Irish country music chronicled in new book

Staying In

AUTHOR Kevin Martin.

Murrisk-based author’s latest tome looks at popular genre’s rise

The launch of Murrisk-based author Kevin Martin’s new ‘A Happy Type of Sadness: A Journey Through Irish Country Music’ takes place in Matt Molloy’s this Monday, July 16, at 8pm.
Martin, a Crossmolina native, also recently authored a history of the Irish pub, entitled ‘Have Ye No Homes To Go To?’, which was launched last year.
Having grown up in a house filled with American country records, Kevin developed a wide knowledge and love of country music, but despite a proliferation of home-grown country music programmes on Irish TV, he knew very little about how country music had developed in Ireland.  
The first book of its kind in Ireland, ‘A Happy Type of Sadness’ explores the world of Irish country music through a mixture of research, interviews and attendance at numerous happenings and events.
It charts the contribution made by pioneering singers like Larry Cunningham to the development of the genre in Ireland, as well as providing in-depth profiles of the lives and careers of some of Ireland’s biggest country stars, including Daniel O’Donnell, Margo O’Donnell, Susan McCann, Nathan Carter, Philomena Begley and, of course, the ‘king’ of Irish country, Big Tom McBride.
Incorporating a wide range of interviews with those who work in all areas of the industry – performers, managers, songwriters, producers and journalists – it also looks at the significant role that Irish emigrants played in the development of the genre in America and the importance of dancing in the country world.
An engaging and accessible look at Irish country music, ‘A Happy Type of Sadness’ is the perfect tribute to a part of Irish culture that is too often overlooked.
Kevin Martin taught English, communications and cultural studies for twenty-five years. He is married with two children.

Published by Mercier Press, ‘A Happy Type of Sadness: A Journey Through Irish Country Music’ (€18.99) will be available nationwide and online from tomorrow (Wednesday), July 11. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the launch, to which all are welcome.