Nicola strikes right note

Nicola McGuire: releasing debut album.
Nicola McGuire: releasing debut album.

The city’s best known wedding singer has now created a soundtrack of her own, with the launch of her debut album. Nine months after she was named Church Singer of the Year by the popular industry website, Weddings Online, Nicola McGuire has produced the CD of her favourite songs, But For Now.

Inspired by the two genres of music she was most influenced by in her childhood, the album reflects her distinctive tastes – and her jumbled musical soul.

“As a child, there were two very different musical influences in our house. My mother Helen is American and she inherited a love of Jazz, Motown and Soul music from her mother, my grandmother,” recalls Nicola.

“I spent a lot of time in America as a child and my grandmother had no television, just a record player beside her chair in the living room, where she played jazz music every day and I loved it.”

At home in Galway, her father, Des McGuire, also weaved his musical bow.

“We liked to listen to all types of music including Irish traditional music but I fell in love with Mary Black. I used to sing in my primary school classrooms for the other kids and it was always a Mary Black song. When asked by my teachers what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always reply ‘a popstar’.”

Featuring covers of Jazz and Irish Ballads, tracks include Bright Blue Rose, Caledonia, Georgia on my Mind, She Moves through the Fair, What a Wonderful World, But For Now, Cliffs of Dooneen.

The album was recorded and produced by Peter Maher of Middlewalk Recording Studio in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, who managed to also get a bit of piano playing in.

Galway Musicians Frankie Colohan and Danny Healy played on the tracks and she used her connections with the ‘Trad on The Prom’ outfit to rope in Mairin Fahy, Yvonne Fahy and Ger Fahy to play.

Between church ceremonies and evening receptions with her band, the Cosmonauts, Nicola has managed to squeeze in performances at no less than 10 weddings on a bank holiday weekend.

The Claddagh native, who plied her trade in the Renmore Panto before becoming a professional wedding singer eight years ago, had made the top five three times when she finally took the title of Church Singer of the Year. She is keeping her fingers crossed that she might win enough votes again for 2015.

Already, she is fairly fully booked up for 2015 and is 60% full for 2016 with dates already pencilled in for 2017.

She launches ‘But For Now’ in the g Hotel on December 16 from 7.30pm with a live band. They will play tracks from the album as well as some popular Christmas songs.