FREE HOT COUNTRY SHOWS TO MAKE IT A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR FANS
It’s been a long twenty-two months or so for country music fans in Ireland, but HOT COUNTRY TV is about to make it a very merry Christmas at least, with founder and host HUGH O’ BRIEN announcing that SIX FREE hour long HD STREAMING shows are on the way.
Beginning at 5pm on Christmas Eve on the official Hot Country TV website – www,hotcountrytv.com, the shows – titled AN IRISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS – promise fans a wonderful mix of chat, storytelling, and even some very special Christmas videos that have never been seen before. Featuring some of Irish entertainment’s star names, including
Daniel O’ Donnell, Nathan Carter, Olivia Douglas, and Sabrina Fallon, the shows will be presented by Hugh and Eilish O’ Sullivan. And the Corkman sees the shows as a way to bring some cheer back into the lives of fans who – for the most part – wouldn’t have been able to see all of their favourite artists ‘live’ this year…
“The Irish country music scene, for as long as its existed in any form at all, has been built around people coming together to enjoy the artists they love. Live shows and gigs, days and nights like that have been the heartbeat of the scene, and of so many peoples’ lives. So everything that’s happened since March 2020, or should I say, everything that hasn’t been able to happen, has been a complete shock to the system for so many people. We thought this year would be better, and that things would all go back to normal, but unfortunately that’s not how it turned out to be. And that’s why we’ve decided to make our ‘An Irish Country Christmas’ shows free for everyone to enjoy this Christmas.”
“Not only are we making all six of these shows free for everyone”, remarked Hugh, “we’re also making them easily available, so that as many country music fans as possible can enjoy them over the Christmas. Each of the shows will be available FREE and in FULL HD on our website, www.hotcountrytv.com, and people at home will also be able to cast them to their Smart TVswhen the website is entered using Google Chrome browser, this is a must. Another great idea is to log onto the website through all Smart TV’s in-built browser.”
Hugh went on to point out that the shows would also cast directly from laptop and desktop computers – and Android phones such as Samsungs, to all Android Smart TVs, and to all Smart TVs when using a Google Chromecast dongle (about €25 to buy), and that there are millions of Chromecast devices in operation around the world.
The thrill of watching LINDA MARTIN win the Eurovision for Ireland when singing Johnny Logan’s brilliant Why Me? is a memory that will never leave me. Nor will hearing it ever fail to stir those same emotions of excitement and pride that I felt bursting in my heart as I watched Linda cast her spell over a continent back in 1992. Hearing her perform Why Me? in person in the Tullamore Court Hotel a couple of years ago was just like travelling back in time. I wasn’t a sixteen year old sitting at home in the kitchen in Lusmagh anymore, but I might as well have been. Music is magical, and songs like Why Me?, performed by artists like Linda prove why that’s true.
Little did I know way back then, of course, that one day I’d have the pleasure of working on a project with the very lady who won the first of Ireland’s famous three-in-a-row, leading the way for Niamh Kavanagh who took the crown in 1993 with In Your Eyes from the pen of Jimmy Walsh, before Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington gave us the hat-trick with Brendan Graham’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids in 1994. But, that pleasure did indeed come my way. And just last week, it was my privilege to sit down for another chat with Linda.
We’d been meaning to get around to this for a while now, and with Linda having two spectacular concerts coming up in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral next month, what better time to finally make it happen?!
“I’m grand, back to work again”, revealed Linda, as our chat got underway. “I had a year and a half off like everybody else. What can you do? You just get on with your life. But it’s been so difficult for everybody. I mean, looking back on it, I can’t believe that for a year and a half there wasn’t any gigging, or meeting musicians, or setting keys for songs, or doing something. It’s just incredible.”
