Colin Kenny


Press Release via AS Written, February 2021


Singer/songwriter COLIN KENNY is back on the Irish country charts with his latest original release, the sentimental GRANDMOTHER’S PRAYER, which is currently a Top Ten hit on the Irish Country Music Radio station airplay chart. 

          The Banagher native began his career as a seriously impressive vocal stylist, sharing stages with a host of legendary names in the world of entertainment, from Tony Christie, The Fureys, Mike Denver, and even the late Brendan Grace. The last few years, however, have seen him transformed into a recording artist to be reckoned with thanks to a succession of acclaimed singles, all of which were penned by the man himself. 

          Based in Borrisokane where he is a barber by trade, Kenny is certainly showing no sign of losing that creative spark any time soon if Grandmother’s Prayer is anything to go by. The single expertly taps into the kind of memories many country fans will recall with ease, that of softly imparted yet sage advice from a grandparent. And in keeping with all of his original material, there’s more than a little of his own life in this new tale from ‘the singing barber’…

          “It’s definitely a song that I was able to go back in time to my childhood to draw from alright. And I think it’s probably true to say that a lot of us, when we’re very young and spending time with our grandparents, we don’t fully grasp how much of a privilege and a blessing it actually is to be able to do that. But as you get a little bit older, you really start to appreciate time like that all the more. And when you look back on those younger days – as I do in this song – they take on a very sentimental hue.” 

           Colin, winner of the Gene Stuart Music Inspiration Award at the 2019 Hot Country TV Awards Concert, continued, “Thank God, a lot of the very wise words my own grandmother shared with me sank in somehow! [laughs]. And it was just one day when something she had said once happened to came back to me, that I started thinking about it more. And that was the start of the song really, just drifting back in time to what it was like to be sitting there at her side on a summer’s day after a morning or afternoon down by the river fishing. I think a lot of us, if we’re lucky, will be able to say that we learned a lot more than we ever thought when we were sitting at the kitchen table with people who knew a lot more about life than we did back then. And it was always all done in such a gentle way too, that’s where the idea of those messages from my grandmother being a prayer came from.” 

          Grandmother’s Prayer is the follow-up to Will You Dance With Me, Annie?, Kenny’s previous single and another from his own ever-growing songbook. Penned as a tribute to the love shared between his parents, Jack and Annie, the track gave country fans everywhere another taste of what they’re missing as a result of the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions which have silenced ‘live’ music for close on a year now. 

          Where there’s a will, though, there’s a way. And like so many more of his colleagues in the music industry, Colin has recently started taking to his Facebook music page on a regular basis. Every Wednesday and Sunday evening at 9pm since late September, early October of last year he’s been treating fans to songs like those already mentioned, plus The Best Song In The World, I’m A Country Singer, Head Over Heels In Love, and some of his own personal favourites, with requests from his ever-growing fanbase always catered to as well. 

         And the good news for those fans, is that Colin’s official debut album is on the way. With the plan being for that long-player to feature only his own original songs, there’s little doubt that we’ll be hearing plenty more from the Banagher man for a long time to come. And the Irish country scene will be a better place for it. 

GRANDMOTHER’S PRAYER, the brand NEW single from COLIN KENNY is OUT NOW, and available to request from radio. You can follow Colin on Facebook (Colin Kenny Music) where you can also tune into his regular Facebook ‘Live’ shows. 


Larissa Tormey


Press Release via AS Written


Singer/songwriter LARISSA TORMEY enjoyed a double-delight last weekend with the news that she had been nominated in two of the most esteemed categories in HOT PRESS magazine’s HOTTIES Awards 2021. 

          Larissa is among the artists up for Female Artist of the Year, where she joins some of Ireland’s most distinguished performers, including Imelda May, Denise Chaila, Sinéad O’ Connor, Emma Langford, and Mary Coughlan. A prolific writer, and with plans underway for the release of a contemporary album of original material later this year, the Kilbeggan based artist also finds herself in the company of some well-known names for the Best Songwriter prize. Also included in that category are Bono, Hozier, Dermot Kennedy, Lisa Hannigan, Sorcha Richardson, and Niall Horan. 

