Hi all. Things are moving very fast. Last week I played guitar and piano onstage for the first time since the Gig For Gaza in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last September. A month ago I wasn’t sure if I’d ever play again. I’m finally realising that I can do it now. Still stiff and a little sore but getting better all the time.
But I wasn’t expecting to be working so soon. I had planned some shows in April and May because …well, you have to plan shows way in advance even before you know if you can do them! I was looking forward to Feb and March to complete my recovery and was confident. But now I’m being asked to play with the Ulster Orchestra in The Waterfront Theatre, Belfast on Mar 3 for a BBC TV recording of a St Patrick’s Day show and…I’m going to do it. I plan to sing two songs, a new song called Oceans Of Time and Nobody Knows. Then it’s concerts in Limerick (April 10), Ratoath (23 & 24 April), Cork (25 April) and Dublin (May 15) all details on the tour dates page.
In mid April my new record comes out. Volume 1 of the ‘Vicar Street Sessions’. A live recording from the series of gigs I did in Dublin’s Vicar Street in October 2001. Guesting with me and my band are some of the artists I’ve most admired in my musical journey to date. First up is Mark Knopfler singing ‘Baloney Again’, first heard on his ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’ album, it’s that perfect vignette of life back then as a black touring band in the Southern States of USA. Next up is Gavin Friday with a truly stunning interpretation of my song ‘Nobody Knows’. A beautiful surprise to me when I first heard it. Sinead O’Connor and I do an a-cappella duet of her song ‘In This Heart’ which even now raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Then it’s Van Morrison for a duet on his love song to his own people, ‘Irish Heartbeat’. My dear friend Bonnie Raitt brings me such pleasure when she joins me on my song ‘Not The Only One’. Curtis Stigers popped in on his way home to USA from a UK tour and we did an intimate performance of his song to his daughter, “Don’t Go Far’. Then it’s Ronan Keating on our co-write ‘The Long Goodbye’ leading into ‘Last seen October 9th’ where I play piano and sing with Eleanor McEvoy on her song. The record finishes with a rousing version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ where I’m joined by those three Irish divas Maura O’Connell, Mary Black and Moya Brennan. Interspersed with all three duets I have time to sing with my band ‘I Want You To Want Me’, The Soul Commotion’, Believe In Me’ and ‘The World Is What You Make it’. I’m very happy with this, the first in a series of releases from that glorious time.