Moving on to the forthcoming concerts of December 6th and 7th next, Linda explained how they came about…
“Well, we’ve been running them for about the last five years, hugely successful. Not last year, obviously, because of Covid. But this year, I reckon that people are gonna want to get out and revisit those fantastic nights that we had in the Pro Cathedral, which is a beautiful place. So I thought ok, we could go with a night which is Celine [Byrne], who is an opera singer, Red [Hurley], Mary Byrne, Michael English, and the choir [the Halleluia Gospel Choir], do that sort of a night. Then the second night, I was talking to Johnny Logan, and I said to him are you around at all on the 7th, and he said he was. ‘Will you come in?’, I asked him, and ‘I will’, he said, so when he said yes I got onto the other ones and they all said yes immediately. The only one who couldn’t do it is Eimear because she lives in Geneva, you see, so she couldn’t get home. So we went ahead and put all our arrangements in place and that’s what we have, two nights, and all profits, of course – as usual – going to three charities. The first one is The Peter McVerry Trust, I adore that man. I just think he should be sainted. We have a new charity on board [this year] called Blossom, which helps mentally impaired people get into the work-place. And the third one, of course, is the charity that I’m a patron of, and that’s Dogs Aid, up near Finglas in north county Dublin. That’s what we’ll be doing. And we have a raffle both nights in the middle of the show, and then we’ll have our guest readers as well, like Mary Kennedy, Anne Doyle, Rory Cowan comes in and he does a little Santa skit with lots of little kids dressed up as elves. He’s done that before for me and the public love it because all of the little tint kiddies are dressed up and he’s talking to them about Santa and everything. Peter McVerry will speak too. He enthralls everybody. People just sit with their mouths open listening to that man talking. Covid, I know people are scared, but we’re definitely adhering to every Covid rule that that government has told us to do, I think that’s important to say and for people to realise as well.”
One of the charities Linda will be helping to raise funds for is the Dog and Animal Sanctuary, and animals – dogs in particular – are and have always been a hugely important part of her life. In fact, Linda has twelve – that’s TWELVE – rescue dogs living with her. I wondered was there a moment, or perhaps a combination of certain moments in her life, that her love of dogs grew from?
“Ah yeah, it’s twelve. But listen, for this house, that’s quite a small number. Trust me. Trust me! I remember one Christmas many years ago, there were twenty-four dogs in this house. I couldn’t walk across the kitchen [laughs]. But sure I don’t care, I love them! My father’s family were the same, they always had animals, always. So it comes from that side. When I was a child, I didn’t actually play with dolls and prams and things like that, it was always a dog. And I was always allowed to have dogs as a child. But my mam, she used to say to me, she never had to worry if I was lost, she just had to look for a tail wagging somewhere and she knew i’d be beside it. So it’s just in my heart. I just adore them.”
How old is Linda’s eldest dog at the moment?
“Fourteen. I can tell you that immediately because I’m going to the vet with her on Saturday morning, just for a check-up. When she came in here, she was a little mange-ridden puppy fourteen years ago, and he’s still here. He’s called Tinky-Winky, and he looks like one of the characters out of Emmerdale, I think his name was Red? [Laughs]. He’s fourteen, still moving about, still eating away, still doing everything. I became a patron of the sanctuary just because they asked me. That would be the closest one to me, it’s only about twenty minutes away from my house, so I’d known of them. I can’t really remember the exact reason, but I got a message from them asking would I come on-board as a patron, and I did so gladly. And I’m still with them. They’re good people. It’s a voluntary organisation. Nobody takes any money, all of the money that comes in goes to the dogs. It’s actually operational because of public donations, it’s marvellous.”
Eurovision is the theme of one of Linda’s concert nights, and no-one in this country is more connected to Ireland’s Eurovision history than Linda. Not only did she win it in 1992 with Why Me?, she also came second in the contest in 1984 singing Terminal 3, and has been a National Song Contest entrant nine times, a number that is – to the best of my knowledge – still a record. But in recent years…ok, decades at this stage, sadly… Ireland has badly lost its way in the Eurovision. There’s a Late Late Show Eurosong special coming up again soon, something which doesn’t fill me any hope because this is an event that deserves and warrants its own stand-alone show, not simply being tagged as another Late Late Show special, or indeed, having anything to do with The Late Late Show. How would Linda go about putting us back on the right path again?
“Well, exactly what you said. I’d make a special night of it. It could be in one of the studios in Dublin, but you could make it special [for the night], or else you could go to one of the theatres in Dublin and make money out of it. I truly believe that you’d be able to sell tickets. It’s a competition alright, but you could also have stars from Eurovision [as guest artists], you could bring them in. Think of Brotherhood of Man, for instance, they could be brought in. You would obviously go for the Irish winners, but you could go outside the box as well. Different countries that have won, RTE could approach them and just ask how they would feel about taking part in a show like that. It could be anybody. I think that would be a huge success, and it would make it something special again. When we don’t make it special, then the public tends to dismiss it. And Terry Wogan, God rest him, he was the worst! Jesus, the things he used to say about it [laughs]. But at the same time, he loved it. Graham Norton absolutely adores it. And I just think if we made this something special, whether we made the competition a stand-alone event, or really started trying to change the public’s opinion of it, because when you think about it on a base level, you’re providing work for an awful lot of people. Songwriters. The studios where the songs are recorded. Employees involved in putting the show together. There’s so much work in it that people would benefit from. People shouldn’t dismiss it, but think of it as a platform. If you can get your voice out in Europe in front of four-hundred-million people, that’s a platform for you! I just think we have to make something special of it. And we also have to take into consideration the days when we were all performing in cabarets, discos, variety shows on RTE and in the theatres, people got to know you, and you got your experience. So by the time that you had a few years under your belt, RTE would have heard about you, and you could put your name in the hat, and they would say well this song would suit X, Y, or Z.”
Linda continued, “Now I’m well aware that those situations don’t exist anymore. But, it’s not a contest for beginners. There’s no point unless you’ve got experience, are used to crowds, and dealing with people, don’t touch it. Seriously. If you think of last year’s Eurovision, and the amazing acts, all of those acts were brilliant. And I’m thinking of the women in particular. They were beautiful, dressed immaculately, smiling, dancing, singing, and they looked as if they owned the stage. And that only comes from experience. That applies to the boys as well. I remember suggesting to RTE one time, why didn’t they go around the karaoke competitions in Ireland. And they looked at me as if I’d just grown two heads! But it’s the only way these days that you’ll actually see and hear somebody. But I don’t know what we are going to do, because we can’t compete monetarily, or with some club-beat song, it doesn’t work for us. The Europeans have that nailed down. You know what their tracks and everything sounds like. We’ve always won with the big ballad. And I think we have to stick to that. Don’t try to compete with the other ones.”
So, what Linda is really saying, if I’m correct, is that it all comes down to the song still? Or at least it should all come down to the song?
“Yeah. Yeah. It really does. The song should be the most important thing. But it means nothing if you haven’t got a package around it. There has to be a ‘look.’ There has to be good vocals. They have to be camera-friendly. It’s a complete package that’s needed. And it’s very, very difficult to get that.”
It’s that time of the year again when loads of fabulous new books begin to appear, and one in particular that I can’t wait to get stuck into soon is Backstage Pass by Pat Egan, a man Linda knows well.
“I do, I do of course know Pat.”
And everyone is eagerly awaiting the day when another good friend of Linda’s, Louis Walsh, finally puts pen to paper!
But what about Linda herself? Has the thought ever crossed her mind to tell and share her incredible story in that way?
“Well, do you know something, I was approached a couple of times and I met up with a couple of publishers. And I just kept saying to them that I wasn’t going to name any names [laughs]. And they were sort of like well you’re no good to us then [laughs]. But I think I’d be boring. And I’m not looking for you to say, ‘Oh no, you wouldn’t’, or anything like that. I mean, genuinely, I think it would be boring.”
I knew Linda wasn’t just looking for compliments because that simply isn’t her way. But I had to disagree, and I said it anyway: No way would her book be boring. No way. I think it would be fantastic.
