MUSIC: Patrick Feeney and other tales

Going Out
Patrick Feeney on the road again

Michael ComminsMichael Commins

COUNTRY roads came calling again for Patrick Feeney, and the young Sligo man was glad to answer. After close on two years away from the dance circuit, the Gurteen man has returned in style. And the crowds have been flocking along too.
Everything about his show has changed in that time. He has matured beyond recognition and now brings a whole new dimension to his stage performance. One advantage accruing from his time on the concert circuit is his new sense of stage craft and confidence.
Now fronting a six-piece band, Feeney is relishing his comeback to the scene. “I suppose one could have been a little apprehensive but within minutes of going on stage for my first gig I felt the buzz again. I have a fine band right now, lads who have played at the top level and who know the scene inside out.
“Despite the recession, the business seems to be holding up very well. Of course some people now have more time for going out and enjoying the music and the shows.
“We are doing a nice blend of music in our shows ranging from country to the hits of Joe Dolan and others. It’s a good dancing programme and that’s what the people like who come to see the shows want. We had some great crowds in Crossmolina and Claremorris, and it’s great to see so many coming out to the shows again.”
Patrick has just released a new single, ‘The Girl from the County Clare’, a song written by Liam McLoughlin from Antrim. He is currently recording material for a new album, which will be on release later in the year. Fair to say, Patrick Feeney is truly back in the groove again.

Big Tom and Frank Nelson collaborate
ROSCOMMON singer Frank Nelson has pulled off a major recording coup in recent weeks. To coincide with his 21st year in the business, he decided to ask some well-known singers to join him on a number of duet songs for his new album. And Frank was over the moon when country legend Big Tom readily agreed to his request.
The end result is a song called ‘Treasured Memories’, which received its first airplay on my late show on Mid West Radio last Wednesday night. “I am thrilled that Tom is part of this celebration album. He has always been my hero in Irish country music. People often say that he is the most unassuming star of all and that is the truth. This was one of the truly special times in my music career, and I am so thankful to Tom and the others who came on board,” says Frank.
Other singers who feature on the album are Margo O’Donnell, TR Dallas, Mick Flavin, Eddie Fitzsimons and Kevin Logue. The album was launched at a big show in the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown last night (Monday).
A Mayo launch will be held in the McWilliam Park in Claremorris on Monday night, August 24, with a line-up to be announced shortly.

Coming your way
> To coincide with the Ballinrobe Races, another two nights of country dancing will be held in the McWilliam Park in Claremorris at the weekend. Mick Flavin and his band provide the music on Sunday night, while Mike Denver and his band are there on Monday night. The central location of Claremorris on the N17 is proving a major attraction for dancers from all over the province and further afield.

> Nashville-based Dee Reilly will be on stage at the TF Royal Theatre series of dances this coming Saturday night. Her dad hails from Belmullet and her mother is from Cork. She has been making major inroads into the Irish circuit through her frequent tours in recent times.