When I was young I was a bit of an outsider. I wasn’t athletic, I was shy and I had mild dyslexia so school was a bit of a nightmare. The only way I can describe those years is that it was like my mind was in a thick fog. I could get a glimpse at an idea or concept but it would quickly melted away, out of reach. I couldn’t get a firm grasp or solid understanding on things. It was ridiculously frustrating, for my parents as well as myself.
My family, having a long tradition of playing Irish music tried to get me involved. But I didn’t take to the tin-whistle, the fiddle or the uilleann pipes…
But then my dad got me a guitar, and that’s where I found something special.
At the time I was in my rebellious teenage years so I had no interest in playing Irish Traditional music. I was more into The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Thin Lizzy and Guns n’ Roses. Rock music was where I first found like-minded friends. People that I could start garage bands with and have jam-sessions after school.
Then I got listening to my dad’s record collection which got me hooked on the likes of The Beatles, Steely Dan and Bob Dylan. I heard Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged ” album and it pretty much made me want to focus on acoustic music from then on.
It was then the likes of Jeff Buckley, John Martyn and Nick Drake’s songs hit home for me more than any other type of music I had heard. It was absolute class, pure raw passion and talent. It was honest and powerful, it was everything I wanted musically.
Then of course, I saw the effect that the likes of Damien Rice and Jack Johnson’s music had on girls my age… That kind of got me thinking, “There could be something to this singer-songwriter thing!…”
Whatever the case, I was hooked. I had no option but to go down that path. Although I had always been terrible with reading and spelling, the idea of song-writing appealed to me. I still have heaps of papers hidden at home with teenage angst scrawled all over them. I literally used to go to the extremes of writing drunken lyrics into my Nokia 3210 as I walked home from house parties…
Now I can’t say it happened over night but it happened fast. The fog started to clear. Maybe it was the fact that every day for year I had spent hours working the music part of my brain, learning new songs and guitar techniques which helped in other areas. Or maybe it was that music had opened so many doors for me socially and gave me a sense of identity.
Either or, I could think clearer. I felt like I was becoming someone. Becoming me. It’s all thanks to music.
With my teen angst over, I happily got into playing Irish Traditional music. This led on to Socks in the Frying Pan, a band in which I’ve got to tour the world over the past few year. But somewhere along the line I let the songwriting fall by the wayside…
It’s now time to get things back on track with new songs, a new sound and a new album – “Gaps Between Stars”.
Songwriting and performing are what I love. Being able to put pen to paper and let the thoughts flow through music. To clear the fog.
This free track is a THANK YOU for being one of my subscribers – no strings attached.
Download “Time is Short But Free” HERE.
It’s one of the first songs I recorded. It’s a transition point. Halfway between the Irish music side in me and the folk singer-songwriter.
If you like the track you might also consider checking out “If We Only Knew”. It’s my solo Trad album and it’s got own songs along with some of my favorite Irish songs on it.