Two years ago this week I rocked up to Darkey Kelly’s to try out the Tuesday Singer-Songwriter Night for the first time, on the recommendation of Liam Oragh who told me it would suit my music perfectly. That was one of the best bits of advice I’ve ever received. I soon became part of the furniture and just a year ago was invited by Nathy Towey and PJ Maher to take over as host and organiser of the night, and also to bring the twice-monthly Sunday Songbrunch to Darkey’s and to play a weekly Piano Blues session as a warm-up to the Singer-Songwriter Night.
This wonderful pub has become my musical home, to the extent that I’ve now cut back on most of the other venues I used to play so that I can focus on it properly. It’s a rare luxury these days to have a venue where you can play original music and listen to others doing the same, and also jam together on much-loved classics from the golden era of rock and pop. I’m privileged to have that opportunity, and I’ve also been delighted to spread it around by encouraging young singer-songwriters to come and perform in a safe spot where they’ll get nothing but encouragement from the audience and their fellow musicians.
So on this little anniversary I want to thank Nathy and PJ for giving me the opportunity. I want to say how much I appreciate the weekly friendship and musical collaboration of Paul O’Toole, Mick Brady, Syl Burke, Brian Aherne, Vinny Clohisey, Andrea Facco, Micheal Finnegan O’Brien and Philip Brady and I want to thank all of the other performers who join us from time to time to make our sessions just that little bit special.