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Archive for March, 2021

J Smith’s ‘Blood Orange’ Re-Ignites Passion

Singer-songwriter J Smith is set to release ‘Blood Orange’ on 9 April, the next single from his upcoming debut album.

We came to see a blood orange moon, and shiver up in a tent,” sets the mood for the telling of a couple’s second chance to re-ignite their passion in love. Seizing his own second chance, J Smith rekindled his passion for songwriting after the break-up of his former band.

Smith recorded the bones of ‘Blood Orange’ in August 2019 and refined it over time, adding unexpected elements like the sound of metal pipes dragging across a concrete floor. The song has an optimistic rhythm, with persistent guitar, and a mix of acoustic and electronic elements. Sonically, there are influences from Japanese Breakfast, sir Was, Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley.

Lending an ethereal vocal counterpoint to the chorus, Irish neo-soul singer Nnic (Naoise Fitzgerald) joins J Smith once again on ‘Blood Orange’ as she had for ‘I’m Sorry’, Smith’s first single released last month to positive reviews.

James Smith formed Gypsies on the Autobahn at 16 and the band released two albums with Universal Music Ireland, ‘Born Brief’ in 2017 and ‘Suspended’ in 2019. The band saw success supporting Little Green Cars, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, selling out Whelan’s, playing at Vicar St., Other Voices, and touring the festival circuits. After 14 years, the band amicably parted ways in early 2020.

Smith’s independence spurred him to produce a burst of dance-inspired remixes under the name YURN for Soda Blonde, ZASKA, Danny G & The Major 7ths with Tolü Makay, Nnic, Gareth Quinn Redmond, and more.

J Smith’s debut album titled “(…) And you chose not to laugh” is set for release on 28 May. ‘Blood Orange’ is out on 9 April on all streaming platforms and is available to pre-save now.

Irish Pop Artist Alice LA Releases New Single

Alice LA is a versatile artist dabbling in pop music, with a background in Multi-Media skills and such experimental yet striking visuals that gel well with her music, upbeat and high energy live shows, a creative exciting ever-changing brand, and humorous and highly active on her socials, Alice LA has carved out a whole niche for herself and created something unique and spectacular. The new single ’21st Century Woman’ is out today!

She has performed at festivals across Ireland including Stendhal, Sunflower, and Output Festival, performed at a sold-out show in KOKO Camden as part of a Capital Xtra night, and has radio play and support from radio including BBC, Today FM, the Play Irish initiative from IASCA and more.

LA has also recently featured on the BBC Arts Programme performing live for their ‘Sounds New Program” and then again appeared on BBC Irish program ‘I Lar an Aonaigh’ performing. So far Alice LA has released two singles and a mini album that she released in the summer of 2020 which then appeared on the list of the NI Music Prize for best album and many of her singles.

’21st Century Woman’ is a vocal and synth driven pop anthem which is an empowering call for gender equality that asks for “love and kindness” rather than life becoming a competition between men and women in various ways. The 80s drum beat and the rhythm of the synth pulls the listener in instantly along with the quirky vocal chops at the start that sounds very like Scandinavian pop. The break down creates a magical escape, it gives the song space to breath beautifully before building to the point of the song lyrically “just love love love, let’s not collide” Isn’t that what life is all about? Love and acceptance of each other?

Irish Troubadour Keith Margo Releases Debut Single

After years of travelling in the belly of the beast, spitting and coughing, drowning in the Devil’s drink, puffing heavily on fifty cigarettes a day, balancing on his head a haircut from nineteenseventytwo, Keith Margo got sick of singing to the tune of other people’s songs. That’s when he wrote the new single everybody’s talking about: ‘Rock N Rolla’.

In those perilous years, Margo absorbed all manner of the arts from the paintings of Goya, Rimbaud’s poetry, all the way up to Ziggy Stardust and beyond. He draws from these bohemians, giving his new single ‘Rock N Rolla’ a timeless feel.

Keith Margo is bringing songwriting back to Rock N Roll! From the word go, the drums are in your face, the coven of guitars are putting you under their spell. A wailing guitar solo, wild bassline and a ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ style ending keep you coming back for more. Margo’s voice reaches into your soul.

‘Rock N Rolla’ is only the start for Keith Margo. Expect more heavy hitters as the year goes on.

Written, performed, produced, mixed and mastered by Keith Margo. Colm Quearney plays bass, lead guitars & philicordia.


New Music from Lavengro

Lavengro, the four-piece indie-pop outfit from Derry are back in the game with a banger. ‘Get Out’, produced by Cormac Butler (The Academic, All Tvvins, Kodaline) is an anthemic, catchy track packed full of guitar hooks, upbeat bass & drums, groovy Synths and a stellar strong chorus that won’t ‘Get Out’ of your head.

