FRESH from his album launch and live show at Grafton prison, Ohio, USA, Mayo country, gospel and folk singer James Kilbane will tomorrow take up residence at Hotel Westport and reprise his role in the fourth seasonal run of ‘The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol’. The traditional Irish music show telling the story of pirate queen Grace O’Malley will be running from June 13 to September.
Speaking to The Mayo News James expressed his delight at returning to the show as Grainne’s father Eoghan Dubhdara.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to return to this show and to be associated with it,” said Kilbane.
When asked about the pressures and demands of performing the show twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) Kilbane commended the professionalism and friendliness of all the cast in bringing together what he describes as a ‘truly entertaining show’.
“We always like to keep an edge in the show and realise there’s no room for complacency. We like to introduce new things and it always fits like a glove. There is such a family atmosphere and everybody is at home on stage, I really believe this transfers to the audience,’ explained Kilbane.
Kilbane highlights the show’s uniqueness, pairing Sean Nós, Irish dancing, contemporary songs and wonderful musicians.
“We are staying true to the story and tradition but joining it with modern aspects of our Irishness,” Kilbane noted.
Describing the show’s international success Mr Kilbane explained how he has been approached in relation to it while in the UK and America.
“I’ve been in the US and the UK and people have came up to me and have mentioned Gráinne Mhaol and how they saw it while visiting Ireland. People are very aware of it and we have received great feedback,” said Kilbane.
“I’m really looking forward to a busy season and summer with the show,” he added.
Speaking about the Eucharistic Congress, being held in the RDS this week, Kilbane outlined his schedule for the event.
“I’m working with the Veritas group at the event and will be bringing a bit of country to proceedings. Accompanied by my band we will be playing to a huge arena holding 7,000 people,” explained Kilbane.
When asked if he will be nervous about the show, which will be beamed live around the world by several gospel channels and RTÉ, Kilbane expressed his excitement rather than nerves.
“It is exciting but it is so important to enjoy these things, I’ve learned to just relax and be yourself,”said Kilbane.
Wednesday, June 13 will be a truly international day as after Mr Kilbane wraps up his international televised performance at the Eucharistic Congress he will make his way to Hotel Westport for the opening night of The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol. All in a days work for the Achill native.