When I was 21 I was homeless. I never actually slept on the streets but without the kindness of strangers , I certainly would have had to. I grew up in Ireland in the 80’s, it was grim, grey and everywhere there pervaded a feeling of wanting to escape.
Many of the artists of the time from Ireland like Van Morrison, U2 , Thin Lizzy, had gone to America to seek fame and fortune. All roads led West, and so on a bitterly cold January day , myself and my four school friends/bandmates arrived in Boston with nothing but a few sleeping bags , a phone number, a couple of guitars and a headful of dreams. We didn’t even bring coats.
As I sit here in my studio many years later , looking back at those greenhorn kids, arriving in Logan airport with no idea what they were doing, knowing no-one, no plan and nowhere to sleep -well, the sheer madness of it leaves me sort of speechless.
But isn’t that the power of music? The ability to override common sense , to move us with some indefinable magic. I know everyone has had those moments when a song or a piece of music just gets under your skin in a way you can’t describe. For me as a musician, I think it’s still those little moments that I live for, whether it’s my own music or a Tom Waits song or Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma or countless others.
Twenty years later, three record deals, countless shows, recording studios, tv appearances , even a collaboration with George Harrison and a million other musical experiences along the way ,yet still it’s those little moments of magic that make it all worthwhile.
But maybe the little moments aren’t quite enough.
And that’s where you the listener come in.
In a vast ocean of music and so many ways to hear it , there can sometimes be a sense of futility ,writing and releasing songs into a void. So when someone follows a link and downloads a song, the feeling of connection is beautiful and makes it all so worthwhile. Everyones journey is different ,mine like anyones has had all kinds of highs and lows but the constant has been the music and that’s what has kept me here. Here’s hoping it keeps you here too.
If you would like to listen to the latest installment on my musical journey ” The sky on my Birthday” you can do so here.
Thank you for being a listener and for making it all worthwhile