Author: Staff Editor

US Ambassador Celebrates Creative Minds in Music

Oscar and Grammy winning songwriter and President and Chairman of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Paul Williams, and Oscar-winning songwriter and composer, Glen Hansard, were special guests last night at an event hosted by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F. O’Malley, in collaboration with IMRO, celebrating the craft of song writing and music copyright.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD, was also in attendance at the event which took place in the Ambassador’s residence in Phoenix Park as part of the Creative Minds series. Creative Minds invites prominent US artists, writers, filmmakers, digital culture innovators and musicians to share their experience with young Irish audiences.

As part of the event, Glen Hansard was honoured with a special award by IMRO and ASCAP in recognition of the ongoing success of his music in the USA.

Speaking of the event, Paul Williams, President and Chairman of ASCAP said: “It’s clear that Ambassador O’Malley has enormous respect for Irish music and understands the value of our fruitful collaboration… both creatively and economically. He spoke of the great influence Irish songwriters have had on American culture and noted the continuing efforts of IMRO and ASCAP to protect copyright and celebrate our music. The Ambassador’s residence felt like home last night. To all of us.”

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Keith Donald (Chairman of IMRO), Paul Williams (President and Chairman of ASCAP), Glen Hansard and Victor Finn (IMRO CEO) at Creative Minds hosted at the US Ambassador’s residence, Phoenix Park

Keith Donald, Chairman of IMRO added: “The whole night was about creating cross-Atlantic creativity links and all thanks to Ambassador O’Malley for his kindness in putting the event together.”

Niall Stokes, editor of HotPress, led the conversation with Glen and Paul around their approach to the craft of song writing and the role of copyright in music today, before the audience of invited guests were treated to intimate acoustic performances by both songwriters.

Debut Album Coming Soon from Pa Curran | “Poor Man’s Clothes”

Pa CurranBantry songwriter, Pa Curran, is set to release his debut album, “Poor Man’s Clothes”, next month. The album was written and recorded at Ocean Studios in West Cork with producer, Wayne Sheehy, and is set for release in July.

Pa has just completed a successful Fund-It campaign to contribute to putting the finishing touches on the album. The lead single, “Poor Man’s Clothes”, tells the story of valuing people over possessions, a theme that resonates throughout the album. Pa’s first single, “Unintentional Hero”, was a bittersweet success for him last year when it went straight to Number 1 in the iTunes chart, putting Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” at Number 2. The single was a dedication to Pa’s close friend and fellow musician, Taidhg Burke Neff, who died tragically in 2013 and donated his organs to save the lives of seven people.

Having supported Declan O’Rourke, Ian O’Doherty, The Original Rudeboys, Niall Connolly and The Calvinists, Pa set off on a tour of the US in 2014, the highlight of which was a gig at Rockwood Music Hall and the iconic “Scratcher Sessions”.

After the release of “Poor Man’s Clothes”, Pa will be heading back to the US for a short tour in August.

Pa has reached his target on Fund-It but there’s still a bit of time to show some support at–single-fundit-campaign.

The Deans Need Your Help with “Supply and Command”

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Photo: Carole Epinette

Galway three-piece, The Deans, have just recorded their latest EP, “Supply and Command”. An independent production, the band have launched a Fund-It campaign to bring the EP to completion.

Since 2009 The Deans have toured extensively throughout Europe, playing venues and festivals throughout France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland. After being sighted at the Guitare-En-Scene festival in France by the organisers of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the group were invited to perform at the 43rd anniversary of the world renowned music festival. 2011 saw the group’s first venture stateside to NYC’s lower east side, where they performed shows in The Studio at Webster Hall, Arlene’s Grocery and the prestigious Kenny’s castaways, to name but a few.

Their forthcoming EP, “Supply and Command”, will feature five tracks including the band’s recently released single, “Take it Easy”. Recorded between IMW Studios, London and a disused hotel near Paris, the underlying thread throughout the EP is reflected in the dystopian lyric of “Take it Easy” and the sombre, introspective tone of “Hollows of my Dreams”.

