Keith makes his mark by being true to himself

Singer-songwriter Keith Plunkett.
Singer-songwriter Keith Plunkett.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Keith Plunkett comes to Monroe’s Live on Thursday, February 23.

He is now based in Dundalk, where he’s studying music production, but Keith grew up in Ballyhaunis. Was there much of a music scene in his hometown?

“I started playing when I was about 10,” he says. “All my cousins played, they were older than me and I used to be amazed by them. I think they were the main reason I started playing, rather than there being any scene around the town. There weren’t many people around into music, it was always sport and farming!”

Keith’s Galway show is part of a nationwide tour to mark the release of his latest single, 100 Crosses, which is taken from his second EP.

There’s a folky, acoustic pop sound to many of his songs and he cites Hozier and Damien Rice as influences – all of which is good. So, where did he go to record the EP?

“I met this guy Martin Quinn, in Jam Studios up in Kells,” he says. “We just liked the sound he was producing with the people he was working with, so we went for him. At the moment, we’re working on an album with him.”

When Keith says ‘we’ it turns out he’s not referring to his band.

“I work with a small label in Kildare, called Downda Road Productions. So, I say ‘we’ a lot!”

Keith started working with Downda Road two years ago, when label founder Mike Gleeson gave him a call.

“He’d seen a couple of my videos online and liked my lyrics, and he thought he could do something with me,” Keith says. “I met him a few times, and we discussed things, and he gave me a plan with a contract. And we just went for it.”

“I guess where the name comes from is taking an up-and-coming artist that they can develop and push them down the road. They’re creating a community of singer/songwriters that can work together and help each other.”

Still, it’s a brave move to start a record label in the digital era.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.