MUSIC Singer pays tribute to Mick Lavelle

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Janet Dowd, whose song ‘A Friend To Me’ is written in memory of Mick Lavelle.
REMEMBERING A FRIEND? Janet Dowd, whose song ‘A Friend To Me’ is written in memory of Mick Lavelle.

Singer pays tribute to Mick Lavelle

Local Scene
Henry McGlade

Co Armagh-born singer/songwriter Janet Dowd has released a new album, and on it is a song written in memory of the late Mick Lavelle, the legendary Westport singer, songwriter and all round entertainer, who died last January.
Dowd has been singing for over 20 years with various bands in Ireland and England. In 2010, she released her debut album ‘300 Miles’ on Blue Cow Records, a collection of traditional folk songs with a hint of bluegrass sway. It claimed the No 1 spot in Irish Music Magazine, and her version of the song ‘John Condon’ was named the BBC Radio Devon song of the year.
Her love affair with Westport began over two decades ago when she visited the town for a holiday, and she has been returning ever since. “On our first visit to Westport, we were completely blown away by the breathtaking scenery, the people and the music,” explains Janet, “and then to top it all we experienced the joy of Mick Lavelle. No matter where we met in the town – Matt Molloy’s, the supermarket, the coffee shop – it was a good hour or two of craic and song. He was a very special person and a complete joy to be with.”
As a way of keeping Mick’s memory alive, Janet wrote a song for him called ‘A Friend To Me’, which features on her new album ‘Sailing Away’, which was released in September. “I wanted to write something uplifting, that made me smile and feel the same happiness that Mick gave to all who had the pleasure of knowing him,” she says.
Janet performed the song as part of the tribute evening, ‘The Late Great Mick Lavelle’, which was held in Matt Molloy’s on October 23 last, when a host of singers, musicians and set dancers came together to celebrate the life of a true Westport character.