Aisling O’ Donovan

First Published August 2022

“I’VE HAD THE SUMMER OF MY LIFE”

Part 1

Aisling in a Charlotte Lucas design at this year’s Galway Races

As the summer’s later days begin to drift closer to us, one of the great traditions of Irish life – the ROSE OF TRALEE Festival – also begins to come into view. The business-end of this year’s festival gets underway just a few weeks from now on Friday, August 19th. And one thing we can already be sure of, unfortunately, is that the famous tiara won’t rest atop the head of an Offaly Rose this year… because under the current set-up of the festival we don’t have someone there to represent us who might have the chance of following in the history-making footsteps of Jennifer Byrne back in 2017. 

However, there IS an Offaly connection to this year’s festival that’s very much worth taking note of. Mount Lucas born designer CHARLOTTE LUCAS has teamed up with TIPPERARY ROSE AISLING O’ DONOVANwith Aisling all set to wear a gown created by Charlotte on her big night in Tralee. That’s reason enough for OTRT to throw all of our support behind Fethard native Aisling this year! And, I’m delighted to say that we had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Aisling last week. 

Aisling has already held the title of Tipperary Rose 2022 since back in March, so before we got on to the subject of her link-up with Charlotte, I began our chat by asking her to take us back to how her journey on the road to Tralee began…

“I actually applied to do the Tipperary Rose in 2020, and was all good and ready to take part in it when the pandemic struck, so it didn’t happen. Then it was postponed and postponed again because of the pandemic. When it rolled around to 2022, my life had changed a lot: I’d completed my Masters, I had a new job, we’d been making developments on our house, we’re going to be building, hopefully soon. Life had moved on, and I really wasn’t sure if I was gonna still take part in it. My application was gone in, but I was humming and hawing still. I was getting my make-up done for a wedding and my make-up artist said, ‘Look Aishling, I’ll sponsor ya, just do it, you won’t regret it’. Then it all just came right for me on the day, I was super lucky, and so glad that I took the plunge and went for it. I was very daunted by the idea of speaking on stage, it’s an intimidating thing to put yourself out there [like that]. It’s different to performing in a group, or standing up with a group of people. When you’re standing up and talking about yourself, you’re a bit exposed, I guess! [Laughs]. But I’m so glad I did it. It’s the most positive thing that’s happened to me – bar the engagement (Aisling recently said ‘Yes!’ to boyfriend Colm) – in a very, very long time. It’s been amazing.” 

So when Aisling did first apply for the Tipperary Rose contest a couple of years ago, what had made her want to go for it then? 

“I was starting my Masters at that point, and a lot of what my Masters was going to entail would be speaking in front of groups. I’ve since done webinars on wellbeing and that kind of thing, and I wanted the experience of public-speaking more than anything, to get a bit out of my comfort-zone. I knew that if you were successful in being an ambassador for the county, you’d be in positions where you’d have to be mixing with a lot of people. I just thought it would be a good confidence builder. It’s a very empowering thing to be a Rose, you get incredible support. And it empowers women no-end to really celebrate what it means to be a female in Ireland. I thought having the opportunity to be in that position would have been amazing. So that’s why I put in my application in the first place. It was one of those things where I said, ah sure I’ll chance my arm and see how I get on, just give it a lash [laughs]. The worst thing that would come out of it is that I would get to meet a whole new group of people, get up on stage, and put myself out of my comfort-zone. I really wasn’t expecting them to call my name on the night. But then when they did, it opened up a whole world of new opportunities for me. It’s been unreal, amazing!” 

Did Aisling have a vision in her mind of what it might be like to become the Tipperary Rose, and if she had, has the reality of actually becoming the Tipperary Rose lived up to those expectations?

