Was super excited to join amazing musicians John Byrne, Dave McGuinness, Stephen McHale, Duncan Maitland, Mark Colbert and Neil Dorrington on stage for a few songs in tribute to Fleetwood Mac's album Rumours, which is 40 years old this year! The wonderful Carol Keogh, Sinead White, Jess Kav, Tara Harrison, Roisin O, Roisin El Cherif, Niall Thomas, Jack Maher, Jem Mitchell and Mark Caplice also took part! A couple of videos here and here!!
The first solo gig of my tour co-incided with my time with Mark and Chrissi. I was delighted to be asked by Tommy from the Acoustic Yard Festival to close the festival out! After Mark's amazing gig and then seeing Ray Wilson (Genesis), it was a bit nerve racking! However - it need not have been! I had a lovely listening crowd and my set went down very well!!
Folowing Mark's departure, I rented a car and headed off on my merry way! I stayed with a lovely friend in Dusseldorf on the Monday nightm before hitting the road to the city of Munster, under recommendation! I'd booked myself a super fancy hotel and was treating myself for a couple of days. The city is beautiful and I got to visit St Lamberti Church and St Paulus-Dom Cathedral, the Picasso museum with Henri Matisse exhibition, before a gorgeous little unplugged acoustic gig in Schnabulenz!
Up early after my Munster visit to head north to Neumunster so play in the most amazing gallery space! Sarah is a photographer who has an incedible studio in Neumunster. We talked a lot about horses and Lui her dog sang along at times! The acoustics were amazing -so we did a little unplugged acoustic session! I'm waiting for some photos from her to add to these! There's a little stream from part of the gig here!
Onwards then to Hannover in the 34 year old music stor - 25Music! A great record store will all types of music and vintage clothes, I played an hour set at the front door to audience and passers by! Thanks to Eddy, my merch selling friend from Dusseldorf and some old friends Mel and Ulf who dropped by for the gig too!
My final gig was the most amazing way to end my tour in Germany! Sabine and Thomas hosted a house concert in their beautiful home and invited loads of people to come along and listen. We had a beautiful night and I couldn't have asked for a better gig to finish my tour! Both Sabine and Thomas took some gret pictures, so I'll do another post on that! :)
I was delighted to be asked to go with Mark to Germany for some dates in January - so I decided I would book some additional solo dates and make a longer trip of it - that's in part two!
Mark and I had five amazing gigs in various locations. We started off in Kassette in Dusseldorf where in August 2015 we played an acoustic unplugged gig to a quiet attentive audience..... Tonight was different - it was plugged in, we had a PA, there were no chairs - and the place was rammed, and people were being turned away! We're still arguing about whether it was 5 or 6 encores we did - but the night kicked of the tour in supreme style! Thanks to Tobey and Tim for looking after us!
Gig number two took us to the most beautiful farmhouse in Rees. A converted carraige house, with a walk through from the living room straight to the stables! We were joined on the gigs from then, by the stunning Chrissi Poland, who had flown in from the States that day. She wowed the audience and joined Mark for some impromptu tunes! Thanks to Catja, Chiara Chiara, Moritz and Danby! The storm was coming in that night, so we had to hit the road. We must have literally led it up the garden path, as we got home to a clear drive way and woke in the morning to find 20cm had fallen after we returned!
Gig number three was a little closer to our temporary home in Cologne, so we got to take Ted for a walk in the snow and made some other new friends along the way. The gig that night was amazing - a beatiful living room full of wonderful people! Chrissi, Mark and myself jammed out some Everly Brothers, and Mark's song Ghosts, and Chrissi even had me on keys for one of hers! Biggest of love to Shel and Stefan!!
Gig number four with Mark was a slot at the Acoustic Winter Festival in Dusseldorf. Mark and I had played the summer festival in 2015 and we were invited back (and I got a solo slot too!). Mark had 45 minutes of a slot and absolutely stole the show! Chrissi joined us for a couple of songs and we had One Eye Open up to play Adam and Eve to finish the set. Mark's guitar pedals have never sounded that big, much to the surprise of the audience (and to Mark!) Thanks to Tommy for having us back!!!
Gig number five was in another amazing, old, converted building - now housing a music studio! Van Heys Studio, home to Meyerhof gigs was the perfect end to a run of gigs with Mark and Chrissi. A Steinway Grand was waiting for Chrissi and a roomful of open hearts! Another (aguable) number of encores, and the amazing Marie-Hélen and Marco.
The Path is Bundoran's newest greatest gig! Secret Artist gigs are held in special locations around Bundoran with artists who aren't announced to the audience until they arrive! Thanks to Adam and Giles for the invite and the hospitality! Fab photos from Pockets Full of Water Productions.
Gig number 1: 13th November
Jonathan has hosted a couple of great gigs recently, both for charity.