“Well you’d never know what would happen in the future [with me], but Pat Egan’s is definitely going to be worth reading. I’ve known Pat for years, and he’s an extraordinary character. He’ll tell you the stories, but he never, ever runs anybody down, I’ve learned that from Pat. He always speaks very respectfully of people, no matter who they are. He tells amazing stories of stars he’s worked with and booked into Dublin, the festivals he’s run, and everything in between. A really interesting and lovely man. His book is definitely worth a read. I’m a voracious reader. My favourite author of all time is Frederick Forsyth.”
It’s funny that Linda mentioned her karaoke idea to RTE all those years ago, because with their latest show – Last Singer Standing – well, it’s basically just karaoke and nothing more. When it comes to TV shows like this, of course, Linda has been there, done that, and went home with the tee-shirt as well, as they say. She worked with Louis on The X-Factor, and she played a major role on You’re A Star, so she knows what these shows are like. But in terms of something like Last Singer Standing, and indeed, the recent mess that was Virgin Media One’s The Big Deal (definitely not a big deal!), what were thoughts?
“I have to give kudos to people who are actually trying to bring things forward. From what I’ve seen, there wasn’t anybody that sort of stood out and made me say oh Jesus Christ, you’ve got to sign that guy or that girl, you know. I did notice the winner of the first week of Last Singer Standing, a guy called Alex King, I remember Alex when he auditioned for Louis’s bands and things like that. And he’s a fine singer alright. But trying to get a record deal [now], it sounds to me like you need to have millions of followers on Facebook, then the record companies take notice, then possibly they’ll sign you to something. But there’s no money involved anymore. There isn’t. In days gone by you might have got €100,000 up front. That doesn’t happen anymore. Unless you’re Lady Gaga or somebody like that, that’s a different thing altogether. But no, I have seen anybody standing out. And Louis Walsh watches these things like a hawk. And nothing has come to his mind either. But he is putting some sort of a new act together. He’s looking for ‘something’, or ‘somebody’, or maybe a group, or people that he can put in a group, sixteen to twenty-one years old. He’s going to do something, he just doesn’t know what. The way he feels about it is when he sees it, he’ll know. And then he’ll push with a record company. But like I said, it’s very, very, very difficult.”
Is it so difficult now because so many people try to just copy what’s already out there, rather than trying to be themselves and stand out as an individual?
“There’s some unique people alright [that stand out]. Dua Lipa, I think she’s fantastic. There’s some around. But I don’t know if copying is the right word because you fall into that trap anyway without realising it. Somebody could sit down and start writing a song and then realise it sounds like Elton John, but listen, that’s just the way it goes. Music selling, of course, has been destroyed because of Spotify and all of those things. Songwriters are making nothing because of that. It’s so easy to go online, listen to a song or listen to an album, and if you don’t like it, you don’t buy it. In the old days, you had to buy the album to listen to the one song. We’re caught in that trap as well.”
Returning to the idea of if Linda did ever write a book, I have no doubt that she could fill volumes with advice to those in the worlds of music, showbiz, and entertainment. Acknowledging the fact that it’s hard to ever narrow down advice to one or two golden nuggets, if Linda were to try, what words of wisdom might she pass on?
“Yeah. To all young people who ask me that, I say you’re limited where you can be seen, so go and join your local amateur dramatic society. And they’re looking at me like, ‘Whaaaat?!’ [Laughs]. But I say, I’m telling you, these people know so much, they’ve been there for a long time, they will teach you stage-craft, voice projection, they’ll teach everything that happens backstage, and it’s so well worth trying. I don’t know if anybody has ever gone and done that, but I think it’s a great idea to do it. Most of these people [in local ADSs] are so helpful as well. The second piece of advice is go and camp out outside Louis Walsh’s house! [Laughs]. The options are limited. You have to push yourself because if you don’t, nobody hears about you. But then there’s an over-confidence that turns everybody against you. You’re looking for that middle-line all the time.”
