Thursday 20th October, 7.30pm
As October signals 'the end of Harvest' and fading light, what better excuse for a coming-together than a mini-festival of music to brighten the corners?
So yes, that's the October Nights at Ballina Arts Centre on October 20th & 22nd.
Never comfortable with the blasphemous 'predictable' accusation, we've put together a line-up for the ages…
Thursday (20th Oct) features the visual artist and acclaimed country- folk singer Brigid Mae Power.
Born in London to a big Irish family, she began to learn the accordion from an early age. She and her family moved to Galway when she was twelve.
With a voice inspired as much by the sound of the uilleann pipes as by Joni Mitchell, it has an improvisatory, instrumental and spontaneous feel. The Guardian described her voice as an ‘instrument that raises the everyday to a near-mystical realm’.
Asked about the creative process, Brigid explains, "It's a mystical thing for me, I don't usually remember when or where I write something or when I finish a song. It just appears."
She has thus far released four albums, the most recent of which was 2020’s ‘Head Above Water’ on the UK label Fire Records. The US record label Tompkins Square has released two of her albums. In 2021 she released the Burning Your Light EP featuring covers of Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Songs: Ohia, Townes Van Zandt.
Brigid has previously played Other Voices, All Together Now, Green Man Festival (UK).
Harpist Alannah Thornburgh - a two time 2021 RTE folk award nominee - deftly weaves between ancient airs and tunes from the Irish, American Appalachian and jazz traditions.
Her debut solo single “The Front”, was an homage to the late Swinford born composer Conor Walsh.
The Swinford native has also collaborated and recorded with an array of artists including David Keenan, Lemoncello, Brían Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds), Anna Mieke, Niamh Bury, Aoife Scott, Varo and others.
She is also a founding member of the band Alfi whose debut album ‘Say Old Man’ is due for release in late 2022.
It's the hotly tipped Achill guitarist Graham Sweeney who opens proceedings on Thursday night.
As a child, Graham discovered his father’s vinyl collection, containing some of the great names of the ‘60s and ‘70s - Pink Floyd, Planxty, John Martyn and Supertramp.
Hiis unique alternative folk style absorbed these influences, blending traditional guitar playing, percussive finger-tapping and rhythmic vocal melodies.
He has already played Vantastival, Another Love Story 2022 and opened for Lisa Hannigan, Damien Dempsey, Mick Flannery. He counts Declan O’Rourke and Luka Bloom among his biggest fans.
Music. Two nights. October. Simple. That’s October Nights. Mark your calendar!
Supported by the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and administered by Mayo County Council.
Admission: free, but booking essential. Booking: 096 73593 or ballinaartscentre.com
Note: (Maximum of 4 tickets per person)