After their last single release ‘I Want Your Girl’ which was produced and co-written by Billen Ted (currently storming the global charts with their ‘Wellerman’ remix), the band took a short hiatus to knuckle down and experiment with a new sound. Already picked as ‘Best Song in the World’ by BBC ATL weeks before release (and plays on WLRFM, Dundalk & Cool Fm), there’s no doubt that ‘Get Out’ is perfect for the National Airwaves. 

You can catch the band on Tik Tok @Lavengro as they entertain and rapidly grow their following with their blend of hilarious content & music.  

A few of Lavengro’s famous pals have also took part in their new music video for ‘Get Out’.

Roy Buckley to Release Pete St John Original

No less a musical giant than the legendary Pete St John has written a song called ‘Tara Tansey (Ram Dee Da)’ and called upon Cork performer Roy Buckley to sing it, the single will be released on all platforms this Friday, April 2nd, 2021.

What’s more, the man who penned all time classics ‘The Fields Of Athenry’, ‘Dublin In The Rare Old Times’, and many others, personally requested that Buckley would perform the song.

They first met in 2015, when Roy Buckley attended a special showcase gig dedicated to Pete St John’s work in Dublin, not long afterwards, he asked Roy to perform ‘Tara Tansey’.

Roy’s last two releases, ‘Devil Rose’ & ‘Dark Rosaleen’ both went to No.1, while ‘The Old Man On Patrick’s Street’ went before GRAMMY Award judges in two categories.

On being asked by one of the all-time greats to sing his song, Roy Buckley says, “that’s an incredible thrill. I’ve admired the work of Pete St. John since I got my first guitar as a small boy.

Pete St John himself has spoken of Roy Buckley as “a Master Balladeer” predicting that when the single is released this Easter it will be an instant winner with Irish audiences the world over.

So, who was Tara Tansey?

Pete explains the backstory: “She was a young, beautiful, red haired girl, part of the insurgent garrison during the 1916 Easter Rising. She worked with the medics to help the wounded.

As the story goes, when Pádraig Pearse stepped out to read the Proclamation, the sound of a fiddle could be heard coming from inside the GPO.” The fiddle player was Tara Tansey!

And what of “Ram Dee Da”?

Well, Roy Buckley explains, “that comes from Pete’s deep love of the Irish language. It stands for “Rud Álainn Macánta – Draíocht Eolas Éireann – Dóchas Arís.

Translated to English it means “Something beautiful and honest – The magic intellect of Ireland – Hope again”.

Roy Buckley is a singer, songwriter, musician, entertainer & recording artist from Cork City, Ireland. 

Since childhood he has “collected” Irish music & song, and in 2012 established the hugely successful “Song Collector Sessions” concert series, with fifty concerts under his belt in that time.

Guests at the concerts have included Aslan’s Christy Dignam, Bagatelle’s Liam Reilly, Stocktons Wing’s Mike Hanrahan and international song writing legend Phil Coulter to name a few.

The concerts also led to a podcast, interviews with leading lights in Irish music, the “Song Collector Podcast” is available on all platforms.

Internationally, Roy Buckley spends several months of the year touring and performing at festivals and events all over the world. He looks forward to touring again when the Covid-19 pandemic is at an end.

‘Tara Tansey (Ram Dee Da)’ was recorded with the late Lawrence White at Wood Street studio in Cork, and finished at Kitten Lane studios in Cork, under the watchful eye of Aidan O’ Mahony and Keith Clancy.

A host of top class musicians contributed, and the finished track was mastered by GRAMMY Award winner Adam Ayan in the USA. It is scheduled for release on all platforms on Friday, April 2nd, 2021.

Bagatelle Share Single in Tribute to Liam Reilly

As a tribute to the late great Liam Reilly, Celtic Collections are proud to announce the release of a new single from Bagatelle, ‘That Summer Song’. 

This song was written & recorded during one of the very last studio sessions with Liam Reilly and Bagatelle and was also one of the last recording sessions of producer/guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist and owner of Silverwood Studios, Co. Wicklow, the late Gavin Ralston.  

Gavin had played with so many acts including The Waterboys, Picturehouse, Sharon Shannon, Michael Flatley, Thom Moore and Bagatelle.

‘That Summer Song’ (co-written by Liam Reilly, Ken Doyle & Gavin Ralston) basically tells the story about how one song could change a bands life forever.   

That song was of course the iconic ‘Summer In Dublin’ – the band was Bagatelle and as the lyrics suggest, the song is also a big THANK YOU to their wonderful loyal audience who have stayed with them through their 40+ years.

Jim McHugh Releases ‘Hey Jimbo’

Jim McHugh’s new single ‘Hey Jimbo’, out now, is the second offering from his forthcoming third album ‘Pretending To Wake Up’ due May 28th. Another rocking song with big drums and an even bigger guitar riff, McHugh is continuing to whet the appetite for the full album’s release. 