As we tip-toe around the edge of another new year now- and even if things are still somewhat uncertain in a lot of ways – what is Linda looking forward to or hopeful about in 2022?
“Not so much for myself, but what I’m hoping we can do is progress animal welfare laws in this country, that the government will actually say no, and start to take action against these dreadful puppy farmers and people who inflict such cruelty onto animals. That would be one thing that’s always on my mind. And for myself, just getting back to work! That’s all. That’s how my life has been spent, so it’s alien to me to be sitting not doing anything. And the Covid, I know we’re going to be living with it for the rest of our lives, but hopefully we can get it down to where it’s there, but we’re not actually getting sick from it.”
~CHRISTMAS VOICES from the PRO CATHEDRAL takes place on DECEMBER 6th, featuring Celine Byrne, Michael English, Mary Byrne, Red Hurley, Anna Kearney, the Halleluia Gospel Choir, and Linda Martin. The EUROVISION VOICES at CHRISTMAS concert takes place in the Pro Cathedral on December 7th, featuring Johnny Logan, Dana, Paul Harrington, Charlie McGettigan, Niamh Kavanagh, Anna Kearney, the Halleluia Gospel Choir, and Linda Martin. Tickets for BOTH shows are ON-SALE NOW, available from eventbrite.ie, and the Pro Cathedral Parish Office.
Country star, Glór Tíre finalist, Hot Country TV Award winner, and regular Midlands 103 guest presenter ALEX ROE has just announced a must-see diary date for music fans, for a night that’s sure to be one of the first ‘hot-ticket’ nights of 2022. The Offaly native will bring THE ALEX ROE SHOW to the Tuar Ard Theatre in Moate on Friday, January 28th next year.
The night will see Roe return to the stage for one of his biggest performances since pre-pandemic days. And with a bill that also includes TR Dallas, John Molloy, Aishling Rafferty, Colin Kenny, and Donie O, Roe is both keen to make up for lost time and to offer the audience a night to remember…
“I’m absolutely delighted that the time has finally come to share this news with everyone. I’ve said it before – and it’s so true – that one of the things that helped me get through the last eighteen, nineteen months was dreaming about being able to play ‘live’ shows again. There’s just nothing like being in front of an audience. It doesn’t really matter what size the gig is, because it’s all about the connection you’re able to create with the people in front of you. Since ‘live’ music has started to come back, every show I’ve played has reminded me how much I love what I do, and what a privilege it is to be able to entertain people.”
And while there’s never a doubt that the man from Clara puts his heart and soul into every performance, it’s no surprise to hear that bringing his own show to the beautiful Tuar Ard in Moate is going to mean something extra special to him…
“We only officially announced the show last weekend, and you’d actually swear that was the very first I heard of it with how excited I’ve been about it ever since! [Laughs]. But of course, the truth is that we’ve been working on it behind the scenes for a while now, making sure everything was in place. And every time another piece of the plan came together, it was like a little version of Christmas morning for me, and that’s no lie [laughs]. I’m thrilled that all of my guest artists on the night were available, and were kind enough to agree to come along and be part of the show. I know the audience are going to really enjoy the different styles and personalities that each act will bring to the night.”
Roe, who will be joined by a ‘live’ band for his own performance on January 28th, has become one of the brightest young stars in Irish country music over the last few years. Under the mentorship of Trudi Lalor, he almost took the Glór Tíre crown in 2020, while also picking up a prestigious Hot Country TV Award, and in more recent times, even taking over the mic at Midlands 103 where he has become a popular guest presenter on bank holidays. And with everything that has happened in the world since early 2020, Alex is looking forward to the start of a brand new year more than ever before…
“Thankfully, and I’m so grateful that I’m in a position to be able to say this, 2022 is looking like being my busiest year ever. There’s so many things to look forward to already once we can do everything safely, and make sure that we keep taking care of each other. And definitely for me, that Friday night at the end of January when we take ‘The Alex Roe Show’ to the Tuar Ard is going to be one of the year’s highlights. And I plan on making it a highlight of the year for everyone in the audience as well.”