The release of “Supply and Command”, which is set for September, will be accompanied by a nationwide tour before The Deans return to Europe and the UK in October.

The Deans are hoping their Fund-It campaign will help towards mixing, mastering and manufacturing of the EP. You can check out their “Supply and Command” Fund-It page here:—supply–command and keep up to date with The Deans through their Facebook page and website.


Bamboo Sessions Set for St Finian’s Church this Sunday

Bamboo SessionsBamboo Sessions takes place this Sunday 7th June in St Finian’s Church, 23 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, featuring performances from contemporary Irish songwriters, each accompanied by a live string quartet. A night of original songs performed with newly written string arrangements will feature performances by Enda Reilly, Sive, Danny Groenland, Edel Meade, Cathy McEvoy and Celine Carroll. On strings will be Cathy McEvoy (violin / musical director), Imogen Gunner (violin), Niamh Roche (viola) and Mary Barnecutt (cello).

This is a one-off event and promises to be something special. Tickets are available at

Early bird tickets up until Friday 5th June: €12 | Tickets on the door/online after 5th June: €15.

Doors at 7:30pm. Show starts 8pm sharp (latecomers may have to wait to be admitted).




Ben Carrigan Releases The Sweetest Stories

Press 1Ben Carrigan has just released his latest single, The Sweetest Stories, a precursor to his second album currently in production. The new track, written and produced by Carrigan and featuring the vocal talents of New Zealand’s Thom Cross, is the follow-up single to his 2011 debut solo album, The Greatest Narrators, an album likened to great singer-songwriters such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen.

Carrigan was a founding member of Mercury Music nominated, multi-platinum and award winning Irish pop group, The Thrills.  The group enjoyed worldwide success between 2002 and 2008 with 3 top 10 albums and 7 top 40 singles, and toured the world over, including with musical greats such as MorrisseyThe Rolling StonesU2Bob DylanREM, Maroon 5 and Pixies.

Carrigan is an accomplished musician having learnt piano, guitar and drums at an early age. He studied under the distinguished Dublin based jazz musician and composer Ronan Guilfoyle and obtained a Diploma in Advanced Jazz Studies from The Guildhall School of Music, London. He was awarded one of the few scholarships to the Berklee School of Music in Boston and earned a place at the prestigious The Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.

In 2009 Carrigan resumed his studies at Berklee, focusing on orchestration, music production and audio post production for film and television. He currently works as a composer and audio post production specialist for film, television, games and commercials and has been commissioned to write music for a number of high profile projects, including BBC 2 documentary, The Pity Of War.

For more see or follow Ben on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Singing on Solid Ground – Busking for Nepal

Sean O NeillIMRO member, Sean O’Neill, embarks on a busking marathon this Friday, 5th June in Roscommon to help raise vital funds for Concern’s Earthquake Appeal.

Sean’s four-hour indoor busk in Duffy’s Supervalu, Ballaghaderreen is hoping to raise at least €1,000 for those affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Busking under the name of ‘Seanie’s Homemade Songs’, Sean doesn’t play covers and rarely repeats a song.

You can donate at Sean’s fundraising page here or head to Ballaghaderreen on Friday between 1pm and 5pm.

Sinéad White’s Debut Album “Finally” Lands this Weekend

Sinead WhiteKildare artist, Sinéad White, releases her debut album “Finally” on 30th May, with a launch gig on release night in The Sugar Club.

The first single from the album, “Better”, is already gaining Sinéad much attention among Ireland’s music media, with music magazine Goldenplec selecting her as one of their ‘Plec Picks’ for 2015.

Sinéad has been captivating audiences at Electric Picnic, Longitude, Knockanstockan and Vantastival among other festivals, with her unique voice and take on songwriting. Her debut release also follows support slots for Duke Special and Everlast from House of Pain.

This summer Sinéad White is ready to launch the release of her debut album “Finally” with her biggest headline show to date at the Sugar Club in Dublin on Saturday, May 30th.

Tickets are priced at €13.50 (including booking fee) via Doors are at 8pm. Support on the night will come from the fantastic Stomptown Brass.