          In what Hot Press have described as being a “dazzling diverse selection of talent on offer right across the country, homegrown music has never been so exciting,” the celebrated magazine is inviting its readers to have their say. And in speaking about her own inclusion in two of those categories, Larissa was almost lost as to what to say…

           “When I got the message from a friend with the link to the nominations, I couldn’t believe it at first. I didn’t know what to say, I really didn’t. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not usually short on words! [Laughs]. I saw the Female Artist of the Year category first, and just seeing my name beside such inspirational women as Imelda May and Sinéad O’ Connor, and so many more, it was definitely a shock alright. And definitely a surprise too. But I think more than anything, it’s just such an honour. It’s been such a difficult twelve-months for the music industry, and a very, very challenging time for any artist. Like so many, I’ve been doing my best to keep things going, and keep putting some music out there, and to stay connected to fans. This moment in itself is a lovely recognition of that.” 

          Larissa’s latest single, Agree To Disagreeis a duet with British singer/songwriter Dave Sheriff. Released in time for St. Valentine’s Day, the track – which was written by Dave and produced by Peter Ware – offered a light-hearted look at love and was the second time Larissa and Dave had teamed up, having previously sung together on the Michael Commins penned Breath Of Fresh Air (together with Scottish accordion champion Brandon McPhee), the title-track of Larissa’s latest album, which was released last November.

          The Breath Of Fresh Air collection also includes Larissa’s own songs, You Miss My Smile, Old Fashioned, and Inner Angel, so her nomination in the Best Songwriter category is more than warranted as well. Nevertheless, seeing herself in the company of Bono, Hozier, and Niall Horan was a little hard to take in…

          “It made me smile with happiness, because there are so many huge internationally recognised stars in that category, and there I am too, an independent artist living in the middle of Ireland, trying to do as much as I can by myself. Without a record label to back you, and a team that helps to get your name and your music out there, it can be hard sometimes. But what always drives me on is the enjoyment of creating, my passion for music and for songwriting. So it’s a very satisfying moment to even be included in the Best Songwriter category. That too, is an honour, and one I’m very grateful for. I will enjoy this feeling for a few days…then back to work! [Laughs].”

          As times change, so too do Awards, with the Hotties now including categories for Live Stream of the Year, as well as one for Non-Binary Artist. And in keeping with the long Hot Press tradition of covering all areas of Irish life and culture, the Readers’ Poll also includes your chance to vote for your favourite comedian, radio DJ, TV show, book, game, hero, villain, and more. Rapper and hip-hop artist Denise Chaila has been nominated for a staggering eight awards. 

~ To vote for Larissa, or in any other category, simply go to the official Hot Press website, 

~ Larissa’s latest single, AGREE TO DISAGREE – her duet with Dave Sheriff – is out now, available on all platforms, and to request from radio. 


Stephen Rosney


Press Release via AS Written, March 2021


The brand new single from STEPHEN ROSNEY shows that the singer/songwriter knows who the boss is, and proves that he wouldn’t want it any other way! THANK GOD FOR MY WIFE is the latest original from the midlands man, and in keeping with every release in the Rosney songbook, it’s a tune that will have fans humming along from the very first listen. 

          “It would be near impossible for anyone to have a career or any kind of a life in the music business,” declared Stephen, “without the support of a very understanding partner at your side. I’ve said that before, many’s the time, and it’s something that I’ll always stand by, too. This single is just an acknowledgement of that fact. If it wasn’t for my wife Helen, then it’s fair to say that anything I’ve done or achieved with either Roslyn or the Back Axles, or as a solo artist, just wouldn’t have been possible.”

          That sense of love and gratitude is evident from early on in the song where Stephen sings, “She’s my life, my everything.” However, as fans of the Offalyman’s work will know, one of the hallmarks of a Rosney composition is a sense of humor. And it’s very much a case of tongue-in-cheek playfulness mixed with heartfelt sincerity in Thank God For My Wife too, as listeners will hear in lines like, “Tear down that wall, move that chest down the hall/ Put that guitar in the bin.” But all of that is simply a situation where art is reflecting life as it’s lived in the Rosney household.

