The Irish Radio Tour

Better write a few words about my radio tour of Ireland before I start forgetting some of the details.

Sometimes it’s nice to concentrate on one specific thing for a specific period of time. It helps you focus and sometimes it gains its own momentum and something extra comes out of it.

We’ve been getting a steady stream of offers to go on various radios shows and talk to their listeners about the new CD. It’s lovely that they’re that interested in it and so we decided to do just that for about a week.

I started in Northern Ireland by visiting Lisa Flavelle who’s on Downtown Radio. Downtown basically covers all of the North, and can be picked up in the border counties as well – AND – she’s on between 3-6pm, which is basically drive-time. You can be sure there are quite a lot of people listening.

Lisa loves the album and was determined to include something off it in one of her shows.  I called in to see her on a very wet and windy Wednesday afternoon. She played “I Wonder” and we had a wee chat. It was quite a short segment but covered all the essentials! Sometimes when you do a quick interview like that on a radio show you wonder afterwards if it was really worth your while. Did anyone hear it? Will they remember my name? Will they decide to check it out? These are all questions you often ask yourself after a quick appearance like this.

Well it obviously is – because we seen quite a few orders come in at CD Baby and they all gave the Downtown radio interview as their reason for buying the CD. Nice one!

Downtown is in Newtownards (just east of Belfast) so I decided to travel back via Co. Down and the Mountains of Mourne. It was a bit misty but by the same token it all had a great ominous feel to it (see photo).

The next port of call was Waterford (from one end of the country to the other). The show in question was Irish Nightlife and it’s in the very capable hands of Roddie Cleere. Roddie is one of the founders and driving force behind the Roisin Dubh Trust.

His show is on late(10pm-1am) so plenty of time to look around the city. Vibrant place. Had a coffee in a place called the Kazbar. Seems they run gigs and who should be playing it within a few weeks – Pat McManus! Had a lovely meal in a place that is run by a woman from Prague. Excellent food and a very kind woman. It’s called the Sumatra Cafe (in case you ever happen to be in Waterford).

Headed over to  the WLR FM studio around 11pm and had a few words with Roddie before going on air. He’s a super cool guy and is really into rock and helping Irish artists. Now, we could do with a few more guys like him, right?

He kicked off his show with “Blister On The Moon” (from Taste, which was Rory Gallagher’s first band for those of you who might not know) and followed it up with “Rollin'” – right, Mark Feltham being the link there! Roddie is a HUGE Thin Lizzy fan so “Bye Bye Johnny – Be Good” came next. I can’t really remember what all got played after that, or what we spoke about, but the time flew and before we knew it it was time to leave. I had to drive back up to Virginia but managed it in 3 hours, which was cool. I love driving in the night anyway and after a show like that it was all good.

I had to get up early the following morning as I was due to appear on Charlie McGettigan’s show “Saturday Connection” on Shannonside/Northern Sound. Charlie has a new website that’s just up so you’ll find all you need to know about him there. Charlie’s had a long list of great musicians on his show and I was quite honoured to now be part of it. The format is that you chat a bit and play all the music live. If my memory serves me right I played “I Wonder”, “Louise” – a song written by Paul Siebel and covered by Bonnie Raitt & Linda Ronstadt, “Crazy Love” and Alberta. I think I’m forgetting one but anyway you get the picture. I was playing on a Wilson acoustic. Don’t fret if you’ve never heard of them – it’s a one-off. It belongs to a friend of mine and it was made for him by his brother.

Charlie got lots of calls and text messages while I was on the show. I think the complete county of Cavan was listening and surrounding areas as well. In fact, I know for a fact that people were phoning other people to say I was on. My mother had received a call from her brother who’d received a call from someone else telling him I was on Charlie’s show. He didn’t have a working radio in the house so he went out to his car to listen to it. I suppose that’s what you’d call the power of local radio! 🙂

Charlie was starting his own tour that evening so after a quick photo session we said our goodbyes and headed off to do our thing.

My next appointment was on BalconyTV. It’s a wonderful idea set up by Stephen O’Regan. Basically he films artists doing acoustic songs on this balcony overlooking Dame St. in Dublin. It’s a great concept and quite unusual as you have the traffic trundling by underneath and in the background. Stephen then uploads the performance to YouTube. You can view my performance here.

That was enough excitement for me for one week so it’s back to the office to do what I do when I’m not on the road (or just goofing off having fun)!

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