Author Archive

US Award Nomination for Liz Madden & Fionán De Barra

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Liz-Madden---LegacyIrish artists, LIZ MADDEN (Vocalist/Songwriter/Producer) and FIONAN DE BARRA (Guitarist/Producer) have just been nominated for this years New Mexico Music Awards.  Their arrangement and production of the original song “White Willow” written by Liz Madden and Katie Carpenter (of the Irish duo JEZZEBELLE), has been nominated in the Folk category. The awards take place on May 30th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “White Willow” is taken from Madden’s new album LEGACY which has just been released on the Valley Entertainment label.

Liz and Katie are having great success with their songwriting collaboration, winning Best Irish Entry and Runner up in last years International Song of Peace contest and making the final of the 2014 Christie Hennessy Song Contest.


“All the Times” is the New Single from The Blood Red Mountain Band

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Blood Red Mountain Band_blue_web

Photo credit: Orla Keeshan Photography

The much loved Dublin Alt-country act, The Blood Red Mountain Band, have spent some time crafting their new sound, and are set to release ‘All The Times’, the first single from their forthcoming album, “Far from Daylight”.  Telling a tale of late night, drunken breakups; it’s a single rich in longing and heartache, in  triumphant strings and edgy vocals.

The three boys and two girls of The Blood Red Mountain Band sail a peculiar ship made from bits of Americana, Country, Soul and Rock.  Almost two years in the studio with producer Anthony Gibney -whose most recent work was Alien Envoy’s album ‘Loads’ (which got a 9/10 from HotPress)- they are finally ready to let their baby go out into the world.  “I’m really excited to get this single out, we’ve put a lot of heart into these new songs and I can’t wait for our fans to hear it” said Alison Byrne, vocalist and oboe player with the band.

The single will be available on iTunes from Thursday, 23th April.

To celebrate the launch, the band play in The Sugar Club this Thursday, 23th April 2015.

Tickets cost €12 on the door or can be purchased in advance from the Sugar Club.  Support on the night from Andy Earley and The Dublin City Rounders.

The full album ‘Far From Daylight’ will be available from Sept 1st 2015.

For more, check out the award winning Blood Reds on Facebook and YouTube.


Billy Treacy Live at Whelans Tonight for “Head Above Water” Launch

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Billy TreacyDublin singer-songwriter, Billy Treacy, releases his new album, “Head Above Water”, tonight at Whelans, Dublin. The album is a collection of modern day folk songs from Billy, who was first introduced to folk music growing up over a pub in Dublin’s City Centre.

The most recent single from the album, “Temple Bar”, was a tongue-in-cheek look at Dublin’s cultural quarter, while “Woe!”, his commentary on families struggling financially in Ireland today, became a viral hit on its release.

Self-released, the album has been a couple of years of hard work in the making. Billy describes it as both a personal soundtrack and a mix of protest songs, love songs and observations of life around him.

He will be performing with a 7-piece band in Whelans tonight.

Tickets €13.50 available from WAV or on the door. Doors at 8pm.

For more see


The Hard Ground’s Real Time Recording “Triptych” Out Now

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The Hard GroundAlternative indie-pop outfit ​The Hard Ground have released​ ​“Triptych”, their second album. Triptych is the culmination of a ​year’s worth of material that has seen the Cork based band release the album ​in a staggered manner since May last year. Triptych: 1 and 2,​ ​both digital EPs, were released in 2014. The final EP in the series​, Triptych: 3,​ ​the missing part of the puzzle, was released on April 10th, ​giving rise to the physical release of the full Triptych album, a culmination of all three EPs and a bonus track.

“Pucker” the band’s latest single, has been garnering ​much attention from both audience and industry, and recently received a nod of approval from UK music industry publication, “Record of the Day”. A dream-pop offering, the track has been featured across seventeen stations in Ireland over the past​ ​three​ ​weeks and has recently been playlisted on RTE Radio 1.

Seeking to approach the recording and release of an album in a new way, the band set about the project in early 2014 working with producer Christian Best in Monique Studios in Cork city. The method of release, inspired by the ‘triptych’ art concept, is a response to the challenges faced by recording artists in today’s music industry. The ‘album’ – the backbone of the record industry – has been rapidly replaced by an increasingly fragmented means of consumption.

Independently released, the constant writing, recording, and touring schedule has had a huge influence on the album. Undertaken as a real time recording project, the album documents the development of the band​’​s sound and songwriting over the last twelve months giving the listener an intimate insight in the creative process.