~THE ALEX ROE SHOW takes place in the TUAR ARD Theatre, Moate, on FRIDAY, JANUARY 28th. Doors open at 7.30pm with the night’s entertainment getting underway at 8pm sharp. Tickets are €17.50 (plus booking fee), and are ON SALE NOW, available from www.tuarard.ie, or by calling 090-648 2042. Guest artists on the night are TR DALLAS, JOHN MOLLOY, AISHLING RAFFERTY, COLIN KENNY and DONIE O. There will also be a raffle in aid of Killbeggan Secondary School.
Celebrating 56 years in business, Curb Records is one of the world’s leading independent music companies. Owned and operated by Mike Curb since 1964, Curb has achieved a staggering 435 number-one singles, over 1,500 hundred Top Ten hits and charted over 4,500 records in total. Curb Records has been influential in the careers of some of the biggest names in country music, including Tim McGraw, Hank Williams, Jr., Rodney Atkins, LeAnn Rimes, The Judds, Dylan Scott, Sawyer Brown, Wynonna, Lyle Lovett, Jo Dee Messina, Hal Ketchum and Desert Rose Band, to name only a few. Their current roster includes some of the top names across multiple genres of music, with one of the biggest on the country side of things being one LEE BRICE.
Bricerecently took the top spot at U.S. country radio with his current single, Memory I Don’t Mess With, a track taken from his hit 2020 album Hey World. Written by Brice, Brian Davis and Billy Montana, the song hit a chord with audiences as it evokes both a nostalgic look at your life and reminds us that some memories are best left preserved in the past, untarnished.
When Brice isn’t selling out arenas, writing and recording songs, or building new brands like American Born whiskey, you’ll find the family man with his wife Sara, their two young boys, and their daughter. With over 3 billion on-demand streams, and over 3.6 billion spins on Pandora, Brice has been enjoying massive success at digital streaming services, as well as at country radio and on the road. His recent #1, the aforementioned Memory I Don’t Mess With, followed three prior chart-toppers; One of ThemGirls, I Hope You’re Happy Now with Carly Pearce, and Rumor, a record which was also nominated in the category Single of The Year at the 55th Annual ACM Awards.
Brice, in fact, is one of the most-played country artists of all time on the Pandora platform, and was the second country artist behind Keith Urban to receive the Pandora Billionaire plaque. Lee is also a GRAMMY nominee, a CMA and ACM award winner, all on top of his nine #1 radio singles, A Woman Like You, Hard to Love, I Drive YourTruck, I Don’t Dance, Drinking Class, keeping company with those we’ve already named. Brice is also a talented songsmith in his own right, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and many others have taken his songs into the studio. Brice has performed on numerous TV shows, including NBC’s Today, ABC’s The Bachelor, NBC’s The Voice and FOX’s Miss USA 2018, and also performed as part of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honoring Garth Brooks which aired on PBS in March 2020.
At the 54th Annual CMA Awards, Lee took home the prize for Musical Event of the Year for his song with Carly Pearce, I Hope You’re Happy Now, while at the 56th ACM Awards that same record won Single of the Year and Music Event of the Year, with Lee and Carly Pearce performed the song live.
Also on the Curb Records roster are duo Rod + Rose (Rodney Atkins and Rose Falcon), and their latest offering is the commitment-filled ballad, Put Me Back Together, which dropped earlier this month. Described as a slow-burning track, the release previews the couple’s forthcoming and self-titled EP, which is due for release in late January 2022.
Together, Atkins and Falcon—married since 2013—are an unstoppable force in life, love and music. She was a rock ’n’ roll princess who was offered a record deal at just 15 and has since written songs which have been recorded by Faith Hill, Lady A and Eric Paslay. He is an established country voice and a working man’s songwriter – the kind who understands how real people feel – with 6 #1 hits to his name, many of which topped the charts for four weeks plus. And now, for the first time, they’ve joined creative forces in an official capacity for Rod + Rose.