“It’s surpassed all of my expectations in that it’s been far more positive and exciting than I ever could have imagined. It’s a really special thing. Once you’re involved in it, you see the magic of the Rose of Tralee Festival, and what it means to be a Rose. I probably didn’t really see that full picture before. I’d watched it on the telly and seen all these amazing women that have gone on to do unbelievable things. You look at the likes of Maria Walsh, she’s an MEP now, and a real leader. You see people like that doing well, but that’s all I knew about it, the telly side of things. But it’s the lead up to it that’s incredible. I can’t wait to go down to the festival now and have the tour and everything like that. I’ve had the summer of my life! And not even just the summer, the last six months have been just absolutely incredible. The amount of nice people I’ve met is amazing. Even today now, in Clonmel when I went in, the kindness of people, their generosity is so heartwarming and refreshing. We heard so much doom-and-gloom during the pandemic that it’s really nice to be reminded that the world is a really kind place, and there’s so many lovely people out there. It reminded me of the sense of community and the spirit of what it means to be Irish. Irish people are very generous and kind, and that spirit is brought to life by the Rose of Tralee Festival for me, definitely. It’s pretty magical.” 

So far during her time as Tipperary Rose, Aisling – among other things – has been honoured at a Mayoral reception at Clonmel Town Hall, courtesy of Mayor Michael Murphy, and has also crossed paths with Ultimate Hell Week star, Ray Goggins, running into him at a Ladies GAA event. And one thing is for certain, there will definitely be many more memories made over the course of the weeks ahead. But I wondered if Aisling happened to have a highlight from her time so far? 

“Hmmm. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing. I suppose meeting the girls (the other Roses) has been really, really cool. We’ve been able to meet each other at different selection nights and things like that. Just connecting with that group of ladies has just been unreal. It’s exciting to think of everything that’s still ahead of us. We’ve had such a laugh together already, and anyone I’ve met already is just really lovely. So that’s been really special. But more locally, it’s been getting to know more people across the county, and sharing the joy of the Rose of Tralee with people locally has been magic. I went on a day out there in Nenagh a while ago and there were all these people that I’d never met before, but the warmth of the welcome that I got was unreal. They couldn’t have done more for me on the day, and just being mad to show everything Nenagh had to offer. It was so lovely to celebrate their community with them. Tipperary is an unreal county. If you were a tourist coming to Tipperary, there’s so much to do! The walks, the views, the businesses. And there’s so many places to even eat, things like that that I know about now. And I love going for lunch, let me tell ya! [Laughs]. So yeah, getting to know my county on a different level. I do think that when you get used to a place, it’s not that it loses its magic, but you kind of end up just going to the same places. This has widened my perspective of all that there is to do in Tipperary. Because it’s a really big county, and it has so much to offer. I’m really, really proud to be from Tipp after this summer. I was always proud of it anyway. It’s a special place and I’m glad that I was born here, and that I can be an ambassador for it, ya know…because Tipp is class! [Laughs].” 

Aisling with Offaly designer Charlotte Lucas

Before we moved on to talk more about everything the next few weeks – and who knows…maybe longer! – has in store for Aisling, we had to turn the conversation back to Offaly! And with good reason. As already mentioned, Aishling has teamed up with one of the most exciting new designers in Irish fashion, and she’s from Mount Lucas in Offaly! Charlotte Lucas was a nominee in the Designer of the Year category at the 2020 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, having been honoured in that event’s Ones To Watch category the previous year. Her work has also been featured in several national publications, including The Gloss magazine, the Mail On Sunday magazine, and the Irish Independent’s Weekend Magazine, as well as being seen on national television on Virgin Media One’s long-running and hugely popular morning show, Ireland AM.

I asked Aisling to tell me how she and Charlotte came to be working together on Aisling’s Rose journey this year…

