MUSIC: Upcoming country music gigs around Mayo

Going Out
Big Tom Castlebar concert confirmed

Michael ComminsGoing out
Michael Commins

IRELAND’S foremost country star Big Tom is returning to the scene for a short tour. Seven dates have been confirmed with one in the TF in Castlebar on Friday night, August 21.
There had been increasing speculation in recent times that such a tour was imminent and it was first highlighted in this column in The Mayo News two weeks ago.
Tom will once again be joined by the original Mainliners, and it is expected that the tour will generate huge enthusiasm across the country. Many of Tom’s most loyal followers are already making the usual plans to attend all of the dates from Antrim down to Cork.
Manager Kevin McCooey says that they are all looking forward to the tour, which gets under way in the Carrickdale Hotel between Dundalk and Newry on Friday, August 14. “This was always going to be Tom’s own call. He waited until he felt the time was right, and he is happy to go with it at this stage. He also did some recording to get him back in the swing of things again. We have been inundated with calls and messages of goodwill since the news broke about his return. The man is surely a national treasure.”
An old Carter family gospel song, 'Far Side Banks of Jordan', is the title of the new release from Big Tom. The star also features on a duet entitled 'Treasured Memories' with Roscommon singer Frank Nelson, a song included on Frank’s new album.
“The big night in the McWilliam Park in Claremorris last November was the last major show I performed at, and that was a great weekend. So many people have been asking me to do a few shows again, and I am hoping the health will be okay for a short tour. The dates are nicely spread out, so that should be a help too. It will be nice to meet many of the great supporters again,” says Tom.
The confirmed dates are: Friday, August 14 - Carrickdale, Dundalk; Saturday, August 15 - Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny; Friday, August 21 - TF, Castlebar; Saturday, August 22 - Hazel Tree, Mallow; Thursday, August 27 - Ballymena; Friday, August 28 - Mullingar Park Hotel; Sunday, August 30 - West County, Ennis.

Kevin’s party night
THE Kevin Prendergast Party Night and takes place in Bourke’s Lounge of Irishtown this Friday night, July 31. Since its inception around five years ago, the party night has become the biggest social night of the year at the popular Irishtown venue.
“It was held as a launch for my last album back then, and such was the success of the night that many asked me to make it an annual event. We always have a full house for it, with many people who are home in the area making it a regular meeting place and a big social occasion. It should again this year, and we are looking forward to a great night,” says Kevin.
Once again, Kevin will be joined by the ever popular Kay and the Country Stars from Erris, while John Kelly from Knock, Noreen Burke from Galway, Martin Walshe from Gorthaganny, David Godfrey from Logboy and Mattie Clarke from Glenamaddy will also feature in the show. The compere is meself! Admission is x8, and the show gets under way at 9.30pm.

Coming your way
> Brendan Bowyer, one of Ireland’s most famous showband stars, will perform a show in the Western Hotel in Claremorris on Friday night, July 31. Brendan was recently the featured artist in the RTE documentary series, A Little Bit Showband, which took a look at the long career of Waterford’s famous singer, who has lived for many years in Las Vegas.
> Paddy Joe, the man from Mayo, is doing a gig in Conway’s No 3 in Burnt Oak, London, on Saturday night, August 1. His new album, 'Songs of Old Ireland', is already shifting in big numbers, and he hopes to meet many friends around the west at the show in London at the weekend.