Tickets are now on sale for the IMRO sponsored ‘The 2nd Acoustic Yard Singer/Songwriters Festival Westport’ on May 5th – May 7th, 2017.
Headlining this year will be Duke Special & Ulaid with special guest Jack O’Rourke on Saturday May 6th at the Town Hall Theatre. When contemporary songwriting and traditional music meet, the results can be something to be treasured. Such is the case with the collaboration between folk supergroup, Ulaid, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Duke Special. The project called ‘The Belfast Suite’ draws on Duke Special’s songwriting skills, from pre-rock’n’roll to modern acoustic pop. He injects drama and theatricality, bringing storytelling to the fore with meditative twists and turns amid the melodic architecture. Ulaid’s mixture of skills in arrangement, interpretation, composition and performance lend a peculiarly folk-but-modern, urban-but-pastoral air to the whole. For a collaboration that may have seemed unlikely in theory, proves itself thoroughly in practice; when heard, it somehow seems inevitable.
Also at the Town Hall Theatre, there will be a special concert celebrating the 250 year anniversary of Westport called ‘250 years of Westport Song’ on Friday May 5th.
The concert celebrates some of the great songs and songwriters to grace the bars, cafes and stages of Westport over the years. Artists include John Hoban, Tony Reidy, Johnny Fadgin, Connie Cullen, Brian Duffy, Finn Upbeat Costello, Rosa May Kinsella and many more. These celebrated artists have helped to create and continue the town’s musical heritage.
There will be rare visual footage (video clips and photographs) taken 25 years ago by Willem Blok to use as a backdrop to accompany the musical event. Willem, who used to live in Mayo, is releasing a documentary in June 2017 called “25 years: County Mayo through Foreign Eyes”.
There are a host of other concerts throughout the weekend with artists like Nick Kelly (ex-Fat Lady Sings front man) Cormac O’Caoimh, Paul McDonnell, Kate O’Callaghan, Pa Curran (The Acoustic Yard Songwriter of the Year 2016), Davie Furey and many more.
‘Declan’s Sessions’ will roll up in their van to record some of the acts for social media and there’s a chance for new artists to join in the open mics and workshops available.