“Ahh, she’s amazing! It was kind of a bit of a chancing-my-arm story again. My grandad used to have a great phrase…what was it…look for forgiveness not for permission [laughs]. Just go for it, he would say, chance it. He was a wicked chancer, but the nicest man that you’d ever meet. He instilled that in me, for sure, to always give something a go. So I literally just reached out to Charlotte on Instagram. I came across her name on the Council of Irish Fashion Designers website. I was looking up designers that might have been able to work with me on a style that I might be suited to. When I came across her there, I went looking at her Instagram and social media, ya know, that’s the power of the connection of that. And I just loved her work immediately when I saw it, it was really my style. I wore one of her jumpsuits to the races in Galway last week, and I was so, so comfortable in it. And it’s really, really me. So yeah, I just sent her a message from there and she was so receptive to the whole thing and really interested, She’s been so easy to work with, there’s been no drama [laughs]. She’s cool-out, like, and I think I’m kinda the same, there’s never any panic on. She’s been really helpful. What I really liked about her when I met her the first time was that she really listened. And she wasn’t listening to have an opinion, she was listening to actually hear what I had to say, to make sure she was taking on board what I liked and that kind of thing. I felt really well looked after on that front. It’s important that I feel comfortable when I wear it, her piece. So it’s great to have someone like her. She’s a really talented lady, but she’s also really kind and really helpful. I’m just so blessed that I found her! Thank God for the internet, because I might never have come across her otherwise [laughs]. My knowledge of the fashion circuit, I suppose, is probably limited enough. It was a stroke of luck that we connected, but it’s been great luck.” 

With the Rose of Tralee Festival now just weeks away… how is Aisling feeling about it? 

“I’m feelin’ good, yeah, definitely. We’re actually going on tour next week, I’m actually going to go down the night before with my mam, and we’re starting the tour on the Thursday morning. So I’ll be gone from Thursday. We go on the tour, and head to the festival then on the 19th. We have nine or ten days of tour-time before we actually make it down to Tralee at all. So yeah, it’s a week away! Which is bananas [laughs]. I can’t believe it in one way. March seems like forever ago, but also like it was ] just yesterday. The time has just flown. And I know it’s a cliche, but they say time flies when you’re having fun, but the last month has been an absolute whirlwind. I’m really excited to go down [to Tralee], I’m very much looking forward to the experience of it all, it’s very different to anything I’ve ever done before. I just think trying something new is amazing. And getting to try something like this is kind of unimaginable really. People dream of being in the position that I’m in. And I’m extremely grateful to be the lucky girl that gets to go down from Tipperary this year. There hasn’t been a Tipp Rose in three years, and a Tipp Rose doesn’t go every year. Like next year there’ll be nobody going to Tralee, and then the year after there’ll be another Tipp Rose again. So I think it’s unreal that I get to do this, out of the whole county. I’m just so lucky. And really, really excited. I just hope that I can do everybody really proud, and put my best foot forward and just enjoy it. That’s a big thing for me, to make the most of the experience, really soak it up and be present when I’m down there. I want to enjoy every minute.” 

Apart from wanting to do Tipp proud (of which there’s no doubt she will, by the way), what would it mean to Aisling personally if she was to be crowned THE Rose of Tralee in a few weeks time? And, has she given any thought to what that moment might be like if it happens? 

“Oh wow! Do you dare to dream, really?! [Laughs] Isn’t that the saying! I’ve tried not to think about that too much because I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, I just want to really enjoy the experience. But if I was to delve into dream-mode and then to think about it a little bit…it would be an incredible honour! Representing your county has been a pinch-me moment for the last six months, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But getting to represent the entire festival, the country, and beyond…I mean, there’s Rose Centres all around the world! Imagine being an ambassador for all of that, like? That’s man-on-the-moon stuff to me! It would be an incredible thing to happen, and a huge honour. What the Rose of Tralee stands for, in my opinion, is the root of Irishness, and heritage, and women, and culture, and diversity, and inclusion. It stands for so much. Being the lady who might get to be the ambassador for all that…would be surreal! It would be so special. And it would mean a lot to my family and to my fiancé, they’d be really proud to see me do that, too. It would be class! [Laughs].” 

When I interviewed Jennifer Byrne, who won the Rose of Tralee for Offaly back in 2017, I asked her what advice she would pass on to whoever followed her as the Offaly Rose and to whoever would eventually take the ultimate crown as well. Part of Jennifer’s answer was for those Roses to make sure they took some time to take it all in – even by just consciously making the decision to take ten seconds every now and then to make a point of looking around at everything that’s happening in front of you, who’s there, what you can smell, what you hear…everything – because it will all pass so, so quickly. 