The Hard Ground​ ​tour Ireland over the next​ ​three ​months with dates in Dublin and Cork. For a full list of shows visit their website


Unsigned Only Entry Deadline Approaching

Written by Admin. Posted in Industry News

Unsigned OnlyUnsigned Only is a unique international music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company. Unsigned Only is currently seeking outstanding, talented artists – newcomers or veterans. The competition is open to both original and cover songs in all categories except the newly-added Screen Shot category.

Judged by a roster of celebrity notables, prizes include merchandise plus $10,000 cash to the overall Grand Prize winner and $1,000 to the First Place winner in each category. Prizes will also be awarded to Second Place winners in each category. Additionally, the Grand Prize winner will receive one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper echelon music industry executives, ranging from label presidents to heads of A&R.

Due to the huge success of last year’s Screen Shot promotion, Unsigned Only has added Screen Shot as a category in the competition. Music placement in TV, film, video games and advertising has become an increasingly significant revenue source for musicians. Not only can it be a huge boost for an unsigned artist’s career in terms of increasing exposure to a mainstream audience, but it can also increase revenue through upfront money, license fees and performance royalties. All finalists in this category will have their music judged by a group of music execs who are specifically looking for music to place in various projects. Additionally, the First Place winner will have the opportunity to directly network with and get advice from a minimum of five of the Screen Shot judges. Last year’s Screen Shot winner, The Bicycle Mob, have already scored placements as a result of winning Screen Shot.

The deadline for entries to this year’s Unsigned Only is 30th April. For further information and entry details see


CMC and Centre Culturel Irlandais Announce Composer Residency 2015-2016 Recipients

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Caffrey_GregThe Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Contemporary Music Centre have just announced the recipients of their 2015-2016 Composer Residency. The composer’s residency initiative is part of a 30th anniversary programme of the Contemporary Music Centre, which will take place across 2016.

Four Irish composers have been selected to take part in the residency – Greg Caffrey, Rhob Cunningham, Benjamin Dwyer and Lioba Petrie.

Twenty-two artists across the spectrum of artistic backgrounds will spend from one month to three months in Paris to develop their proposed projects.

This year sees CCI partnering three Irish arts organisations for the first time in the awarding of a design residency (Design Crafts Council of Ireland – DCCoI), a music residency (Music Network) and a composer’s residency (Contemporary Music Centre).


Irish Composers on Irish Music Series Continues This Month

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Ryan MolloyThe next concert in the Irish Composers on Irish Music series takes place on 22nd April and features composer and contemporary and traditional musician Ryan Molloy. Irish Composers on Irish Music is a new series presented by the Association of Irish Composers of concerts and talks from Irish composers, on their choice of music for their instrument. These composers bring their extraordinary insight from their experience as composers and performers to these specially selected works.

Seóirse Bodley The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Ryan Molloy Sætre Brygge
Martin O’Leary David’s Air
Breffni O’Byrne Rhapsody
Martin O’Leary Jim’s Air
Simon Mawhinney Ravara
Martin O’Leary Irene’s Air
Michael Holohan Monaincha
Martin O’Leary Maeve’s Air
John McLachlan Vita
John McLachlan Nuance
Bill Whelan Currach

As a composer and performer, Ryan’s work has been performed to international audiences on four continents for over ten years. In great demand as an accompanist, Ryan has recorded over a dozen albums and his repertoire spans numerous genres from traditional Irish music to contemporary classical music. The confluence of these two genres formed the basis of his PhD in composition at Queen’s University, Belfast, studying under Simon Mawhinney and Piers Hellawell. Ryan is currently supported by a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship in association with Moving on Music.

‘I made a conscious decision to explore in my programme contemporary Irish works that draw (to varying extents) on traditional Irish music in some way since this is an important aspect of my musical upbringing and continued musical activity. This influence could be present in an extremely overt fashion as in the case with Bill Whelan’s The Currach, or only very tangentially as in the case of my own early work Sætre Brygge. These works are also complimented by a few works which have no connection to traditional music (John McLachlan’s Vita and Nuance for example) or which draw on wider issues such as the influence of landscape, sense of place and spirituality (as can be seen in Simon Mawhinney’s Ravara).’ – Ryan Molloy

Irish Composers on Irish Music is supported by Arts Council Ireland. The Association of Irish Composers is supported by IMRO.

Irish Composers on Irish Music: Ryan Molloy (Piano)

Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall

Wednesday 22nd April, 8:30pm | €10/8 (students)



First Sounds of Summer with A Lazarus Soul

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A Lazarus Soul“Mercury Hit a High” is the latest release from A Lazarus Soul. The aptly titled second single from the band’s latest album, Last of the Analogue Age, comes just in time for the start of Spring.