For more follow Sinéad on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Shortlist Announced for The Clancy Brothers Songwriting Competition 2015

Clancy Brothers songwriting logo NEWThe Shortlist has been announced for the 2015 Clancy Brothers Songwriting Competition.

The votes are in and the top three songs are…


‘Make it Stay’ by Avi McGourty (Templemore, County Tipperary)

‘The Truth is Not Your Own’ by Jamie Mulrooney (West Coast of Mayo)

‘Southern Fire’ by Katie Carpenter, Gary Burke and Liz Madden (Dublin)

With more than 120 entries from the four corners of Ireland, and as far away as Canada and Jamaica, this year’s Clancy Brothers Songwriting Competition was hotly contested.

Now the votes are in, the top three are on their way to Carrick-on-Suir to play a in the beautiful, atmospheric Nano Nagle Chapel on Sunday May 31st in what is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s Clancy Brothers Festival of Music and Art. The winner of the competition will be revealed on the night.

Lisa Loughrey, last year’s winner, will headline with her group The Mariannes, an urban folk band with strong Irish folk, blues and alternative country roots, and songs forged with hard hitting lyrics, beautiful melodies and harmonies, and powerful arrangements. They recently released an EP with Lisa’s winning song, ‘Lost With All Hands’, as the title track. Lisa used her prize from last year to help towards the cost of producing the CD.

With cash prizes of €500 for the winner and €200 for each of the runners up sponsored by the Clancy Brothers Festival of Music and Art and IMRO, no one will leave empty handed. The winner also receives a voucher for CD duplication from Duplication Ireland worth €215 and all three gain premium services from Other competition sponsors are Music Matters Ireland and the Tudor Artisan Hub.

Doors open 7pm and tickets for the concert are €10 from the Tudor Artisan Hub, 42 Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir, Ph 051 640921.

For more see

Music in Media Award Nomination for IMRO Member Man in a Room

MiRlogoIMRO member Man in a Room, aka songwriter and producer Steven Connolly, has just received a nod from Hollywood with a nomination in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. His song, “Black & White”, taken from his latest album, The Alchemist’s Apprentice, has been selected as a nominee by the committee and HMMA voting academy in the “New Age / Ambient” category.

Hailing from Dublin and self-taught as a composer, producer and lyricist, the music of Man in a Room is influenced by various genres and life situations and circumstances. The album, filled with atmospheric soundscapes, was released in on Germany’s Lemongrass Music label.

Speaking of the nomination, Steven said: “I’ve been a Movie and Soundtrack fan all my life, so to be nominated at this event is a little bit special.” 

The awards are set to take place at the Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, LA on 19th November 2015. The awards honour leading composers of music for film, TV and other media, as well as independent composers and songwriters in various music genres.

You can find out more about Man in a Room at his website here

Debut EP from Limerick’s Randolf & The Crokers

Randolf & The CrokersConversation Amongst the Ruins is a four track debut EP from Limerick band Randolf & the Crokers due for release on Friday 8th May. It follows on from their debut single Hangin, released in December last year.

The EP was recorded and mixed in the Lakelands Studios in Athlone by Mike O’Dowd and mastered in Limerick by Richard Dowling of Wav Mastering. It showcases a blend of folk/country/blues influences with ear-pricking harmonies which combine to produce a unique sound that has been carefully honed on the local gig circuit over the last few years.

The six piece band formed in 2011, released their debut single and video for Hangin in December 2014 and 2015 sees them release their first physical recording Conversation Amongst the Ruins.  The band has played locally in various Limerick venues over the years and has supported O Emperor, Mark Geary, Moscow Metro, John Blek & the Rats and most recently The Lost Brothers.

Conversations Amongst the Ruins will be available on digital release from Friday 8th May.

Tour Dates
08/05/2015 (Fri) – EP Launch, Dolans, Limerick

15/05/2015 (Fri) – Kenny’s, Lahinch

16/05/2015 (Sat) – Greyhound Bar, Kilkee

22/05/2015 (Fri) – Whelans , Dublin

23/05/2015 (Sat) – Monroes, Galway

For more follow Randolf & The Crokers on Facebook and Twitter.

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