Rod + Rose have been singing side by side for years and share two sons: Ryder and Scout. Most recently, the duo co-wrote several tracks for Atkins’ latest album, Caught Up In The Country, whose gold-certified title-cut, featuring The Fisk Jubilee Singers, set the record (at the time) for the longest-running single in Billboard Country Airplay history at 57 weeks.
New single Put Me Back Together was written by Caitlyn Smith, Trevor Dahl, Brenton Duvall, Johnny Price and Kiara Saulters, and was originally performed by electronic music trio Cheat Codes, featuring Kiara, but the lyrics read like the Cliffs Notes to Rose and Rodney’s real life love story. “To me”, observes Falcon, “it’s a song about falling together instead of falling apart during difficult times. 2020 was a challenging year for us and most everyone we know, but we got through it. When life gets messy, we lean on, and into, each other. We aren’t perfect, and it’s not always butterflies and roses; but we stick together, and at the end of the day, we can laugh at all the crazy times we have been through.”
Atkins produced the track alongside Seth Mosley (who has also worked on projects with High Valley, and for KING & COUNTRY), and it follows Rod + Rose’s debut offering, Being Here, Being There which came our way back in August.
Together, Rod + Rose offer the merging of lean writing and pure poetry, straight up country intertwined with a little bit of roots, a perfect merger of love, songs, life and the way two people from different places perfectly complement one another. In a world where differences often drive a wedge, these two use those things to create a whole that embraces it all. And they sound so good doing it.
Now, one of the complaints often levelled at modern day country music – especially where male artists are concerned – is the number of songs that talk about trucks, girls, and beer. And that’s definitely a valid argument, no question about it. But just because a record happens to mention a truck, doesn’t mean it’s automatically a bad song. Like so much in life, it’s all about how you do things. And Curb’s DYLAN SCOTT does it pretty damn good on one of his latest cuts, New Truck. At radio now, the single had already clocked up over 13 million streams by the start of this month when Scott also dropped the ‘live’ video, taking that chance to celebrate being back on the road playing to fans, and using exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from his current shows.
“The first time I heard ‘New Truck,’ it sounded different than anything else I was listening to,” the Louisiana native shares. “We’ve all been in a situation where you and your significant other have broken up, and it’s tough. Every time you get back in your truck, you go back to certain memories of them in there as well. So this song is saying, ‘Man, I need a new truck to quit thinking about her.’”
The release of that New Truck live video follows the release of new single Static back on October 1st. “‘Static’ is a song that relates to a lot of people’s lives, including mine, to a T,” explains Scott. “You grow up in a small town, and all you can think about is leaving that small town, chasing a dream, chasing a dollar, moving to a bigger city. And once you get there, it’s all great. But sometimes you’ve just got to get back out in the middle of nowhere, back to your roots, where there’s nothing but a little static on the radio.” Both New Truck and Static were penned by HARDY, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson and Ashley Gorley.
Currently wrapping up a stint touring as the main support for Luke Bryan’s Proud To Be Right Here Tour, 2021 CMT Music Award winner Scott is the total package—a powerful singer with a deep, resonating drawl; an old-soul songwriter with a young spirit; a heartthrob with an easy smile; and a dreamer who followed in his father’s footsteps to Nashville. The double platinum-certified My Girl became his first #1 at radio, followed by platinum Top 5 single, Hooked, then his latest #1, the gold-certified Nobody. His Nothing To Do Town EP hit #1 on the Billboard Country Album Sales chart, and the project’s title-track has been certified RIAA gold, as was his self-titled debut album.
With career on-demand streams having already hit a staggering 1.2 billion, the Louisiana-native has headlined shows and opened for Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan and Chris Young. Scott garnered his first career nomination for Best New Country Artist at the all-genre 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards and was named among Country Radio Seminar’s coveted New Faces of Country Music Class of 2019. Additionally, he released a seven-song EP honoring legendary singer/songwriter Keith Whitley with An Old Memory (A Keith Whitley Tribute).