I shared this advice with Aisling, and it resonated with her straight away…

“I did my Masters in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, and a lot of that is about being ‘in the moment’. Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past couple of years was just to be present. It sounds so simple, but if you don’t do it consciously, life can pass you by so quickly. You get so much more joy out of things when your awareness is greater. So yeah, I’ll definitely be doing my best to tap into ‘the now’, and staying focused on the time that I’m in, not getting carried away with where I need to be next or what’s next on the plan, that kind of thing. Going with the flow, it sounds easy but…! [Laughs]. Yeah, it will be important to have that awareness to make the most of it. You really get value for your time if you’re present in it. It’ll be important to me that I do that.” 

~ This year’s ROSE OF TRALEE FESTIVAL takes place from FRIDAY, AUGUST 19th to TUESDAY, AUGUST 23rd. You can follow AISLING O’ DONOVAN at aislingodonovanx on Instagram, and CHARLOTTE LUCAS at charlottelucasstyle on the same platform.

ENDS

Alex Roe

NEWS

Press Release via AS Written, August 2022

ROE READY TO PARTY AS TULLAMORE SHOW RETURNS

Country music star ALEX ROE has promised to bring a party atmosphere to his set on the TULLAMORE SHOW‘s main-stage as the historic event makes its post-Covid comeback this weekend. Recently compared to the late Big Tom by Trudi Lalor, Roe will be on stage directly before the day’s official opening ceremony, beginning his set at 10.50am. 

          “I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time now, and I suppose we all have, especially anyone with Offaly connections”, explained Alex. 

          “The Tullamore Show is one of the biggest days in the county, on the one hand, but on the other hand, it’s also one of the biggest days in the country, too. It’s an event that has always been so well organised and literally has something for nearly everyone in the family to enjoy. It’s been a loss to everyone over the last few years, not least the people who make the show happen each year, because I know it’s such a huge part of their lives. So I’m delighted for everyone involved in that side of things that we can finally say normal service is resumed. The show is back!” 

          “I’ve been lucky enough to perform at the show before”, remarked Alex, adding, “and I’m delighted to have been invited back again this year. Especially with the year that’s in it, ya know. Everyone’s going to be in such good form just to be there at all, because for so long we couldn’t go anywhere! And I know for me anyway, that’s something I definitely haven’t forgotten since being able to perform regularly again. There’s no gig that you take for granted now, not that there ever was. But up until a couple of years ago, we could never have imagined a moment when everything would just be put ‘on-hold’ so suddenly. We know differently now. So I honestly can’t wait to get on stage and add what I can to what I’m sure will be an amazing party atmosphere on the day.”

          As the summer slowly starts to wind down over the coming weeks, it’ll be anything but that for the man who has shared stages with both Margo (as one of her special guests at her recent Tullamore concert) and Charlie McGettigan (as one of the artists who performed at Larissa Tormey‘s Voices For Peace concert) this year, has been featured in the summer edition of RSVP Country magazine, and took home the Rising Male Country Music Artist of the Year trophy at the 2022 Hot Country TV Awards. 

          “I’ve been working on a lot of things in the background, so hopefully there’ll be lots of exciting news that I’ll be in a position to start announcing shortly. Included in that is some new music, and I think we’ll have news there very soon. There’s also some shows that are in the works as well. So there’s a lot still to happen before the year’s end, and I’m looking forward to every moment of it. Starting with next Sunday’s party at the Tullamore Show!” 

~ ALEX ROE will perform on the TULLAMORE SHOW main-stage at 10.50am on SUNDAY, AUGUST 14th. You can follow Alex at Alex Roe Music on Facebook, and also on Instagram. 

ENDS

Aishling Rafferty

NEWS

Press Release via AS Written, August 2022

GLÓR TÍRE CHAMP AISHLING READY FOR TULLAMORE SHOW MAIN-STAGE

As the TULLAMORE SHOW finalises preparations for its long-awaited return on August 14th, country music fans on the day are in for a very special treat with the confirmation that this year’s Glór Tíre winner AISHLING RAFFERTY will be among the artists performing on the main-stage. Aishling‘s set will begin at 2.40pm next Sunday afternoon. 

