2012 was my first full year away from home. I phone my Mum and Dad most days so I am fairly up to date on everything that is going on with my family and friends, but nothing compares to sitting around the open fire with your folks at Christmas time. So I couldn’t have been happier to be home for two weeks.
Unlike New York, Ireland pretty much comes to a stand still for the holiday season. When Americans tell me that they only get one or two days off work I am always shocked. They definitely work too hard, and I don’t care what anyone says, we eat just as much as Americans… and we make it last for two weeks.
On December 28th I was back in the Cellar Bar, Draperstown for a show. I was joined on stage by dear friends Zarah (cello) and Matt (electric guitar), and with support from the very talented Junior Johnson. At first it felt weird to play without my US band mates, but after a few songs I really started to relax and enjoy myself. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming out and making it such a great night. There is a buzz in Draperstown that will always draw me back.
I didn’t really expect to do an encore, and it was only as we sat backstage after our set was over that I released that we had to do one! Luckily I have the worst memory in the world, and Zarah reminded me that we hadn’t played ‘It Slows Down’, and so we did just that. In a way it made perfect sense. Of all the songs I’ve written this is the one that I would say was most influenced by time spent in Draperstown, particularly with the Rural Key Project, a Glasgowbury initiative for young people.
As I returned to New York a couple of days ago I could not have felt more energized. Despite the fact that I had to relive 5 hours of my day due to the jetlag, I couldn’t wait to get to my apartment, unpack, and take out my guitar and work on some ideas. My friend Michael made a very valid point recently. He said that the good thing about visiting the USA for an Irish person is that they are able to get out of bed in time… I hope this keeps up. I even went for a run this morning at 7am… if my Mum could see me now.
To everyone in the United States I want to wish you all a Happy New Year, and thank you for making 2012 so amazing. By coming out to a show, picking up an EP, downloading a song or two, or even just shaking my hand and asking me where I am from, all of you make it that little bit easier to be away from home.
Early 2013 will see me record my debut album. I have a million ideas that I am sifting through right now; some old and some new, but it is all coming together nicely. I want to make an album in the same way in which the Training Up My Soul EP was made. I will stand in a live room with great musicians around me, and jam. With four EP’s under my belt already I know exactly what type of record I want to make, and I cant wait to share it with you all when its done.