Long since known for the freshness he brings to songs that others might have discarded for being too familiar, Ireland’s quiet man of folk music with the storyteller’s voice, Sean Donnelly is back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 29th August. This will be the first Club night after the 51st Marymass Folk Festival finishes on the 26th. A quick turnaround.
Born near Omagh in Co Tyrone, Sean grew up in a musical family where weekly house sessions were a regular feature. He ‘emmigrated’ to Newcastle Co Down in the early ‘70s where he still lives. Sean Donnelly has been popular on the folk club circuit for a number of years. He has made countless radio broadcasts and his seventh album And Our Time Together containing songs new and old, is one of which he is particularly proud. One of his earlier albums is called Cut a long story short… and the title illustrates the unaffected style of the man.
Gentle, quiet, unshowy, relaxed are all words that are used repeatedly when people describe Sean. Ex-Planxty member Andy Irvine is just one musical luminary who is a big fan of Sean’s. The knack of knowing a good song when he hears one is Sean’s skill and he has accumulated a vast repertoire that draws heavily, but not exclusively, from the traditional well of Ulster song. He also writes songs. With his quiet storyteller’s voice and distinctive Northern Ireland enunciation, Sean handles songs with care and ease and his delicate guitar style, an ideal complement to his singing, is the envy of many . Sean also plays the mandola.
Tommy Sands who knows a thing or two about singing says of Sean ‘there is a gentleness in the man’s voice and a kindness in the guitar that unwrinkles the mind and body’. What a gift Mr Sands has for finding exactly the right words!
Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 29th August is the place to savour the songs, the singing, the stories and the music of Sean Donnelly. The Irvine
Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road, starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.
Finally, a new info flyer giving full details of who’s appearing when at Irvine Folk Club from now until the end of the year is now out. They are available in all sorts of places but, if you can’t find one then phone Joyce on 01294 551047 or visit www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk