- 08 Jul 13
Some of the brightest lights in country and roots are Sligo-bound this year...
And they’re off... With this year’s field of festivals out the starting gate it’s clear the runners and riders are a little weakened. Maybe there just isn’t the money sloshing around to attract major names in sufficient numbers.
Evidently no-one thought to tell Sligo Live. The organisers have announced one of the strongest bills a folk, roots and indie festival could hope for. In this year of The Gathering it offers proof of the way our music has travelled across the seas and returned, changed and enriched.
Running from October 23 - 28, confirmed acts include LAPD, aka the dream team of Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin and Dónal Lunny. Also on the bill are Denton, Texas group Midlake.
Regarded as one of the most eminent roots players to emerge from the US, Liz Carrol has garnered many plaudits including a 2010 Grammy nomination. She was short-listed with John Doyle for their duet album Double Play.
In 2011 she received the TG4 Cumadoir (‘composer’) Award. She was the first American-born musician honoured with Ireland’s top traditional music prize. Also Sligo-bound are the Locust Honey String Band whose take on old timey music blends newly-composed songs with standards from the first days of country.
With his long white hair swept elegantly back under a black cowboy hat, Phil Lee looks the opposite of the rough and tumble Willie Nelson. He’s just as gentlemanly as Willie, though. And with the recent release of his Fall And Further Decline Of The Mighty King Of Love album he seems to be achieving belated recognition as a songwriter.
With Nashville greats Richard Bennett and Peter Cooper on guitars and harmonies respectively and cameos from Kent Agee, Joy Lynn White and David Olney, the record is a major step forward for the Durham, North Carolina man. He’s ramping things up outside the recording studio too. This year sees his screen debut in the indie release The One Who Loves You. He plays Jimmy Earl, a down-at-heels country star living out of a suitcase in a hotel room. For his Irish tour he teams up with Scotland’s Daid Latto Band as part of Rob Ellen’s Medicine Show On The Road.
They make appearances at Darkey Kelly’s on Fishamble Street, Dublin (July 23); De Barra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty (24); Lee Valley Delta Blues Club at the Corner House, Cork (25); Brand New Opry. Blackrock, Louth (26) and Spirit Store, Dundalk (27)
Legendary singer, songwriter and storyteller Tom Russell returns to Whelan’s, Dublin on July 14 as part of his forthcoming Irish tour. Over three decades and 28 albums Russell has lived up to his reputation as one of the best singer-songwriters of our times. His previous two releases, Blood and Candle Smoke (2009) and Mesabi (2011), are considered his strongest yet and were, in part, recorded with groundbreaking roots band Calexico.