The single also includes a reworking of the track by The Last Sound, as well as two tracks recorded live in The Living Room“Mark’ll Sink Us” and “On the Late Shift with the Skeleton Crew” and is now available on Bandcamp

The video for the single was filmed in March by Stephen Connelly and Joe Butler with animation by Alan Dunne. It features A Lazarus Soul member Brian Brannigan’s daughter, Aztier, along with her tribe of Ethiopian, Mexican and East Wallian friends!

You can catch A Lazarus Soul at the “Mercury Hit a High” launch gig this Friday 10th April in The Grand Social with support from The Last Sound and Jem Mitchell. €8 on the door.

They will also be playing JRB in Newbridge with The Mighty Stef and Knoxville Morning Saturday 25th April.



New Irish Music at Up Close with Music

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Concorde 2015Up Close with Music presented by Concorde at the RHA Gallery continues on Sunday 26 April.  Performances feature new Irish music in an international context and take place from 2.30 – 4.30 pm. The April concert features first performances of music by Katharine Norman incorporating music, text and sound in an interactive texture, a quintet by Concorde’s sudent composer Eoin Mulvany – post-graduate student at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, guest composer Tim Corpus from Chicago for the European premiere of a duo for clarinet and cello inspired by the sculpture of Brancusi, visuals by Marie Hanlon created in collaboration wth Irish composer Emma O’Halloran, a solo work for accordion and electronics from Portugal, an energetic quintet for all musicians by Henrik Ajax – Swedish born German resident, and an introductory fanfare from Eric Sweeney.  DIT student Paul Kiernan joins Concorde on the trumpet for two of the premieres.

Concorde musicians: Jane O’Leary, artistic director; Madeleine Staunton, flutes; Paul Roe, clarinets; Martin Johnson, cello; Dermot Dunne, accordion; Paul Kiernan, trumpet.  Up Close with Music is supported by a Project Award from the Arts Council and takes place in partnership with RHA Gallery. 

Sunday 26 April 2015

2.30 – 3.15 pm & 3.45 – 4.30 pm      RHA Gallery, Ely Place, Dublin 2

Admission Free…early arrival advised!


Programme Details

26 April, 2015 – Concorde: Up Close with Music – RHA Gallery, Dublin 2

2.30 – 3.15 pm

Eric Sweeney (Ireland): Fanfare Dialogue, 2000/2015

World premiere (flute, trumpet, clarinet, accordion)

Eoin Mulvany (Ireland): Bog Bodies, 2015

World premiere  (flutes, trumpet, clarinets, cello, accordion)

Joao Pedro Oliveira (Portugal): L’Accordeon du Diable (Devil’s Accordion), 2006              Irish premiere    (accordion & recorded sound)

Katharine Norman (UK): Paul’s Walk World premiere (clarinet, live text & audio)


3.45 – 4.30 pm

Kala Pierson (USA):  River Spinner, 2012   (alto flute solo)

Tim Corpus (USA): Bird in Space, 2012   European premiere   (clarinet & cello)

Emma O’Halloran (Ireland/USA): Truth and Beauty, 2010

visuals by Marie Hanlon  (clarinet, electronics and visual images)

Henrik Ajax (Sweden/Germany): Phantasien, 2012

Irish premiere (trumpet, flute, clarinet, cello, accordion)


“Wonderland” is the New Album from I Am Niamh

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eventsi am niamh will be releasing her debut album, “Wonderland”, at a launch gig on the 9th May in the Freemasons Hall on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. “Wonderland” sees i am niamh focus on electronica while continuing her quirky sounds.

The launch will see i am niamh perform with her string quartet and bass guitarist to give us the full vibrancy of her music in a live performance. Support on the night comes from the very talented pianist, Conor Walsh. It all happens in the historic and mysterious Freemasons Hall on Molesworth Street.

Here’s what some of the music press have said about her:

Hot Press have described her as “A multi talented artist for the future.”

The Last Mixed Tape  has said “A musician with a defined blend of avant-garde and electronic musicianship, i am niamh’s new L.P. could very well be one of the stand-out debut’s of 2015.”

Time Out London “Classically trained soprano Niamh Parkinson cites everyone from Debussy to Deerhoof as an influence, and it shows. Her eerie, modern piano riffs and bold string arrangements make her one for Regina Spektor and Kate Bush devotees.”

i am niamh Wonderland Album Launch

Freemasons Hall | Saturday 9th May | 7:30pm 

Tickets are just €10 online here (+ €1 fee):

And €12 at the door on the night.

Check out the event on Facebook