Don’t Miss Cormac O Caoimh’s New Series of Black and White Videos on YouTube!

Cormac O Caoimh playing a Godin guitarFor Immediate Release

Cormac O Caoimh  – new series of videos  –  Godin guitar endorsee  –  recently played Indie Week Ireland

What do…

A honeyed whiskey drink
A fine cognac on a cold winter’s eve
A warm woolly jumper in muted earthy colours
A colour … a rich mahogany warm and beautiful
and a water color painting all have in common???

They have all been used in reviews to describe Cormac O Caoimh’s A New Season For Love CD.

Cormac O Caoimh is a singer-songwriter and classical guitarist from Cork, Ireland. He released A New Season for Love less than 12 months ago and it received excellent reviews. He was selected as Play Irish artist of the month and was featured on the RTE 1 Show Arena. His intimate vocals and exquisite guitar playing is attracting the attention of the music press, djs and a widening and growing audience. The last single from the CD, “Remember When We Didn’t Kiss” topped the iTunes download charts on its release.

But the man is not resting.

He is currently uploading acoustic versions of new material in a series of black and white videos on YouTube. And they have had an immediate impact. Many of the new songs depart from the chilled and calm mood of A New Season for Love and as well as having a more frenetic and energetic feel to them, explore darker themes and emotions.

For these songs, in their current format, Cormac uses a Godin mulitac nylon string guitar and a stompbox to accompany his expressive vocals.  Godin Guitars, the premier Canadian guitar company, have picked up on them and have been sharing the videos on their social media sites. As a result, Cormac is now an official endorsee of Godin Guitars.

In another Canadian connection, Cormac played the Indie Week Festival Thursday April 25th in Sweeney’s Mongrel, Ground Floor.

Indie Week Ireland is an annual music festival held over four days/nights, with 24+ international acts performing in the heart of Dublin. Showcases are judged by members of the music industry, and the top scoring act receives a paid trip (flights and accommodations for up to five band members) to headline INDIE WEEK CANADA in October. Indie Week is an alternative artist-friendly festival that is dedicated to supporting emerging artists.

For more information on Cormac you can visit:

http://www.cormaco.net

http://www.facebook.com/cormacmusic

To see the latest videos (including the new B&W series that attracted the attention of Godin Guitars) you can visit:

http://www.youtube.com/cormacocaoimh

Read all the A New Season For Love reviews here:

http://www.cormaco.net/anewseasonforlove.htmlCormac O Caoimh

You can listen to all of A New Season For Love here:

http://cormaco.bandcamp.com/

Ireland’s Andy White at The Rankin Gallery on Friday, September 14th!

 

I’d like to share this note from Al Rankin as I’m always really excited about seeing another Andy White show because he’s one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters and a great guy too!

Hi friends, neighbours and music lovers:

Holy smoke!  Another great one at the Rankin Gallery.  He has won most of Ireland’s songwriting awards, worked with Van Morrison and Peter Gabriel and has Sinead O’Connor singing on his records.  He’s Belfast born Andy White, and he’s in the midst of a world tour that will bring him to Inverary!

You may have seen Andy when he opened for Judy Collins last year in Kingston and gained hundreds of new fans.  This one will sell out very quickly so if you would like to reserve a spot or 2 you will have to click back to me asap.  Here are the details, and more on Andy’s illustrious career below.

Andy White

Rankin Gallery, 3248 Round Lake Rd. Inverary ON
Friday, Sept. 14th, 8 pm
Suggested donation: $20
Seats by reservation only alrankin@xplornet.ca 613-353-6650

And mark down Sept. 21 on your calendar, the first Live Wire show of the new season, featuring Austin’s amazing Eliza Gilkyson with special guest, the phenomenal young Ariana Gillis.  More on that show soon!

See you at the music,
Al

Andy White, one of the great Irish singer-songwriters, tours the world with his 12 string guitar in one hand and a book of poetry in the other.  Since his breakthrough single Religious Persuasion, Belfast-born Andy has produced ten internationally released studio albums plus a host of compilations and live recordings and has won several of Ireland’s top songwriting awards.

He has merged pop sensibility with lyrical excellence, social commentary and acoustic guitars ever since his first album Rave On Andy White (1986) burst onto the scene.  Melody Maker reviewed his first album with the headline ‘Yer Man’s Brilliant!’ and Folk Roots made him a cover star.

