that voice before, either."

"There is an otherness, a soft stillness in Joan Shelley’s voice, that seeks meaning in experience and memory...With the grace of good timing she tours here next month. Not to be missed." - Joe Breen, Irish Times.

Here's a New York Times review of a recent gig in Brookyln:
"throughout the set, she was open yet composed, never pushing or overplaying the music; she let the songs speak for themselves. With its quiet purity, the music held the club audience rapt."

John Blek -

Probably best known as frontman for John Blek and The Rats, John's embarking on a co-existent solo career.
'Portland, Oregon' - From his debut solo album - 'Cutting Room Floor':

Great to welcome John back to BAG, after his brilliant opening set for Mick Flannery/Casey Black.

Ahead of the release of the album, HotPress said: "A Rats-less John Blek has announced the November 28 release of Cutting Room Floor, a collection of nine stripped down alt. folk numbers that were recorded in a 20-hour studio binge." - the album has since been very well received.

This from John Blek and The Rats' website (it's all true of John's solo sound - just more stripped down, with less 'lunacy'!): John Blek & The Rats are a six-piece folk and country group from Cork City whose infectious brand of Americana influenced balladry has travelled up and down the roads of Ireland, the UK and Europe, kicking up the dust in the dark corners for the last few years.
Born in the modern day dust bowl that is Ireland, John Blek & The Rats take inspiration from range of musical styles such as the outlaw country of Willie Nelson, the protest ballads of Woody Guthrie, the 100 mile-an-hour lyricism of Jack Keruoac and the melancholic country rock of Neil Young. Despite their musical roots being deeply embedded in the past, John Blek & The Rats have a sound that is fresh and modern, while also doffing its hat to a gone bye era. The streak of melancholy that runs throughout their music is tempered only by their penchant for footstomping rhythms and contagious choruses, a passion for revelry and, at times, lunacy."

Vikesh Kapoor -

'Blue-Eyed Baby' - From his debut album, 'The Ballad of Willy Robbins' -
'Searching For The Sun' -

Prior to taking this booking, I'd never heard of Vikesh; you probably hadn't either. You'll be hearing much more of him from now on, I'm pretty sure of that. You can say you were in from the start... well, almost!

This, from an article in The New Yorker, in October 2013, celebrating the centenary (+1) of Woody Guthrie's birth:
"Kapoor has a Guthrie-like origin story of his own: raised in rural Pennsylvania, he attended college briefly before becoming a mason’s apprentice, and then, after performing at the funeral of the activist and author Howard Zinn, in 2010, devoted himself to political songcraft. The result of Kapoor’s artistic awakening, “The Ballad of Willy Robbins,” is out this month, and in songs like the title track and “Bottom of the Ladder,” he delivers a series of sharply etched portraits of struggling Americans that points back along a road of socially conscious songs. Guthrie is standing at the head of that road".

Ed Deane & Eamon Murray - LIVE in Mick Murphy's, Monday, Feb 16th, 2015.

Ed Deane & Eamon Murray play BAG @ Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Monday, Feb 16th - just after St. Valentine's weekend, and I guarantee you, you're gonna Love this show!
Doors open at 8:30pm; Gig 9:15pm sharp. Admission is just €12, at the door.

Two of the finest Bluesmen Ireland has produced, with pedigrees, and career credits and associations, as long as your arm! Guitar and Harp is probably the classic combination for playing the Blues; few do it better, anywhere, than Ed and Eamon.

'Help Me' (Sonny Boy Williamson):
'Backwater Blues':

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Dennis Ellsworth - LIVE in Mick Murphy's, Monday, Feb 9th, 2015


Canadian, Dennis Ellsworth plays his debut Irish date (in fact, his only Irish Date) on Monday, Feb 9th, in Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare. Doors open 8:30pm; Gig: 9:15pm; Admission is €12, at the door.
I've had a good listen to Dennis' music, and I know he'll go down well with BAG regulars, and lovers of good music, generally.
Highly, and personally, recommended.

Dennis Ellsworth is a prolific songwriter. Lately he’s gotten into the rhythm of writing, recording and releasing an album a year. In between records, he travels around the planet singing songs characterized by a kind of dark optimism that’s informed by early influences such as Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond and Kris Kristofferson.
Ellsworth has toured Canada extensively, made inroads into the US and built a substantial following in the UK. In all, he’s released six records — all recorded live in a house or studio; two with his side project, Haunted Hearts, as well as Chesterfield Dweller of the Year (2009), the Strange Boat EP (2011), Dusk Dreams (2012) and his latest, Hazy Sunshine, in 2013 as a solo artist.
Hazy Sunshine is a seamless blend of modern East Coast folk and rock and roll with shades of classic Americana, roots and country haunting the edges; a set of songs that anyone who’s questioned their place in the world will find their own experiences reflected in.