~ Memory I Don’t Mess With by LEE BRICE, Put Me Back Together by ROD + ROSE, and Static by DYLAN SCOTT, are all OUT NOW.
September’s Outdoor Country Music concert which featured a line-up of Irish country’s star-names at DON’S BAR in Moate, has raised an incredible €11,382.36 for the KEVIN BELL REPATRIATION TRUST (KBRT). The presentation of the cheque took place recently with some of the event organisers – Aidan Higgins, Dolores Burke, and Tom Duffy – meeting with the late Kevin Bell’s parents, Colin and Eithne.
The concert took place on September 12th last, featuring performances from TR Dallas, Larissa Tormey, Olivia Douglas, Alex Roe, John Molloy, ShaneMoore, and David Mills, and the iconic Seamus Moore. It came in response to tragedies suffered by three midland families – the Duffys, Higgins, and Burkes – each of whom had their own heartbreaking reasons to be thankful for the service provided by the KBRT earlier this year, as Tom Duffy explained in the run-up to the concert…
“My first cousin, Michael Burke, who lived on the Clara Road (out of Moate), died unexpectedly in Liverpool on February 17th this year. And by an untimely coincidence, that was the same day that his aunt Carmel, my own mother, was buried. To make matters even worse, though, that came just five weeks after Carmel’s brother Sean, who was Michael’s father, also died suddenly at his home on the Clara Road, on January 11th. As well as dealing with the shock of a wholly unexpected double-blow, the Burke family were faced with having to pay for two funerals in little over a month. Having heard about the KBRT, I contacted them and it was Colin Bell who answered the phone himself.”
The KBRT is named in memory of Colin Bell’s son, Kevin, a GAA player from Newry who was only twenty-six years old when he was killed in a hit-and-run traffic incident in New York in June 2013. Colin, and Kevin’s mother, Eithne, were not only faced with the horror of hearing that one of their twin boys had been mown down and left for dead, but they were also faced with the logistical nightmare of trying to organise the return of their beloved son’s body to Ireland, and the huge expense involved in making that happen. Overwhelmed by the generosity of their local community which raised an amount far greater than Kevin’s repatriation cost, Colin and Eithne founded the Trust in memory of Kevin, using the surplus monies there was to get the KBRT up and running. The aim of the KBRT is to support other families who suffer the hurt and hardships of losing a loved one abroad unexpectedly.
Since its formation in 2013, the KBRT has repatriated 876 loved ones to their families in Ireland, from countries as far away as Australia, Argentina, the United States, South Korea, Canada, Ecuador, Cambodia, India, and Uganda, as well as Britain.
“For the fantastic work of the KBRT to continue”, observed Mr. Duffy, “it depends on the goodwill of those who have received the help of the KBRT to put something back in the kitty. That’s why some of us got together to organise the festival at Don’s Bar.”
Mr Duffy continued, sharing the story of how help from the KBRT had been forthcoming as soon as contact was first made.
“On hearing how this tragic series of events had unfolded, Colin Bell immediately offered the assistance of the KBRT to help get Michael Burke’s remains home. From then on Colin undertook the task of organising Michael’s repatriation, with the very much hands-on help of Aidan Higgins, Michael’s uncle, here at home in Ireland. I have to say, Colin Bell was true to his word in every way, and Michael’s remains were returned a fortnight later, about the normal timescale for the arranging of a funeral in Britain. The Burke, Higgins and Duffy families here in Moate and Tubber, were so grateful to the KBRT, and everyone was delighted to be able to do this for them. And of course, we couldn’t have done it without all of the artists who performed on the day, and everyone who bought tickets and came along to enjoy the music. So we’re very, very thankful to everyone who played their part in helping such a worthy cause.”
Photo Attached (L-R)Aidan Higgins, Eithne Bell, Dolores Burke, Colin Bell, Tom Duffy