Since then, Andy has worked with Peter Gabriel as well as some of the great names of Irish music including Van Morrison and Mary Black.  Sinead O’Connor and The Frames have guested on his recordings and Andy was included in the Irish HQ Rock Hall of Fame in 1998.

Socially aware in a way which comes naturally to someone who grew up in Belfast during the 70s and 80s, Andy’s work has always reflected his time and place.  Making this particular experience universal, his writing incorporates and transcends the boundaries of his native land.

Last year a long term friendship and writing collaboration with top flight Canadian singer songwriter Stephen Fearing produced the album ‘Fearing & White (2011).

The world of Andy White is peripatetic, intuitive, and never uneventful.  In November 2009 Lagan Press published 21st Century Troubadour, Andy’s on-the-road journal, and in 2012 an ‘album of the book’ is set for release, a two CD set featuring a compilation of songs playing throughout the pages of the book, and a series of readings from the book set to music.

Catch up with Andy’s world online via his website:

http://www.andywhite.com

and Facebook fan site:

http://www.facebook.com/andywhiteireland

Information and communication:

rose@andywhite.com

ANDY WHITE DISCOGRAPHY

1985 – Religious Persuasion EP (Stiff)
1986 – Rave On Andy White (London)
1988 – Kiss The Big Stone (London)
1990 – Himself (Cooking Vinyl)
1992 – Out There (Warners Ireland)
1994 – Destination Beautiful (Warners Ireland/Cooking Vinyl)
1996 – Teenage (Cooking Vinyl)
1998 – Compilation (Cooking Vinyl)
1999 – Speechless (Real World)
2000 – Andy White (Floating World)
2001 – Rare (ALT Recordings)
2003 – Boy 40 (Floating World)
2006 – Garageband (Floating World/Wildflower)
2009 – Songwriter (Floating World)
2011 – Fearing and White
2012 – 21st Century Troubadour (Floating World)

A New Season For Love by Cormac O Caoimh

CD Review
Title: A New Season For Love
Artist:  Cormac O Caoimh
Label: Independent
Released: 2012
Stars:  4.5

Cormac O Caoimh is an exceptionally gifted songsmith and classical guitarist from Cork, Ireland.  A former member of The Citadels, Cormac reunited with Art O Laoire and Eoghan Regan for his latest musical offering of jazz/folk ballads, A New Season For Love, which will be officially released on April 27, 2012.  Its sound is one of simple, stripped down production with only keyboards and guitars, but perfection lies within its quietude.  I’m one of the lucky ones who’ve had a sneak preview in advance and the biggest compliment I can give this recording is that I never get tired of listening to it.

As warm and sweet as a tumbler of fine cognac on a cold winter’s eve, A New Season For Love is unabashedly romantic, soothing and sensual with its classical acoustic guitar, poetic lyrics, and dulcet, cashmere vocals.  The significant thing about O Caoimh’s voice is that it doesn’t immediately remind you of anyone else, even though it has been said that his sound would complement records by Nick Drake, Elliott Smith and Damien Rice.

If someone were to ask me why I love Irish singer-songwriters so much, I’d give them this CD to listen to as my answer.  A thinking woman’s songwriter, every song in Cormac’s collection not only evokes introspection, but a primal longing for the earthly elements of love, understanding and human contact that makes it irresistible to this quixotic heart.  Charmed isn’t the word…seduced…perhaps.  Losing yourself in hushed, hypnotic tracks like “There’s Gold There Somewhere”, “100,000”, “Counting The Raindrops”, “Herculean Sky”, “Remember When We Didn’t Kiss”, and “Perfect Mistress For A King” (the last two being my favourites) will make your heart sigh with their lyrical splendor and earnest desire.

The first single, also entitled “A New Season For Love” is the most buoyant of this serene symphony, and it will be available on March 16th but you can hear it now on Cormac’s YouTube Channel.

If I was called in
To form a religion
You’d be my god
And if I made the spring
I’d create a new season
Just for us to live in

The axis of the earth
Can tilt more to the sun
And summer can wait
‘Til the season’s done
A new season
A new season for love

If you’re looking for a CD to spin when you need a blanket of tranquility or to stimulate your passion, A New Season For Love is the perfect choice.  Buy it.  Seriously…just buy it.

