Four decades keeping the blues flame well lit

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

For roughly 40 years, Dublin native Eamonn McCormack has been one of Ireland’s most prominent blues-rock guitarists. He has toured across the world, playing alongside the likes of Jan Akkerman, ZZ Top and Brian Robertson, and releasing a host of albums under the moniker of Samuel Eddy and later, in his own name.

Eamonn plays Galway’s Róisín Dubh on Monday, April 29, as part of his latest, 30-country tour. It is his first live date in the city since 2008, when he played the same venue.

At that time, he was just off the back of releasing Kindred Spirits, a celebrated, extensive LP that featured a collaboration with Eamonn’s friend and mentor, Rory Gallagher.

“It’s something I’m delighted I did actually,” he says of the record.

“I had taken a hiatus – I was touring basically for over ten years all across Europe. Then when I took the break, I still played music but I wasn’t recording or touring as such. Then I did a festival in Europe, and I had the idea that it was like I’d never left.

“Somebody suggested, why don’t you do some new songs and maybe look at some of the old songs you did – a kind of a ‘best of’ that you did in your blues-rock career to date.

“I had the idea then and out came Kindred Spirits. It really kicked my career back on the road and next thing I was touring again. I’m glad I did it – four albums since then.”

Last year, Eamonn released a self-titled album with his power trio live band. It accounts for a large chunk of the tracklist being performed on this tour. One of the songwriting styles that Eamonn implements is to build a song around an unusual profile of a major figure – there are odes to Motörhead frontman Lemmy, Amelia Earhart and Geronimo.

“I had written a song about my friend, the late, great Rory Gallagher on the double album I had – No Airs and Graces,” Eamonn explains.

“That was a tribute to him. I wrote a song about my daughter on that same album. And on the new album I wrote a song for my young son who is seven on Monday.

Pictured: Eamonn McCormack…all set for night at the Róisín Dubh.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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