Friday February 24 2012 8:00 PM
Dominic Kirwan’s latest Album, My Kinda Country reflects his love of the music he’s had all his life. It’s 14 songs reflect a wide variety of influences within the genre ranging from Garth Brooks to Kenny Rogers via Tom Jones. Released in October 2009, it has been received enthusiastically by critics and fans alike. It’s just the latest chapter in a success story which began with his first album “Try A Little Kindness” with Ritz Records in 1989. But Dominic has been involved with music for much longer than that……
He began Irish Dancing in his home town of Omagh at the age of 4 joining the well respected Seamus Kerrigan school of Irish Dancing. Not long after, one of his primary school teachers approached his mother after a singing competition and informed her that her son had a very good voice. During the next few years, Dominic competed in all manner of singing and dancing competitions throughout Ireland and further afield, giving him valuable experience for the career that lay ahead.
Dominic’s first band, The Melody Boys, was formed in early 1979. The group played all over the North West of Ireland, learning their craft in local bars, Clubs, Dancehalls, Weddings and many other functions. He first went solo at the end of 1984, recording his first single called, “Alice Is in Wonderland,” now a collectors item amongst fans. All the while, he was entering talent contests the length and breadth of Ireland from U.T.V.’s Entertainer of The Year to Search for a Star on R.T.E. and even B.B.C.’s Opportunity Knocks. He finally managed to break through in 1988, winning two local radio talent shows, which led directly to his signing to Ritz Records soon after. Many of Dominic’s hits originate from this time, such as Noreen Bawn. Thus began Dominic’s hectic touring schedule which would take him all over the globe, giving him the opportunity to work with such great music stars as Charlie Pride, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rodgers, Don Williams and many others. More recently Dominic has been joined on stage with two of his sons Colm and Barry, both individual talents in their own right.
Amongst his peers and fans alike, Dominic’s live shows are regarded as some of the most vibrant and exciting in today’s music scene. With his rich voice and wide repertoire, there is always something to please even the most ardent music critic.
At present, Dominic has recorded over 14 studio albums and has also six live shows recorded on DVD, many of which, like his latest offering, “My Kinda Country,” have reached top positions in both British Album and DVD charts. For this new album, Dominic has put together a selection of country songs that reflect both his love of the music and his respect for material, old and new.
Louise Morrissey has long been one of Ireland's best loved singers and entertainers.
She has achieved great success in both Ireland and the UK, and has brought her easy style of country and folk to many other countries, including the USA, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.
She has also toured Australia and has also worked with her band in Spain, Portugal, Denmark & Switzerland.
Louise and her band visited the Lebanon in 1994, where they entertained the Irish UN Peacekeeping Troops
Louise is a former member of The Morrisseys Folk Group along with her brothers Billy & Norman, they toured Ireland, The Uk & The USA for many years until they decided in 1987 to go their seperate ways.
1988 brought them back together again to try a new venture and The Louise Morrissey Band was formed with Louise as lead vocalist, Norman on bass & vocals & Billy on guitar & vocals along with a drummer, lead & pedal steel guitarist & a piano player. The band was launched with an appearance on The Late Late Show with the hit song penned by Nick Mc Carthy "The Night Daniel O'Donnell Came To Town". They were an immediate success all over the country in the dance halls & also across the water in The UK. After a couple of years Billy stepped out of the band to become Louise's full time manager (Billy Morrissey Promotions) and a short time later Norman decided to pursue a career in radio. He is now a full time presenter with Tipp FM Radio.
Some of the highlights of Louise's career over the years have been when she was chosen in 1990 by the Irish Country Music Association to represent Ireland in The Country Music Masters in Switzerland and won the Gold Star Award for Ireland with the song "Tipperary On My Mind" (another song written by Nick Mc Carthy) 15 countrys in total took part. Louise said she was very proud to represent her country. Back in 1988 she sang " Sliabhnaman "for the Tipperary Hurling team at half time in Croak Park at the All Ireland Hurling Final against Galway, It was watched on tv by millions worldwide (unfortunately Tipperary didn't win that year).
Louise has worked with many great people both in Ireland and abroad, She has toured the Uk with Foster & Allen, Charley Pride & Dominic Kirwan, just a couple of years ago she was invited to open for Kris Kristofferson in Newfoundland & Nova Scotia in Canada, in Ireland she has toured with "TheQueens of Country "which featured Philomena Begley, Billie Jo Spears, Lynn Anderson, Jeannie Sealy & also"The Irish Queens "featuring Sandy Kelly, Philomena Begley, Trudi Lawlor, Gloria, Margo & Kathy Durkin.
Most of Louise's shows are with her wonderful band featuring Ryan Turner who is musical director, plays piano and accordion, Joe McNamee on pedal steel guitar and lead guitar, Kenny Devenney on bass and John Doherty on drums.
Also every summer Louise gets together with her brothers to perform as The Morrisseys in Bru Boru Theatre Cashel in the show "The Old Songs", This takes her back to her roots singing ballads and folk songswhich is something she always loves to do, some of Louise's shows in the small intimate theatres feature her with just her guitar and piano player, again like that she loves to sometimes perform "semi solo".
Louise has recently picked up several awards to add to her already large collection. At the 2011 "Sunday World Awards" she was given the "Lifetime Achievement" Award, "Female Entertainer Of The Year" at the "Tipp FM Radio Awards", "Best Female Vocalist" award at the "Hot Country" awards and "Album Of The Year" at the "West Limerick Radio" awards for her album "You Raise Me Up".
Her latest single release "Home Sweet Home" is a very popular radio hit and is taken from a forthcoming album which she is busy working on. Also Louise has guested with Georgette Jones on her recent Irish tour which was a great success.
Louise continues to be one of Ireland's most popular singers in the Country & Irish Music scene today.