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Lou McMahon will perform at the Sixmilebridge Winter Music Weekend.

‘Bridge gigs for McMahon and The Blues Train

LOCAL woman Lou McMahon will be singing at Sixmilebridge’s Winter Music Weekend.

“I’m playing on January 18 in the Mill Bar for the grand finale concert. Before that, during the day, I’m at singers’ session,” she said last week.

Regarding her music, she said, “I’m a singer/songwriter and I’d consider myself to be in the contemporary folk genre. I’ve been playing for a number of years and I’m just off tour with Jack L. I was support act.

“Musically, my influences are mostly American folk songwriters; people like Joni Mitchell and I always liked PJ Harvey. Also, country singers like Alison Krauss, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, all the old songwriters. Then the newer ones like Bill Callahan on Anna Calvi or Maggie Bjorklund, that kind of thing.”

The tour with Jack L saw her visiting many parts of the country.

“I was doing that for most of 2012 and ’13. I was gigging with him in arts centres all around the country and I even got to play in Vicar Street, which was really nice. I met him years ago when I was playing in Cork. My management company represented him legally and they had a bar down there so I used to play there a lot and he played there a few times as well.”

She has released one EP in the past and is currently working on a new recording.

“I’m signed to a record label, Arc Music. They’re a world and folk music label. I brought out an EP in 2010 called Delicate Dancer. There are six tracks on it and I wrote them myself. It was produced by Terry Woods of the Pogues. I’m in the middle of recording new material for release and last year I was on a world release called The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk. That featured a song of mine called Wide Eyed Lady and I got a bit of airplay on the BBC and on stations over in America.”

Lou has performed on television shows such as The Apprentice, An Samhradh Linn and Ireland AM. Her songs are released digitally to Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.

Niall Toner of RTÉ described her as having “a fantastic voice” and an original sound, while the Irish Daily Mail heralded her as “one to watch”.

There will be further local interest at the Sixmilebridge event as Shannon band The Blues Train will perform at the Mill Bar on the evening of Saturday, January 17.

There’s some star quality to the outfit, as Johnny Fean, formerly of Horslips, is a member.

Brendan Wall plays sax and harmonica in the group, as well as singing and he said Fean has eclectic tastes.
“Although he has a traditional background, he also has an interest in the blues and this gives him a chance to do some of the old Blues stuff.”

Brendan said they concentrate on classic blues for the most part.

“It was formed to do some of the old blues standards that myself, Johnny and Cathal Jones always wanted to do, Darragh O’Connor is the drummer and it was his idea. We play songs by Elmer James, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Peter Green and Freddie King. We also honed in on some of the songs from the famous Beano album, by John Mayall and Eric Clapton. We’ve done a few songs off that.”

Their line-up also includes Mick Quinn on bass but on the night Steve Travers, formerly of the Miami Showband, is likely to fill in.

Brendan said the band have been together for some time and have played a number of gigs.
“We’ve been together for about four years now. We’ve done the Cork Jazz Festival and we used to do a venue once a month in Limerick and we’ve played in Cruise’s in Ennis,” he said

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