Monaghan native McHugh says of his latest single: “‘Hey Jimbo’ center’s around the history of past relationships, not all directly my own but we all know these stories of unrequited love. The title takes its name from my nickname ‘Jimbo’ and it’s, as you will hear from the song, often hollered out as ‘Hey Jimboooooo’. Similar to my previous single ‘Dave’ the song evolves around the opening guitar riff and the band powerfully supports the flow of energy throughout it.” 

‘Hey Jimbo’ was recorded, produced and mixed by Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Niamh Regan, Sput Searight, Lankum) at Black Mountain Studios, Jenkinstown and Wynne Wynne Studio, Dundalk. It was mastered by Fergal Davis (Sinéad O’Connor/Muse) and features Paul McCabe on bass, Butch McNeill on drums and Alex Borwick on trombone.

With two albums already under his belt, McHugh has garnered an impressive list of supporters with multiple singles added to the RTE 1 Recommends list and being chosen as the ‘LMFM All Out Local Song Choice’ as well as Roddie Cleere’s ‘Song of the Week’. 

His third album ‘Pretending To Wake Up’ is due May 28th and is sure to cement McHugh as Ireland’s leading folk rock artist as his ability to write a hook of a riff combined with a catchy chorus surpasses all! 

Pre order the album now here

Irish singer songwriter Gavin Fox releases debut EP with lead single ‘Free’

Newcomer Irish singer songwriter Gavin Fox, who’s soulful, reflective songwriting blends folk and indie releases his second single ‘Free’ alongside his debut EP ‘On Second Thoughts’ on March 26th.

Following on from his debut single ‘Make Me Believe’ which picked up support from Hot Press, RTE Entertainment, Classic Hits, Shannonside, KFM, among others, Gavin now releases ‘Free’ the lead single from his debut EP ‘On Second Thoughts’ .

Accompanying the single is the official music video for ‘Free’ which compiles footage central to our society in recent years, and the idea of freedom. Featuring footage from the LGBTQ rallys, the #MeToo movement as well as an assortment of imagery associated with freedom. 

“This song contains an important message to a general audience of people who feel enslaved to or controlled by something external to themselves – the political system, religion, personal circumstances/fate, etc.  The message is simple; you can decide to be free, to choose how you want to live your life and to be the person you want to be as an individual.  Don’t allow yourself to be controlled. Choose to be free and be liberated by your own limitless possibility”. –Gavin Fox on ‘Free’

Gavin Fox grew up in an environment that was very restrictive, dominated by an extreme religion that controlled his life. Born into a Jehovah’s Witness family he was told what to think, what to believe and what to do from a very young age. He was never allowed to freely express himself or to choose his own path. He didn’t play football with his school mates or go to parties as a teenager – he was not permitted to socialise with non-believers. Instead, he spent many hours being taught how to deliver public sermons, delivering his first to an audience of over 100 people at the age of 7. He was also schooled in preaching and spent much of his time going from door-to-door. Birthdays were never tolerated. Christmas celebrations not permitted. Any non-religious activities or interests were strongly discouraged.

Gavin knew his life was different to that of his peers, to whom he never really felt he belonged. He also knew he had something inside telling him he needed to break free. Leaving the religion would result in being shunned and cut-off from the only community he knew and having to start his life again, alone. When he did find the courage to take that step, it took him many years and an in-depth process of self-analysis just to find out who he really was.

Gavin has had a story to tell for many years now. He had no idea his story would come out in the form of music. It took the time and space allowed during the lockdown of 2020 for him to discover a hidden creative talent for song-writing. Having picked up a guitar only in recent years, his emotional story came from deep inside him and poured out in the form of three of the most honest songs you are ever likely to hear. Since then, he has continued to write and plans to record an album later this year.

“Many people go through life trying to conform and please others. This EP is about being true to yourself and being free to be the person you want to be. 

It is about giving yourself permission to choose your own course and decide what kind of life you want. 

It is never too late to discover who you truly are and to freely express yourself. Don’t live with regrets. 

If you are having second thoughts about what you want out of life, act on them.” – Gavin Fox on ‘On Second Thoughts’ EP

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Lemonade Marinade to Release New Single ‘Paradise Bay’

Lemonade Marinade release their 4th single ‘Paradise Bay’ on Friday April 2nd and once again all proceeds will go to mental health charities. 

Following up from the acclaimed songs ‘Brilliant’, ‘It’s Good To See’ and ‘Venus And Me’ the lockdown band release another delightful soothingly warm piece of music heaven.