          Even before her TV triumph earlier this year, the Knockshegowna singer was making waves on the country circuit, with a string of singles hitting the #1 spot on iTunes and earning her airplay on radio stations nationwide. Thanks to releases like Darling, Say You’ll Love Me When I’m Old; Truck Driving Woman; Granda, Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days;Mama He’s Crazy, and more, Aishling was already well on her way to building a fan-base that has only continued to grow since she became Mike Denver‘s second Glór Tíre winner in a row (following in the footsteps of Emma Donohue in 2021) back in February.

          It’s been all go for Aishling ever since, with the in-demand entertainer delighting fans at gigs, concerts and festivals all around the country. And she’s looking forward to adding the Tullamore Show to that list this coming weekend…

          “I’m very excited to be performing at the Tullamore Show this year, and delighted to have been invited to take part by the organisers. It’s an event that’s known all over the country for being a great day out for all the family, not just for anyone who has a strong involvement or interest in farming. I’m a country girl myself, of course, coming from Knockshegowna in Tipperary, so I’ll be more than at home in the middle of it all! I know it’s the first time the Show will be held in a few years as well, after everything we’ve all gone through with Covid and lockdowns of one shape or another, so that makes it all the more of an honour for me, to be honest. I’ll definitely be looking forward to meeting everyone and getting up there on the main stage to sing a few songs for everyone too.” 

          Aishling, a student of voice at the Irish World Academy in Limerick, recently announced to her fans on social media that new music would be on the way very soon, as she was heading back into the studio to follow up the May release of her single You Never Can Tell.

          With her debut album – Love Me When I’m Old – now available, and as her star continues to rise, Aishling is sure to be one of the main attractions on the main stage at this year’s Tullamore Show.

~ GLÓR TÍRE Winner 2022 AISHLING RAFFERTY will perform on the TULLAMORE SHOW‘s main-stage at 2.40pm on SUNDAY, AUGUST 14th. You can follow Aishling at Aishling Rafferty Music on Facebook, and at Aishling Rafferty on Instagram. 

ENDS

Will Hoge / Ruthie Collins / Chase Rice

First Published August 2022

WILL, RUTHIE, & CHASE

WILL HOGE

WINGS ON MY SHOES marks yet another milestone on Will Hoge’s two-decade-plus musical journey, an already remarkable career that has seen him logging countless miles on the road and crafting an ongoing body of work, earning acclaim from media outlets spanning Rolling Stone and American Songwriter to NPR and Forbes, a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Best Country Song (honoring the Eli Young Band’s chart-topping cover of his Even If It Breaks Your Heart), and an intensely loyal worldwide fan following.

Produced by Hoge during a week’s worth of live performances at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, Wings On My Shoes was preceded earlier this year by the powerful album-closing Whose God Is This?, available for streaming and download now. The album – which sees Hoge joined by his longtime backing combo, guitarist Thom Donovan, drummer Allen Jones, and bassist Christopher Griffiths, with guest multi-instrumentalist Joshua Grange contributing pedal steel and organ – features few overdubs and zero studio trickery, wearing its rough edges with pride to stand tall as a document of a hardscrabble band at work, sweating and stomping its way toward rock ‘n’ roll redemption.

Written largely during the pandemic era, Wings On My Shoes is, at its core, a testament to Hoge’s renowned gifts as a songwriter, highlighting the diverse perspectives of an expert craftsman whose songs turn Southern storytelling into universal sentiment. From the jubilant jangle of It’s Just You and the furious All I Can Take – the latter an inspired blast of bar band bombast recorded in a single take – to the stunning, string-laced The Last One To Go and the desperate narrative drive of Dead Man’s Hand, Hoge distills American roots music to its essential ingredients, carrying the torch for an enduring blue collar sound rooted in ringing guitars, anthemic songcraft, and steadfast lyrical integrity.

I always want to embrace change,” Hoge says, “to accept new things artistically, but at the end of the day, I can try to run from this idea that I love good, guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll music or I can wear that badge of honor. I’m in the ‘wearing the badge of honor’ phase now.