For Irish Singer-Songwriter Andrew Handrick, It’s Christmas Again!

I’ve been online friends with Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Handrick for about five years and not only is he a critically acclaimed, talented artist who has toured in Ireland, the UK, Italy, Spain and the United States, but he’s also an all-around nice guy and family man.

Andrew, his family and the residents of the pictureseque fishing village of Vernazza, Italy suffered a natural disaster about a month ago when a tornado, possible earthquake and torrential rain brought down half the mountain and virtually destroyed the village of Vernazza along with the little ceramics shop where Andrew worked.  He was very fortunate to get out of Vernazza on the last train but others were not so lucky.  After I viewed the devastation in videos that Andrew posted on his Facebook page, I wanted to do what I could to help him spread the love about his music because every song or CD he sells helps just a bit more.

In the midst of this chaos, Andrew, who is a spiritual man, managed to record a Christmas song – something he’d never done before – because he needed to try to balance things out with an upbeat, feel good vibe.

Andrew offically released the original, catchy Christmas Again on Friday, December 2nd and created a cute & funny little animated video to go with it.  This will be a digital only release and it’s available on iTunes, CDBaby and through Andrew’s website where you can also discover more details about his latest full-length CD, Distractions.  I recently purchased Distractions and have been enjoying its intelligent lyrics and introspective, acoustic folk rock, quiet beauty during some much-needed mellow moments.

Please join me in wishing Andrew and his family a Happy Christmas and share Christmas Again with your friends and loved ones during this holiday season.

With gratitude,
Christine

FIND ANDREW HANDRICK ONLINE HERE:

www.andrewhandrick.com
www.youtube.com/andrewhandrick
www.cdbaby.com/andrewhandrick
www.facebook.com/andrewhandrickmusic
twitter.com/andrewhandrick

21st Century Troubadour by Andy White Is An ‘On The Road’ For Musicians

Book Review
Title: 21st Century Troubadour
Author: Andy White
Publisher: Lagan Press
Released: 2009
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 1904652727
ISBN-13: 978-1904652724
Stars: 5.0

Freewheeling, mordant, rumbustious, 21st Century Troubadour is a travelogue into the imaginative heartlands of rock and roll.  It’s the journal of a slightly twisted love affair with life, art, music, the musical life and all the combinations thereof.

Its author Andy White, is a complex, Belfast-born, Cambridge educated man who travels the globe as a 21st century troubadour.  Hauling an acoustic guitar, a laptop and a 70lb. Bag – there are Rules of the Bag – with his life in it; this brilliant poet/musician spends half of each year away from his beloveds and their house on the hill in Melbourne.  He has worked with such music legends as Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor and Tim Finn (though he doesn’t talk much about this in the book) and was once the director of the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival in the UK.  White earns a living playing his exquisite, intelligent and heartfelt songs mostly in Europe, America and Australia but has given up trying to answer the question, “where’s my home?”  Andy’s a citizen of the world, comfortable in his skin, confident of his gift, and has seen and done more in his 49 years than most of us could ever imagine.  I confess that I fell a wee bit in love with him after reading this book.

His publisher at Lagan Press wanted a journal, an On The Road, and White delivered in spades.  21st Century Troubadour is most certainly On The Road for musicians and music fans, and even more accessible to this generation than Kerouac’s masterpiece.  It’s a collection of thoughtfully written snapshots of Andy’s life as a touring musician between the years 2000 and 2008; an engaging, funny and poignant chronicle that cries out for a sequel.  In the meantime, fans like me can stay in the loop by following his blog.

As a life long music fanatic who has read countless volumes of music biographies and autobiographies, I can honestly say that no book with a musician as its central character has ever moved me more than this.  It probably helps that I’m close in age to White, have met him, and can totally identify with all of his pop and cultural references, but regardless, I had so much fun reading the prose of 21st Century Troubadour that I re-read it and savored every moment of his myriad of adventures.

Andy has an earnest, spirited, yet realistic view of the world and the people he meets in it and seems to take something meaningful away from every encounter.  21st Century Troubadour began as a tour/diary blog through which he shared his concert experiences and it evolved into a descriptive account of the places he’s been to and the assortment of remarkable characters he’s met along the way.  As he affirms at the very beginning of the book, “there is no narrative on a 21st Century Troubadour’s tour.  There is no plot, and only a few recurring characters.  Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.”

