Wednesday, 12 October 2016

GREENSHINE - Monday, October 24th, 2016

"All things come to those who wait", they say. True enough, as it's taken a few years of trying for a gap in the BAG schedule to coincide with Greenshine's availability. So I'm delighted to present the band - for the first time in my tenure - in Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, on Monday, October 24th. Doors open at 8:30pm; showtime 9pm. Admission is €12.


GREENSHINE is currently touring in support of the brand new album - 'The Girl in The Lavender Dress', and you can listen to the title track here:

GREENSHINE is a family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and their daughter Ellie. Their material straddles the boundaries of contemporary, folk and roots and includes many self-penned songs. Their fast picking and close harmonies are a treat to the ear. Noel is a multi-instrumentalist, turning his hand to guitar, bass, mandolin, bouzouki and traditional whistle and this musical dexterity had seen him much in demand as a session and band player by artists as diverse as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and funk and soul legends The Republic of Loose amongst many others. Mary brings rhythm guitar to the mix and her voice is a wonderfully versatile instrument. She is much in demand for her recording session work and has added her talents to the albums of Christy Moore, John Spillane, Mick Hanly and Frances Black as well as cult psychedelic outfit Dr. Strangely Strange. As a duo, Noel and Mary have released 3 critically acclaimed albums to date ~ The Land You Love the Best (placed no. 3 in The Irish Times Folk albums of the year of its release), Unspoken Lines (described as ‘The heart and soul of folk music, coming from a deeper well…,’ by John Spillane) while Mary’s solo, Sea of Hearts, earned an impressive 8 out of 10 in Hot Press.

Ellie Shine has grown up surrounded by music and has been performing in concerts and festivals since the age of 13 including an appearance with GREENSHINE for President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at The Abbey Theatre. Despite her tender years, Ellie has featured on 4 recordings to date. She has a huge interest in the songs of the Muskerry Gaeltacht and reached the All-Ireland final of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann’s under 15 Sean-Nós Singing competition in her debut try-out. She enjoys singing songs of all genres and has a special place in her heart reserved for classic Beatles and country as well as good contemporary songwriting. She accompanies herself on the ukulele.

The music of Greenshine has been covered by several Irish music artists and has been used commercially by Follain Preserves in their ad campaigns, Carrie Crowley in her film Waterway and as signature tunes by several national radio station programmes.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Kelley McRae & Matt Castelein - Monday, October 17, 2016

Having become a true BAG favourite over the past few years, the (by now, annual) return of Kelley McRae and Matt Castelein is always hotly anticipated. That return happens on Monday, October 17th, and will see the pair present songs from their new release, 'The Wayside' (Spoiler alert: its a belter!!).

As usual, doors open at 8:30pm, and Admission is €12


Kelley McRae called New York City home for many years, cutting her teeth in the vaunted singer/songwriter scene and honing her craft at legendary clubs like The Living Room, The Rockwood Music Hall and the Bowery Ballroom. In 2011 McRae teamed up with guitarist Matt Castelein, and the duo traded in their Brooklyn apartment for a VW camper van and hit the road full time. Kelley and Matt traveled extensively across America those first few years, performing hundreds of shows and finding inspiration for new songs along the way.

The duo has since gone on to tour in eleven countries, including shows in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. They’ve taken the stage at renowned venues such as The Bluebird Café in Nashville and The Green Note in London, and they’ve performed at festivals like Riverbend in Chattanooga,TN, Rhythm and Blooms in Knoxville, TN and the Kerrville Folk Festival where they were named New Folk Finalists.

Kelley McRae’s latest release, The Wayside, is a testament to the inspiration inherent in the American landscape, the grief intrinsic to change, and the hope that comes with stepping onto unknown soil. The Wayside, McRae says, “is the place along the side of the road where things get left behind, or where you go to rest awhile, or where you go find something you lost along the way.” McRae’s songs sip life from the tension between holding on and letting go, blooming in their rich search for truths.

Released in April, 2016, The Wayside debuted at #7 on the Euro-Americana charts and hit #4 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Contemporary Folk chart. It has continued to impress critics: Penguin Eggs Magazine calls Kelley’s voice ‘hauntingly beautiful, echoing the best of Gillian Welch’ and New York Music Daily calls the duo ‘the real deal.’ Folk Radio UK describes McRae as ‘evocative of the finest moments of Emmylou.’ Mike Penard of Radio France says, “With hundreds of new releases each year, there are maybe ten or twenty magical moments. The Wayside is one of those moments.”

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Kevin Montgomery, with Clive Barnes - Monday, October 10th 2016

Kevin Montgomery plays BAG at Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, on Monday, October 10th, 2016. Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12. Clive Barnes backs him on all things stringed.

Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles all figure prominently into the musical landscapes that singer/songwriter Kevin Montgomery paints with his high lonesome voice and heartfelt lyrics. As the child musical parents - his Dad, Bob, was Buddy Holly's musical partner, and wrote songs like 'Heartbeat', 'Wishing', and 'Misty Blue'; his mother was Elvis Presley's backup singer, and sang on 'Suspicious Minds', 'In The Ghetto', 'Kentucky Rain', 'Everlasting Love' and many others - Montgomery had little choice in the matter of his musicality. With that bloodline, the nature angle is covered pretty well. As for the nurture side, growing up in Nashville set the rootsy Americana sound as the basis of Montgomery's work, while busking in subways adds New York's sly, street-smart sensibilities to the mix. The wide-open, sun-filled skies of Los Angeles top it all off with an optimism and melodicism reminiscent of Jackson Browne.

Montgomery made a strong debut in 1993 with 'Fear Nothing' on A&M Records. It showcased a young talent with obvious potential, earned him slots fronting for labelmate Sheryl Crow and David Crosby, and garnered limited airplay on Triple-A radio. With that foundation, Montgomery bounced around for several years before departing A&M. He got himself onto a number of compilation discs, including the Buddy Holly tribute Not Fade Away where he duets with Mary Chapin Carpenter. Montgomery also took some time to collaborate with folks like Lee Ann Womack, Cindy Alexander, Rodney Crowell, and Anna Wilson. Both Martina McBride and Juice Newton sought out Montgomery's tunes to cover. In 2000, Another Long Story came to light in the U.K. and Europe. A great collection of Montgomery's strongest work yet, it caught Paul McCartney's ear and got Montgomery invited to perform at the former Beatles' annual Buddy Holly birthday event in London. His popularity overseas has been further proven by the numerous television performances and sold-out concerts enjoyed on every visit. To capture the feel of his acoustic European shows, Montgomery recorded Kevin Montgomery Live at Nashville's legendary Bluebird Café in 2001. Also released in 2001 was the EP Paint which features a duet with Trisha Yearwood on the aptly titled "Tennessee Girl." That track was chosen by the BBC as their lead-in to the CMA Awards.

In 2012, Montgomery released 'Some Comfort', and continues to tour the U.S. and Europe regularly.

Video: 'Some Comfort':

Clives Barnes needs little introduction to the Ballymore Acoustic Gigs audience; he is, without doubt, one of the finest guitarists to come out of Ireland. A remarkable player of regular guitars, as well as lap, slide, and steel guitars, Barnes has forged himself an international reputation, both as a player, and a singer/songwriter in his own right. He is highly sought after as a 'sideman' adding, as he does, tremendous texture to many artiste's stage sound. From his early days he has performed with some of the finest musicians, the world over. Here he is backing Eric Bibb and Taj Mahal when he was just a youngfella:

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Suzanne Jarvie, with Chris Brown and Kate Fenner - Monday, October 3rd.

Suzanne Jarvie & Hugh Christopher Brown - Featuring Kate Fenner - Play BAG at Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace on Monday, October 3rd 2016.

The Canadian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Hugh Christopher Brown's vast musical relationships run across genres and stem back to his teenage years playing Hammond organ on the road in North America, with his own band and many others.

Brown recently produced David Corley's and Suzanne Jarvie's debut albums, garnering international critical acclaim for both. Two Irish tours with Corley have cut a path he now walks with Suzanne Jarvie and longtime musical partners Kate Fenner.

Canadian Americana singer-songwriter Suzanne Jarvie has been singing and playing music since childhood. A legal career and four children to take care of would be life's focus until the near fatal accident of her eldest son brought forth the writing which became her highly praised debut album, Spiral Road. Produced by Brown, the record is a deeply personal journey of Americana and roots influenced songwriting. Music critics compared Suzanne's "seraphim-pure" (No Depression) vocals and songwriting to Lucinda Williams and Emmy Lou Harris and the record was honored with a 2015 Independent Music Awards nomination in the Best Concept category. Paul Kerr, Americana UK raved “Spiral Road is, simply put, a superior example of singer song writing in the Americana tradition...There are some heart stopping moments…powerful…”

Kate Fenner's voice has been called ' A National Treasure' by the CBC. Her recent works with legendary artist Joan Jonas have given that voice a permanent home in the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art. Growing up with Brown, the two have a dozen albums between them, and deep musical roots in NYC and Canada. Beyond their own works, they have toured alongside BB King among many others. Fenner and Jarvie first collaborated for a New York show two years ago. Their combined voices proved immediate sisterhood.

The trio will be performing songs from their collective repertoire and debuting music from forthcoming albums.

Doors open at 8:30pm. Admission is €12.