~ WINGS ON MY SHOES, the brand new album from WILL HOGE, is released on all formats from August 26th.

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RUTHIE COLLINS

Sidewalk Records recording artist, Ruthie Collins, will be returning to the UK next month to play two highly anticipated shows – Millport Music Festival on August 20th, and Nashville Meets London on August 24th, completing the trio of major country festivals that started back in March with her debut appearance at C2C Ruthie‘s return also follows a successful run of UK shows with Americana singer-songwriter Sam Outlaw earlier this year.

Collins released Cold Comfort + in January, an expanded version of her critically acclaimed 2020 long-player, Cold ComfortCold Comfort + features Joshua Tree which was co-written with Luke Sheets. It’s a cathartic combination that underscores her ability to blend various sounds into her own potent delivery. 

Speaking on her return to the UK, Collins commented, “I’m counting the days till I get to return to the UK and perform again for the audiences that have quickly become so dear to my heart. This will be my third trip and every time is better than the last. I couldn’t be more excited to share some brand-new material, and also the fan favorites with the audiences at the Millport and Nashville Meets London Festivals!”

Praised by Billboard for its mix of “ethereal vocals alongside soaring string features, minimal piano parts, and delicate percussion,” Cold Comfort was initially released during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unable to tour behind the album, Collins temporarily left her adopted hometown of Nashville and headed home to her mother’s place in upstate New York. There, she recorded acoustic renditions of three Cold Comfort highlights: Hey Little Girl, Joshua Tree, and Wish You Were Here. Those homemade, reimagined versions appear on Cold Comfort +, demonstrating Collins’ ability to deliver a knockout performance with little more than her voice and an acoustic guitar.

COLD COMFORT + from RUTHIE COLLINS is OUT NOW.

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CHASE RICE

Key West & Colorado is the reflective new song from Chase Rice – and the latest preview of his forthcoming album – recently recorded in his rural Tennessee home-turned-studio, and released last Friday. 

The song was one of the first recorded for the project during that marathon at-home session, with Rice describing it as “the heart of the record.” Written by Rice together with childhood friend/longtime collaborator Brian Kelley, plus Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron and Hunter Phelps, on a writing retreat in Grayton Beach, Florida, the mid-tempo song chronicles the literal journey of coming to terms with a relationship’s end:Somewhere between Key West & Colorado / I found God in a gold Silverado / Had to get a little lost to get a little found / Learned you can’t find love if you can’t slow down / 

Somewhere between that sand and the snow / Salt in the air and salt on the road / Finally let myself let her go / Somewhere between Key West & Colorado

The song also represents a sonic shift for Rice, who teamed with producer Oscar Charles to fill his living room with a vintage stand-up piano, guitars, drums and percussion, bass and keyboards while leaving out some of his usual recording tools. For the first time in his career, Rice recorded for the new project with no click track, no pre-programmed music beds – and in many cases, one-take vocals.

“I had started writing songs at home with just me and a guitar whenever the inspiration hit me; instead of heading downtown and trying to crank something out during a scheduled writing session,” explains Rice of the transformation in his creative process. “I realized that bringing the writing room into my real life – my farm, duck camp, a vacation with my friends – whatever that might look like, was making for some really great songs. So, when we started talking about getting into the studio – what that should look and feel like – I realized we already had the answer. It should feel like home.”

“It was an incredible experience,” he continues. “We camped out there for weeks, usually going for 12-plus hours a day without even realizing the time was flying by because everyone was in such a creative groove. It’s definitely the most excited I’ve ever been about making music, so I can’t wait to share this new sound with the fans.”

KEY WEST & COLORADO, the NEW single from CHASE RICE, is OUT NOW.


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ENDS

Molly O’ Connell

NEWS

Press Release via AS Written, August 2022

NEW SINGLE SET TO BE A LIFETIME LOVE FOR MOLLY’S FANS

Following on from the success of her debut single, Crazy, Crazy Baby back in May, MOLLY O’ CONNELL is back with another treat for music fans. Just ahead of her performance at this year’s Cut Loose Country Music Festival at Holycross in her native Tipperary on July 31st, Irish country’s latest sweetheart announced that she will soon release her second single.