The first of which was to raise funds to transport all the instruments that Jonathan and his family are taking to a community in Cuba in a few weeks.
Following a cracking start to the night with Kevin McManamon and his brother Sean, Glen Hansard took to the stage for a couple of songs before asking me to join him for a few more. I borrowed the ginger man's guitar for a quick rendition of a new song, before the legend that is Damien Dempsey took to the stage. The night ended in the wee hours after a lock and a serious sing song in Ranelagh. You never know what the night will bring!
Gig number 2: 4th December
The next charity night was for the Capuchin Day Care Centre with Native Oak and Kieran Mulvihill playing a set each. The night was a huge success, raising €700 and I joined Kieran for a couple of songs and played Lilacs too.
Was super excited to get to play my own little gig downstairs in the Spirit Store! Had such a ball - Thanks to Derek &the team for a fabulous welcome and gorgeous little set up, and to all the lovely folk who came out to listen and buy cds, through freezing fog on a school night! I was blown away! #irishmusic #livemusic #ghontour
I was delighted to be invited to the Monaghan Arts Network Event to perform at the end of November. Below is a wee review issued by them after the gig! Was such a gorgeous gig - thanks to all the lovely Monaghan folk for braving the cold night to come out!
The Arts Network audience were delighted to have Gráinne Hunt on stage as the final act in the November Showcase. Gráinne, a native of Carrickmacross and now living in Dublin has certainly made her mark across the country over the past couple of years. After the release of her album ‘Firing Pin’ in October 2015 Gráínne’s voice has been heard across the airwaves . Her first song of the night was written after she had been over to the West of Ireland this year to The Wild Atlantic Way. This was a beautiful start to her performance ‘Stones in my pockets and salt on my skin, diamonds among us, beauty within.’ Gráinne’s clear and audible melodic tones hushed the audience to a respectful silence as her beautiful strong tones then reduced to slow meaningful lyrics. And so it began - the journey through rambling stories of personal experiences, meandering into the peaks and flows of her own compositions, guitar changes and even a Joni Mitchell cover (with her own tones most definitely coming through). Each song had its own little back story. One of her more recent compositions ‘Little Bird’ was inspired by a musician friend’s disillusionment with the music industry. There was lots of laughter and craic, including banter with her mother, who attends a lot of her local gigs! Her title track ‘Firing Pin’ had the network audience completely pulled in – this was followed by ‘Low Tide Rising’, which had the audience singing back the key lines to her. As she stepped away from the mic to let them carry the song her smile said it all. Sure, where would ya get it? And so it continued with the lovely ‘Lost for Words’ a song about facing the person you ‘got off with’ the following day – and all those fears and emotions that go through your being. ‘Lilics’ followed and a request for her to sing the ‘verse’ she sang at her sister’s wedding! This turned out to be a beautiful self composed love song entitled ‘Forever and Always’. This was a perfect end to a wonderful performance. What a privilege!
Spent a very short time with Paul Casey in Derry recording a vocal for a song that's being submitted for the Irish Eurovision entry. Sure what else would you be at of a Sunday?! :)
The wonder that is Tony Sourke arranges lovely little gigs in the intimate surrounds of Kavanagh's in Naas for Collective Sounds. The mystery that is the Naas Ball was tweeting away - we're still trying to figure out the identity of this illusive object!
It was great to see some familiar faces make their way over from Ballymore Eustace and further afield for the gig. I was delighted to invite my friend Aoife Leigh to do a little guest slot in the middle of the night! Check her out - she's amazing!
Was super excited to return to Carlingford on Friday night for Carlingford's first house concert! Cormac opened his house to a lovely bunch of friends and strangers for a fab night! You can check out a live stream of the second half of the gig on my facebook page!
I got to hang out in my dream machine recently and record a video of a new song in a VW Camper for the Declan Sessions!
Mark was joined by Graham, Colm, Lorcan and myself for another gorgeous gig at Ernesto's Cafe in Rathmines - best coffee and company around!
Some lovely pics by Simon Peare here and Anthony Mulcahy here!
I've been spending a lot of my time this year visiting parts of the Wild Atlantic Way! Was excited to get to Lahinch to play Kenny's Bar for the Whitehorse Sessions with Marlene Enright and Jack O'Rourke.
I also got to pay a return visit to the lovely Record Break in Ennis for another little acoustic gig. I asked my friend Aoife Leigh to come along to open the show, and the lovely Sinead welcomed us and the audience with open arms! I spent some time by the sea, dipped my toes in the Atlantic and did some mindful colouring in the sunshine!
I got to play my first public gig in my hometown of Carrickmacross on 13th August (apart from a couple of private house concerts!). The festival took place out the back of Callan's of the Bridge at the bottome of the town and the festival committee did a stellar job putting together an amazing lineup.
Photo by Jean McDonald
News from Grainne