Suzanne Jarvie - 'Spiral Road' -

For more info:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

THE GREAT TRADE - Monday, Sept. 26th, 2016

Peter Doran has played BAG solo, on at least three occasions. A man of many talents, and musical manifestations, he returns to Mick  Murphy's on Monday, Sept. 26 - this time in the company of Brian Murphy, to bring us his latest project, The Great Trade. Who better to tell us all about it than Peter himself ( (c) ):

"Introducing “The Great Trade”

 For the past couple of years, in fits and starts, with great bursts of creativity quickly followed by long periods of distraction or working on other things, songs have been coming together for a new project called The Great Trade. These songs have been co-written with my friend Brian Murphy, a fellow Mullingar native who has contributed electric guitar and lap steel on my last two records.

The first beginnings of this project came when we were on tour in the UK and Holland in 2013. We were both looking for a way to play some shows outside of Ireland and somehow this tour came together. The entire tour lasted about three weeks I think and in that time we spent a lot of time together in vans, trains, hotel rooms, back stage areas and coffee shops. So much of being on tour involves waiting. You’re always waiting for the show to start it seems. Hurry up and wait. We filled these spaces with chatter and dreamings and wandering conversations. Out of some of these conversations came songs, or the beginnings of songs, the outlines of ideas.

It was interesting to be kicking around song and melody ideas with another human being for a change. It was exciting and had a speed and energy that I don’t often encounter when working on my own. This was the first signs of something coming together. There was a feeling, still is, that we could write some good songs together and more importantly enjoy challenging each other to write well.

After this 2013 tour I went on to write and record my “Outlines” album and then tour that. Brian has been busy with his other original project “Arrow in the Sky” and playing guitar with the band Cronin. In this way the time gets filled. We grabbed some time here and there in 2014 / 15 but have really turned our attention back to the project this year. In April we recorded our first video with the help of Mark Bennett and Darragh Glennon. The song is called “Blackberry Wine” and was inspired by a book I read about the life of Billie Holiday. I hope you enjoy: ".

This promises to be a great show; Peter Doran is one of Ireland's finest young songwriters.
Doors open at 8:30pm; Admission is €12

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Ben Reel - Monday, September 19, 2016

It's been a few years since Ben Reel last played BAG, so its great to welcome him back to Mick Murphy's in Ballymore Eustace, on Monday, Sept. 19th. As usual, doors open at 8:30pm, with Admission being €12.

Irish artist Ben Reel released his eagerly awaited 7th studio album on May 18th 2015 simply titled `7th’ which is a real rock`n’record featuring his great band. Like the previous album `Darkness & the Light’ in 2013 the new album 7th was recorded & produced by himself  in his home studio in Co.Armagh, Ireland.  

Since his debut back in 1999, each album has gone from strength to strength, receiving critical acclaim from radio & press from around the world. Ben’s music has evolved into an honest earthy sound that has matured like a fine wine, drawing from the well of different styles of musical influence from rock, soul, blues, alt folk/americana, country & reggae which fuses all these genres into a melting pot to create a great sound which has become his own .

In the past years he has had numerous high profile TV & Radio appearances and airplay under his belt including Bob Harris BBC Radio 2 and has supported names like Jools Holland, Alabama 3, The Cranberries and has collaborated musically with such names as Hal Ketchum, the legendary ‘Blockheads’, award winning saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and co wrote and performed with some of Nashville's finest, David Olney, John Hadley, Sergio Webb & Irene Kelley.

Videos: 'One of These Days' -
             'Our Fathers' Sins' -

Thursday, 18 August 2016

BAG Gig Schedule - Autumn 2016

After the usual summer break, BAG is back!! Here we go for year number six!! 

The Autumn schedule is jam-packed with the best acts from Ireland and overseas. Put your favourite picks in your diaries now, and don't miss out. All gigs are, as usual, on Monday nights in Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare. Doors open at 8:30pm, with a showtime of 9pm. Unless otherwise stated, admission to all gigs is €12

For artiste info/videos etc. click on the links provided.


5th - Frankie Lane & Paul Kelly (IRL)

12th - Niall Connolly (IRL) Support from Eugene Brosnan

19th - Ben Reel (IRL)

26th - Peter Doran - The Great Trade (IRL)


3rd - Suzanne Jarvie (CAN)

10th - Kevin Montgomery (USA)

17th - Kelley McRae Duo (USA)

24th - Greenshine (IRL) 

7th - B and The Honeyboy (IRL)

14th - The Four of Us (IRL)

21st - Jeff Finlin(US)/Peter Bruntnell(UK)/Clive Barnes(IRL)

28th - John Blek (Solo) (IRL)


5th - I Draw Slow (IRL)

9th - 6th Annual 'Vibe for Larry' - Free session of music, song and stories - all welcome.

Followed by winter break - BAG will resume again in February 2017