Reading this journal, you’ll discover just how unglamorous most of a touring musician’s life is as he chocks up millions of air miles, waits in airport departure lounges, maintains a steady diet of sandwiches and KitKat bars, sleeps in hotel rooms – if he’s lucky, as he’s slept in some pretty strange places – and prays that the gigs he’s booked via email haven’t been cancelled before he gets to his destination (places like Soweto, Berlin, Glasgow, Alaska & Tokyo to name just a few) and that they’ll be financially lucrative once he’s there.  “There are lists, poems, and advice on such topics as how to check in large amounts of bags on budget airlines without paying excess baggage fees, and what to do when you’re mistaken as one of U2.”  I understand he’s also been taken for a member of Sting’s band as well.  All is he wants to know is which member of the band is he supposed to be?  His list called ‘56 Reasons Why The German Concert Will Be Empty Tonight’ and section on ‘The Hugh Grant Pack’ are particularly funny!  At the back of the book there are also two interviews with Andy that offer even more insight into this fascinating character.

It can be a rough road sometimes but Andy wouldn’t have it any other way. His hilarious tales of a troubadour’s Hell and Nirvana will make you smile, laugh, and nod your head in acknowledgement of his pleasure and pain.  21st Century Troubadour is a must read for anyone who dreams of being a touring musician, is one, knows one, or simply loves music.

Irish Indie Folk/Pop/Alt Country Musician, Mark Dignam

Article taken from Fairplay Collective’s website

Mark Dignam is an Irish born, US based songwriter who began as a busker on the streets of Dublin. Dignam’s songs are always intelligent and insightful, balanced with an infectious sing-along quality and that irresistible Irish wit… His sound draws comparisons to Van Morrison, Dylan, and Tim Buckley as well as the more contemporary songwriters of today like Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, and Sun Volt.

Live, Dignam delivers powerful, three-dimensional performances, a songwriter’s songwriter, and yet an accessible gem. He engages audiences with warm melody, lyricism, strong personality and has been invited to open for or tour with Billy Bragg, David Gray, Richard Thompson, Joan Armatrading, Vic Chestnut, The Frames, Paddy Casey and a host of others…

Dignam’s latest release “Boxheart Man” is available from iTunes and was selected by Pittsburgh’s WYEP as one of their top picks for 2005, and his track “Hope” from the album was included in the station’s 2006 compilation release “Live and Direct, Volume 7.” It has also garnered a bagful of critical acclaim around the Nth Eastern US as well as in Ireland and the UK.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called “Box Heart Man”, “…solid through and through, showcasing Dignam’s soaring voice and poetic flair…”

Acclaimed London songwriter Teitur said “Mark Dignam is one of the few living songwriters out there who do it for me. This is real music. His voice carries so much emotion and nerve that it will instantly change the way you feel. If you have heard him once, you will remember it always. This is not cuddle-up-and-order-a-caffe-latte-comfort-music that dominates this tired genre, but the very edge that moves it forward into a place where it is believable again.”

Glen Hansard (The Frames) “… Your album is pure beautiful…so rich and colourful and full of your amazing brave lyrics!! You really sing about where you are and it’s a lesson to us all..”

Paddy Casey “… I remember the first time I heard Mark Dignam, I was down one end of Grafton Street and I heard this voice soaring from the other end, I had never heard anything that powerful on the radio or the TV. I was a kid at the time, and I just thought to myself, I wanna sing like that some day.”

Box Heart Man

Mark Dignam begins this album with a light and dreamy blend of pop and alt country on “Divine,” which describes the track quite well. Coming from a crop of singer/songwriters who would include Josh Ritter and Josh Rouse, Dignam uses his strong timbre to nail each song to near perfection in the way Ryan Adams honed Gold. “Build” on the other hand is a kind of electro-roots tune with a political message that ambles along easily thanks to Dignam’s brilliant melody, a talent that the musician seems to create constantly. “Hope” is more radio-friendly in a pop mode and could be mistaken for the Go-Betweens with the dual harmonies. Perhaps the lone effort that could be mildly disappointing is “Pinwheel” which seems like a patio pop tune in the vein of John Mayer. The miscue is atoned for with the gorgeous, precious and somewhat hymn-like “Ghosts” that has the singer downplaying the vocals in an almost monotone fashion à la a Celtic Lou Reed. The mid-tempo and infectious “Jane” could often be mistaken for a track by the Proclaimers, but Dignam gives it more bite here. Perhaps the highlight is “Kindred” which is a simple roots tune but with the singer opening up vocally and melodically. A close second, though, is the melancholic and very vivid “Deceiver” that is pure Americana from an Irish perspective. On the whole Box Heart Man is an album extremely well-crafted and adventurous at the same time. ~ Jason MacNeil, All Music Guide

Music Review: Mark Dignam – Box Heart Man
Monday, April 7th, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Natalie Herman and Paddy-Whacked Radio™

Bob Dylan is the artist that comes to mind for many a reviewer or critic when posed with writing about Mark Dignam. On the surface, it is easy to see the comparison – acoustic guitarist, harmonica player, social activist, singer-songwriter – it’s easy to check the “Dylan” box on the genre sheet and move on. But Dignam has more of a parallel to Dylan than just a six-string and a mouth harp; Dignam’s brassy voice and his unrelenting stance against the injustices of the world, sung from the much-more-relatable soapbox of his own personal world speaks to the global-vision-in-me songwriting of Bob Dylan. Dignam projects that social awareness and identifiability that defines Dylan’s music but manages to keep his songs personal while being universal.

In Mark Dignam’s Box Heart Man, he best demonstrates that ability with “Build,” a compelling socio-political anthem for our time which speaks to those who “think it’s hip to be a deconstructionist.” Dignam’s message, that “it’s not about what you break down, it’s about what you build,” has all of the fire of the sixties’ activism with all of the fuel needed to take on the negativity of today’s youth generation. In fact, that refrain – simple but true – resonates strongly for anytime one is faced with an adversary.

Dignam calls them as he sees them, as in the electronic-sounding “Fable,” in which he seeks “an honest human being” and chides those “big-ugly-car-loving freaks” and “networking sycophants.” Rather, he clearly values personal awareness as a means of advancement; as he brilliantly puts it, “We’ve got more arrows in our bows every time we pay attention.”

For Dignam, less is more; he allows the songs to speak for themselves, affording each only a one-word title. This succinctness extends to the lyrics themselves; without being overly wordy, Dignam poses his ideas, and it is up to the listener to decide what they mean.

Dignam’s insight into the human condition, particularly the dynamic between man and woman, is expertly expressed in the powerful song, “Flags.” Dignam sings, “it’s fear that makes sharp-dressed men march across the souls of women . . .they’ll pin their flags to a mast out of terror.” His sombre vocals speak to the gravity of the situation that arises when life interferes with love.

Dignam, however, is not solely about sounding off – he climbs off his soapbox with “Jane,” showing that he is aware of the flaws and vulnerability in even the most staunch and willing hearts.

His romantic side brings about songs like “Divine,” “Royalty,” and inspiring songs like “Hope,” a cheery tune with fluid language whose words twist and intertwine, sounding like a lyrical Celtic knot.

Itinerancy seems to be a theme of Box Heart Man, in which songs such as “Jane,” and “Kindred” speak of the traveler who is at odds with his transience.

In “Pinwheel,” Dignam depicts his sense of wanderlust with lyrics infused with the spirit of Jack Kerouac and music with the bite of Hunter S. Thompson. He manages to capture on this track much of the charisma he brings to his live performances – so much, in fact, that he brings the listener with him as he lets “that latent Gypsy blood flow all over the road, all over the road.”

The aptly named “Ghosts” is airy and chilling with an underlying melody that will linger, haunting your mind long after the disc has stopped spinning. In this religiously-undertoned song, Dignam guides the listener through a somnambulant journey with no clear beginning or end.

The closing song, “Royalty,” begins with a nod to Shakespeare’s sonnets but quickly moves to a more realistic and relatable view of modern-day romance. Ever the realist, Dignam’s observations about relationships – on this and the other songs – are at once refreshing, disturbing in their truthfulness, and ultimately, comforting.

Altogether, this is a fantastic disc to have on the open road, as you allow Dignam and his restless spirit to take you wherever his “latent Gypsy blood” chooses to flow.

NOTE: You can hear Mark’s songs at www.fairplaycollective.com/gpage6.html and at www.myspace.com/markdignam and purchase Box Heart Man on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/box-heart-man/id107468571