          “I’d have a tendency to live with my tongue-in-cheek most of the time anyway! [Laughs]. And Helen is that way inclined as well, which is obviously a good thing. That shared sense of humor has been one of the strengths in our relationship since the day we met. And I think it’s a factor that plays one of the most important roles in any relationship. Most of what I sing in this song has probably happened in some shape or another, I might just have changed a few details to protect the guilty [Laughs]. But like that line about the guitar, I’d always know that Helen never actually means that, and she’d always know that I understand what it really means is I’d better put it away for a while if I want any dinner! [Laughs].”

          Indeed, the strength of Stephen and Helen’s bond was demonstrated by the fact that they ventured into the recording studio last year to duet on a track called Something We Can Work On, a co-write between Stephen and Lusmagh lyricist and poet Anthony Sullivan. Also last year, Stephen released a powerful tribute to the late John Prine, one of those who have sadly been taken from this world too soon as a result of Covid 19. That song, Still Around Somehow, written by Joe Kelly and Paul McNeilly, also featured the talents of some of Nashville’s top players. Bob Miner, who spent twenty-seven years with Tim McGraw, played acoustic guitar, while David Roe Rorick, who played with Johnny Cash, was on upright bass. Aaron Till, who played fiddle and mandolin, has also played with Pam Tillis, Mark Chesnutt and Asleep At The Wheel. The song’s producer, Mike Scott, took on banjo, with the multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Carl Jackson, who played with Glen Campbell for twelve years, joined Stephen on vocals. 

THANK GOD FOR MY WIFE, the brand NEW single from STEPHEN ROSNEY, is OUT NOW, available on all platforms and to request from radio. 


Larissa Tormey


Press Release, via AS Written, March 2021


Country music star LARISSA TORMEY continues her flying start to 2021 with the release of another new single, ONE MAN BAND. In keeping with what you might expect from a lady whose last release, Agree To Disagree, was a duet with British country great Dave Sheriff, and who has also just been nominated for two Hot Press Awards alongside names like Imelda May, Emma Langford, Niall Horan, and Hozier, there’s a big-name link involved here too. And it’s one that leads directly to none other than SIR TOM JONES himself. 

          One Man Band comes from the pen of JON PHILIBERT, a gentleman whose achievements have justifiably earned him the distinction of being regarded one of the leading lights of British country music songwriting. The Londoner is the man responsible for writing what became – and remains – Jones’s longest ever country charting record, the beautifully titled, I’ve Been Rained On Too. The song became a top-ten for the Welsh legend in 1984, going on to hold a place on the Billboard Country chart for a staggering twenty-two weeks. I’ve Been Rained On Too has also been recorded by Charlie Landsborough and featured on his 1989 collection, Still Can’t Say Goodbye. 

          For Kilbeggan based Larissa, the opportunity to work with Philibert, who has also seen his songs recorded by artists like the great American country giant Bobby Bare, as well as Irish country stars like Mick Flavin and Trevor Loughrey, was an easy yes! 

          “Well first of all, who doesn’t love Tom Jones? [Laughs]. Like so many, I have always been a fan. And even more so because I’m a singer as well. I think any singer, regardless of age or genre, has an appreciation of both the amazing career he has had, and also the beauty of his voice. It’s quite timeless, in a way. For me to have any kind of a link to Sir Tom Jones in my career is something I never expected. But for it to happen by getting to know a gentleman like Jon, such a fabulous writer, well I can easily say that this is definitely a highlight of my life as a singer so far. Jon’s connection to Sir Tom is in the history books, and obviously Jon’s talent as a songwriter is the reason why. For me to be able to record and release ‘One Man Band’ is an honour.”One Man Band is a perfect example of excellence in country music songwriting, and of why so many people fall in love with the genre and its storytelling. Both a clever and a touching song about marital fidelity and a golden wedding band, the track has an ultra-catchy and radio-friendly hook, recalling the glory days of artists such as the Kendalls, Highway 101, and the Judds, with a feisty vivacity exquisitely entwined with a modern country sensibility. 

