THIS year promises to be a busy one for Stocktons Wing front man Mike Hanrahan.
The Ennis man has worn many hats over the years, as a songwriter, musician, producer, author and even professional chef.
A new album produced by Gavin Glass ‘Songs from the box room’ is due later this year, from which the single ‘Inside I’m Dancing’ has just been released.
He is also hitting the road with Stockton’s Wing, Eleanor Shanley and Leslie Dowdall.
If that wasn’t enough, ‘The Ballad of The Crimson Warrior’, a short music film written by Mike and inspired by the Irish Cultural Revolution was presented at MKE Milwaukee Fest and Templebar Tradfest 22.
The soundtrack and film go on general release in August 2022.
On ‘Inside I’m Dancing’, Mike said, “Believe it or not I started writing this song twelve years ago. I had just about dragged myself out of an emotional bear pit and I wanted to mark the transition.
“Then an exciting career in food unfolded, consuming all my creative energy.
“After returning to the music a couple of years ago I was somehow drawn back to this song. It seemed to me it deserved completion. All those years later and the message was more powerful than ever.
“There is nothing like reaching that magical space where you feel comfortable enough to say – “I’m kickin off my shoes to dance this night away cause inside, inside I’m dancing.
“I am also delighted to present my first animation video. I love animation with songs as it allows you to delve deeper into the layers of writing. This is my first attempt, but I absolutely loved the entire process.”
Stockton’s Wing have been at the forefront of contemporary Irish Folk music for four decades.
They are signed to Tara Music / Universal Ireland and released a back-catalogue collection in January 2020.
Stockton’s Wing Beautiful Affair A Retrospective went to number one in sales and download charts.
This year, a live album Hometown was released in February.
During lockdown he recorded A River rolls on inspired by his mother’s journey though dementia, released in May 2021 featuring Mike, Lisa Lambe, Sandy Kelly and The Forgetmenots choir.
All proceeds went to help develop creative projects for those living with or caring for, memory loss.
In October 2019 Mike’s Harper Collins-published memoir was short listed for
An Post Best Irish Published Book at the 2019 National book awards.
Beautiful Affair – A Journey in Music, Food and Friendship, chronicles the early days growing up in Clare, a very fulfilling and exciting music career, the sudden change of step to train and work as a teacher at Ballymaloe Cookery School, spending ten years in kitchens before returning to his music and writing.
Food and music have been parallel lines that have kept Mike Hanrahan on track his entire life.
Marie Claire Digby of the Irish Times said of the book, “Beautiful Affair is part memoir, part recipe collection, and a total joy to read. full of funny stories and wry observations on the music and food worlds, along with some fascinating detail.
“With hand-drawn watercolour illustrations by Charlotte O’Reilly Smith, and recipes from friends, family, and professional kitchens, this is a book to savour and cherish.”