Fans can look forward to full release details for WALTZ A LIFETIME WITH YOU being announced on Molly‘s social media platforms. And, like her first hit, Molly’s sophomore release is another original from the impressive catalogue of songwriter Stephen Hamilton

Molly, who hails from Kilcommon in the ‘Premier County’, has made quite an impression on the Irish country music scene in the weeks since Crazy, Crazy Baby first hit the airwaves, something she looks set to continue with her new record. As well as turning in a thoroughly well received and enjoyed performance at June’s Cowboys and Heroes Festival at Drumcoura City in Leitrim, Molly’s talent has even caught the eye of no less a giant of Irish entertainment than Daniel O’ Donnell himself.   

Writing in his Sunday World column recently, Daniel said, ‘‘Molly’s on to a winner with ‘Crazy, Crazy Baby’…give it a play wherever you get your music and it’ll have you jiving around the place”. Recommendations seldom come much better than that, something Molly acknowledged at the time…

”I was blown away that Daniel O’ Donnell – the King of Country Music – wrote about my song in the Sunday World. That was a dream come true moment for me.’‘ 

And it was also just a sign of things to come for Molly, as Crazy, Crazy Baby caught the imagination of country fans. Listeners to Tipp FM‘s Premier Country show voted the track their Song of the Week shortly after its release, while it climbed all the way to the number-one spot on Tipp Mid-Wests station airplay chart in June. 

Although Molly is no stranger to being in the public eye when it comes to her musical gifts, she admits to being humbled by the response to her career as a recording artist so far…

”I’m just so thankful to everyone who I’ve met along the way in the last few weeks, I really am. Peoples’ kindness has been overwhelming and so heartwarming as well. Listeners to stations all across the country have been brilliant for requesting ‘Crazy, Crazy Baby’, and for sending me the loveliest messages about the song as well. It was always a dream of mine to release a single someday, so to finally do that with such a great song by Stephen, a man who has been such a highly thought of musician on the country scene for years – even playing in Daniel’s band for a while – it’s been amazing so far.” 

And that journey continues with Molly’s new single, WALTZ A LIFETIME WITH YOU, also written by Stephen…

”Obviously, like every Tipp woman, I’m very proud of where I’m from, no surprise there!’, laughs Molly. ”So when the invitation came my way to be a part of this year’s Cut Loose Festival on July 31st, you can believe me when I tell you that I didn’t need any time to think it over! It’s probably Ireland’s top country music festival in my eyes, so I’m very excited about the opportunity to sing my new single on that stage. It’s another beautiful song from Stephen, and I think it will show fans a different side to me this time. I think it’s important to record and release original songs, which is why I’m so happy to be working with Stephen again on ‘Waltz A Lifetime With You.’ And I also think that as a new artist, it’s a good idea if I show fans that I can do songs in a range of different styles.” 

When it comes to style and range, Molly has experience and talent to beat the proverbial band, having begun her stage career aged just six! At only eight, she won her first Munster Final in Fleadh, going on to claim an All-Ireland in Scor at fourteen. Over the years Molly has developed an ability to effortlessly enrapture audiences with her renditions of country, ballad, folk, and traditional favourites. As the youngest of five in a home where music always played an integral role in life, Molly was a key figure in ‘The O’ Connell Family’ band, crediting her own love of performing as coming from her father, Denis, a man who more than knew his way around the button accordion and himself sang in a band called ‘The Mellow Tones’. 

With her diary getting busier by the day, Molly recently recorded videos for the autumn series of TG4‘s Ceol Tíre show, and for Europe’s longest running country music show, Hot Country TV. Molly will also be appearing alongside Paddy O’ Brien, TR Dallas, and Simon Peters at Cork’s Star Trax music venue on August 14th. 

¬ WALTZ A LIFETIME WITH YOU, the brand NEW single from MOLLY O’ CONNELL – written by Stephen Hamilton – will soon be available on all platforms. Follow Molly on Facebook and Instagram at Molly O’ Connell Music for the announcement of general release details.

ENDS