ONE MAN BAND, the brand NEW single from double HOT PRESS Award nominee LARISSA TORMEY, written by JON PHILIBERT, is available now on all platforms, and to request from radio.


Aishling Rafferty


Press Release via AS Written, March 2021


AISHLING RAFFERTYis one of Irish country music’s most promising young stars, and she’s about to push her career into top gear with her brand new single, TRUCK DRIVING WOMAN

          The track, written by Johnny Wilson and Roland Pike, is Aishling’s second release of 2021, following on from Darling, Say You’ll Love Me When I’m Old. Not only did that single further showcase Aishling’s beautiful voice, it gave her plenty of reasons to celebrate too, topping the iTunes Irish country chart, the Irish Country Music Radio station airplay chart, and with its video garnering more than 330,000 views on the Irish Music Memories Facebook page. So one thing is for certain, Aishling, from Knockshegowna in Tipperary, is proving to be a knock-out with country music fans, and Truck Driving Woman – which has now given her a second iTunes #1 in 2021 -looks set to see her fanbase grow still further. 

          Both Darling, Say You’ll Love Me When I’m Old and Truck Driving Woman are set to feature on the nineteen year old’s debut album, an eagerly anticipated collection which it’s expected fans will have in their hands later this year. Aishling, a student of voice at the Irish World Academy, has already recorded a six-track EP, My Journey, with 50% of the proceeds from that project being donated to the Irish Hospice Foundation. However, with her reputation quickly growing, requests for a full album have been coming thick and fast, and Truck Driving Woman is sure to whet the appetite of fans even more. 

          “You’ll certainly need your dancing shoes on for this one!”, declared Aishling, adding, “I’m super-excited for you all to hear this one. As anyone who knows me will probably already know, I’m a bit of a dancer! Before everything happened with Covid, I was like so many people, just loving to get out on a dancefloor as often as I could. And I can’t tell you how much I miss it. But when it came to thinking about songs for my album and especially what would follow ‘Darling, Say You’ll Love Me When I’m Old,’ I realised that what I really wanted was something that I didn’t really have yet, a great song for dancing and getting people up and out on the floor!” 

          And Aishling had just the song in mind, a tune made famous by one of her heroes, the iconic Philomena Begley, as she explained…“I think every female country singer in Ireland probably looks up to Philomena, to be honest. I definitely do, I always have. I’ve always listened to her albums, that’s one of the ways I fell in love with country music. And it’s one of the reasons why I first started dreaming of being a country singer, from watching Philomena perform. Seeing the way she could connect with her audience and how they’d respond to her has always been so amazing to see. And that’s something she’s still doing, right up to today. So that’s where I first heard ‘Truck Driving Woman.'”

          “I started putting a list together”, continued Aishling, “of possible songs I wanted to do this time, and as soon as I wrote this one down I kind of knew that was the list finished! I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now, so it became an easy choice in the end. We’re heading into a brighter time of the year too, so I think something that has a bit of life in it will hopefully be something that people can enjoy with a smile on their face.” 

          Originally recorded by American country star Norma Jean, Truck Driving Woman was a single for the Oklahoman in 1968, featuring on her Body And Mind album. Norma Jean (full-name Norma Jean Beasler) began her ‘showbiz’ career at the tender age of just twelve, singing at different radio stations in the ‘Sooner’ state. She went on to become a member of the Porter Wagoner Show for several years during the sixties, accruing thirteen singles on Billboard’s Country Top 40 in the same decade. Norma Jean also received two Grammy nominations during her career, and was a Grand Ole Opry member for many years. 

TRUCK DRIVING WOMAN, the brand NEW single from AISHLING RAFFERTY, is available now on all platforms, and also to request from radio. You can stay up to date with further news on Aishling’s forthcoming debut album by following her on Facebook and Instagram at Aishling Rafferty Music.