In between, I was somebody else. I worked in a career very far removed from music, watched my children grow, and, from time to time, wrote an occasional song.
For a while in the 1970s, Tommy Keyes dominated my life. I invented him as my on-stage persona, and he took me to places and experiences I’ll never forget. But life is about choices and the opportunities that presented for me took me in a different direction.
A few years ago, as the finishing line for my career started to loom in the distance, I became very conscious that I had a stockpile of songs from 40 years of songwriting and soon would have the time to devote to trying to do them justice. And so, the idea of a Tommy Keyes album was born.
Then the floodgates opened. As fast as I could record home demos of the songs I had already written, more songs would appear. One album became two, and two eventually became three. It was as if my songwriting muse had just been waiting for a reason to get busy.
Two weeks after closing my office door for the last time, I was in Sun Studios in Temple Lane with some of the country’s top session musicians and an incredibly supportive and dedicated sound engineer. Over the next few weeks we worked intensively to record 43 songs, and then spent a number of days, spread out over a few months, to fine-tune them.
I have decided to make all of the recordings available at the same time. I’ll be concentrating the promotional effort on the album An Irish Life but The Sad Pursuit and Some Of These Stories Are True will also be available. They’ll all be released on CD and download at the start of August.