November 2006

We’ve had a great few months introducing SEA OF HEARTS around the country. We got the opportunity to play several gigs with Andre Van Der Hoff on sax which is always great fun. A standout was our return to Jordan’s Bar for The Waterford Arts Festival. Our thanks to Ollie Breslin, music director, for having us on the programme. We had a chat with Mark Graham of WLR fm the following morning (not too early!) and played CLEAR BLUE SKIES live in studio. Then it was on to Clonmel to chat with the very encouraging and supportive Fran Curry of Tipp FM. Fran is a muso himself and a very fine one by all accounts.

He has a great perspective on the music business from both sides of the fence and asked very pertinent and interesting questions like ”What do you think of these shows like Eurostar and X Factor?” …bit of a minefield that but I said what I think…they’re entertaining and have produced some ”success” stories like Kelly Clarkson but that by and large I didn’t think there were any shortcuts in the music business and that maybe doing things slowly and surely and serving your apprenticeship is a good way to keep control of your business and pursue your creativity in your own time….each to his/her own of course but I know I wouldn’t have been ready for that level of media attention when I was 18 or 19.

The gig in the Clonmel Songwriters’ Festival was great craic if somewhat fraught with sound problems. Michelle Anne Kelly did some of her lovely sophisticated songs first then Noel and I went up and battled with the sound for a few numbers but made it through. We could then sit back and enjoy a fine gig from Mike Hanrahan and Leslie Dowdall. It was lovely to meet Leslie again having met her befor at an IMRO song collaboration in Killarney. It was great to meet Mike in person having only ever spoken on the phone with him before. The craic was ninety when we had a chance to sit down and relax together for a little while after the gig.

Kilworth on 3 Nov was a real treat and anyone who hasn’t checked out this fine venue in an old church needs to get along for the experience. Liam Howard and his team does a fine job of promoting quality music in the area. It’s a beautiful listening audience too which is wonderful.

Interview with Mary
An interview with Mary was broadcast online at

Folk Festival and Album Launch
Thanks everyone who came along to An Spailpin Fanach for our gig in the 2006 Cork Folk Festival. We split the bill with the mindblowing Seamus Begley and Tim Edey and it was a brilliant night of music and craic. We were thrilled with the reaction to the new material from SEA OF HEARTS. This gig along with our night in Jordan’s Bar in this year’s Waterford Spraoi ( we played for the first time ever with John O Connor, a wonderful sax player from Cork ) were highlights of our musical life to date, coming on the back of our first Dutch tour this summer…

Thanks to all the radio stations around the country that are playing the new cd. Remember listeners, you can dictate what you want to hear radio so get in contact with the stations and TELL THEM (especially if it’s about us!). They want your guidance and are led by it. Be proactive in formulating radio policy.

Fri 22 Sep we had a little get together to celebrate the birth of SEA OF HEARTS in The Corner House in Coburg Street, Cork. Fear a’ Ti Fergal McGabhann was spot on in his welcome and our good friend and fellow songwriter Chris Ahern (who has encouraged many the budding musician as head of the Music Course in Scoil Stiofain Naofa) said a few words to launch the album. He took us back years to when we all first met and he spoke with affection of nights in The Anchor Bar in Dunmore East. Noel and I played a short set along with Martin Leahy on percussion.

It was brilliant to see so many old friends who travelled from as far afield as Ballycotton in East Cork and Baltimore in the West to be with us and have the craic. Hopefully it won’t be as long till we meet again.

Fri 29 Sep – The official release date for SEA OF HEARTS.

Sun. 2 Oct– Sean Keane, who recorded EVEN HEAVEN HAS TO CRY (a song Mary co-wrote with Jim Dwan) played at Macroom’s Briery Gap Theatre.

Sun 8 Oct – Mary’s interview by Cork’s 96fm’s Elmarie Mawe on her art show was followed by a solo performance in the Cork Singers’ Club at An Spailpin Fanach, Sth. Main St.

Sat 21 Oct – Mary and Noel opened for Steve Forbert in Tullamore Rugby Club

Sun 29 Oct– Mary & Noel were back in JORDAN’S on the Quay in Waterford as part of the Waterford Arts Festival in the company of Andre Van Der Hoff, saxophonist and flautist extraordinaire.

Cork Music Archive
Check out the new Cork Music Archive that’s being set up by those innovative people at the Cork City Libraries. The archive will collect two copies of recordings by Cork singers, musicians, groups, choirs, quartets, bands and orchestras across ALL genres of music.I’m looking forward to seeing The Sultans of Ping’s WHERE’S ME JUMPER alongside Sean O Riada’s MISE EIRE! Only in Cork! There will also be copies of music books and scores of Cork interest and they would be grateful if any individual, muiscian, group or music shop would alert them to any new (or indeed existing) material by Cork artists. How’s that for an open hearted invitation? This comes as no surprise to people who attended the wonderful exhibition in the library on Cork Songwriting through the years. It was one of the highlights of the European Year Of Culture in Cork. Check out Rory’s guitar in the music library. The Cork library network is a wonderful supporter of Cork music. Cork City Libraries – WE SALUTE YOU!

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