The band are delighted to add the beautiful voice of Gillian Tuite to the ever involving line up. Think of the Americana sound of Alison Krauss intertwined with Ireland’s Maura O’Connell and you will Gillian somewhere in the middle. She has released quite a few solo songs in the last year, co writes with such prestigious songwriters as Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan and US songwriter Gary Ferguson. 

All the songs in this project relate lyrically to the chosen charity conveying a message of hope and again the track was written by songwriter and producer David Dee Moore. ‘Paradise Bay’ tells of the comfort given to those who are addicted to the magic of swimming in the sea even in the cold extremities of winter.  No more prevelant than the aquatic gatherings around the beautiful Clew Bay in Co.Mayo where David is based.

The rest of the top notch band consists of Nick Scott (Gilbert O’Sullivan, Mary Black) on double bass, Colin Henry (on dobro), Fintan Hanley (Vickers Vimy) on electric, Brian McAteer (Phil Coulter, Alisdair Frazer) on strings and the folk duo Cathryn Craig (Righteous Brothers, Chet Atkins) and Brian Willoughby (Strawbs, Mary Hopkin) on nylon guitar. David Dee Moore (Liam Clancy, Juliet Turner, Brian Kennedy) plays guitars and piano on the track.

Singer/songwriter, producer and radio broadcaster David Dee Moore collaborated with such artists like Niamh Parsons (3 albums), Steve Wickham (songwriting), the legendary Liam Clancy (Late Late Show), Brian Kennedy (TV and recording), Juliet Turner (performing) and Jerry Fish (writing and performing) to name but a few.

Cathryn Craig is from Richmond, Virginia and has built a strong reputation as both singer and songwriter. She is no stranger to Tennessee’s Nashville recording studios, working with Chet Atkins, The Righteous Brothers, Shel Silverstein and Jorma Kaukonen.

Nick Scott is bass player at the moment with Mary Black and Gilbert O’Sullivan and has literally played with everyone including an 8 year spell with Van Morrison. He is one of the most sought after session musicians in Ireland.

Brian Willoughby is best known for his virtuoso performances on electric and acoustic guitar. As well as playing with the Strawbs in the 80s and 90s, Brian has been a session player/sideman in much demand, playing with the likes of Mary Hopkin, Roger Whittaker, Monty Python, Joe Brown and Jim Diamond and Nanci Griffith.

Brian McAteer has been a leading light in the N.Ireland folk scene whilst training in classical violin. An expert on string arrangements working with Phil Coulter and Alisdair Frazier.

Fintan Hanley is the principle songwriter and guitarist with popular Irish recording artists Vickers Vimy. 

New Music and Album Announcement from Paddy Casey

Paddy Casey has just released his brand new single ‘Won’t Take Much’ today, alongside announcing the release of his fifth album ‘Turn This Ship Around’, a double album due to be released this summer.

‘Won’t Take Much’, the latest release from the album is a bouncy, uplifting, guitar-driven song bursting with brass and strings. Featuring on the first part of the double album ‘Turn This Ship Around’, the single reflects the upbeat, electric, synth and guitar driven side to the album, while the second part embodies a more laid-back, acoustic vibe.

Speaking of the single, Paddy Casey said: “‘Won’t Take Much’ is an independent production, recorded and produced in my own home studio. To capture the energy of a new song ‘coming to life’ the single was written and recorded in the same day with friends and bandmates being called on later to add strings and horns.

Having been at the forefront of the Irish music scene since his multi platinum selling debut album ‘Amen (So Be It)’, Paddy Casey’s career has taken him all over the globe touring with acts like The Pretenders, R.E.M, Ian Brown, Blondie and Tracy Chapman to name a few. Closer to home he has played all over Ireland, including a sold out Dublin Castle, RDS and a record-breaking week long run in The Olympia Theatre, alongside special guest spots with U2, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan and more. 

Paddy Casey’s hugely successful debut album ‘Amen (So Be It)’ achieved many international highlights including tracks being featured in hit television shows such as ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and ‘Roswell’ alongside extensive American and European tours. Further establishing himself as one of the country’s most successful artists, his second album ‘Living’ went on to become one of the biggest ever selling albums in Ireland (approximately 15 times platinum). 

This was followed by the release of ‘Addicted To Company, Part 1’, with this album seeing Paddy Casey continue to tour across America, performing on The Late Show with David Letterman, securing a week-long slot on MTV and even managing to have drinks with Beyonce and Jay Z along the way. After the release of this  album Paddy Casey decided that it was time to part ways with his record label and go independent  in order to let himself and his music veer off in any direction the wind carried them, resulting in his first release ‘The Secret Life Of’ – a resounding success with the album reaching platinum status.

‘Won’t Take Much’ the brand new single from Paddy Casey is out now across all digital platforms, with ‘Turn This Ship Around’ is due for release in summer 2021.

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