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Matt ready to rock with baby shoes and gas cans

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Suitcase Junket is the brainchild of US musician, Matt Lorenz. PHOTO: BILL FOSTER.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.lie

Performing as The Suitcase Junket, American Matt Lorenz brings his unique one-man show to the sidebar in Monroe’s on Tuesday next, November 22.

Although Matt voted for the now-defeated Clinton in last week’s US Presidential election, he would have preferred to have seen Bernie Sanders on the ticket. In light of the result, it’s interesting to hear what Matt has to say about Sanders.

“Bernie was a populist in a true sort of way,” he says. “Trump is barely a real person, he’s not a serious man. Bernie would have trounced him. I think there was a lot of people who wanted to give the middle finger to the establishment. I think they would’ve felt like they were doing that with someone like Bernie.”

But it’s music that Matt’s on the phone to talk about, and The Suitcase Junket sounds like quite a show.

“I sit on a suitcase that I play as a bass drum with my right heel,” he says. “My right toe is playing a high-hat. Then I’ve got these three homemade can drums. One of them is an old gas can mounted on some spare parts. A baby shoe hits that! My left heel hits a cook pot. Then I’ve got a circular saw blade that’s drum-pedalled activated.”

The Suitcase Junket “sounds like a three-piece rock band”, according to Matt. Which is apt, given that he plays in one.

“The drummer didn’t want to drum anymore, so we started splitting the drums amongst us. That’s when I started foot-drumming. That band, Rusty Bell, we’re not touring as much but we’re working on the next album. This project spun out of that one and evolved into this other thing.”

The one-man show is visually arresting, but it’s Matt’s guitar and vocals that give The Suitcase Junket a raw and rootsy feel.  It’s a direct sound that will appeal to fans of blues musician and fellow American, Seasick Steve. Matt describes his guitar as an ‘old beater’ and, unsurprisingly, it’s an instrument with a story.

“I found the guitar in a dumpster,” Matt says. “People throw away great stuff, so I’ve spent a decent amount of time splashing around in trash piles.”

“I sort of owe this project to that guitar in a lot of ways because you get different songs out of different guitars. They all have their own stories. This one, I’ve been sticking with it. People often ask me ‘when are you going to upgrade?’ I say I don’t know if I can, I owe too much to this one!”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Reeling in the years to celebrate iconic album

Judy Murphy

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Pearse Doherty, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Johnny Donnelly, Davy Carton and Leo Moran on stage at the Warwick, for the album’s back cover. PHOTOS: FRANK MILLER.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Galway City was on a creative roll, with the Arts Festival and theatre groups such as Druid, Punchbag, Na Fánaithe and Macnas expanding our creative horizons in all directions.

Down in the Quays Bar – then very much a local pub renowned for the calibre of its music sessions – a group from Tuam was creating waves and attracting fans, including Mike Scott of the Waterboys.

That group was the Saw Doctors, “all the way from Tuam”, and Mike Scott had encountered the lads when his band was in Spiddal, making the album Fisherman’s Blues.

They ended up supporting the Waterboys on a tour of Ireland and the UK and, in 1989, Mike Scott produced their debut single, N17, in Dublin’s Windmill Lane. Leo and Davy’s song about youth and emigration captured the experience of so many young people at that time – but it didn’t capture the public imagination. After a few radio plays, it faded away quietly.

“As a teenager, you’d have a dream of having a hit single,” recalls Leo Moran of that debut release. “But when you are writing songs, you become a bit more practical. And we were older and were gone beyond pop-star dreams.”

Their aim was simple.

“Our ambition was to put out a single.”

The group, then made up of Davy, Leo, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Pearse Doherty and Johnny Donnelly, had to earn a living too, and that wasn’t always easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Legendary trio for live Town Hall concert

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Máirtín O'Connor who will be joining forces with Frankie Gavin and Johnny Duhan for the concert on July 3.

Fans of quality music who have been pining for live gigs can look forward to Saturday, July 3, when Frankie Gavin, Máirtín O’Connor and Johnny Duhan will be on stage at the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm, for a one-off concert, Part of a Tribe.  The venue will have a limited capacity of 50 people and the concert will also be livestreamed.

Each of the three will perform solo works and collaborate on well-known instrumental pieces.

Tunes will include The Road West, The Queen of Sheba, The Belfast Hornpipe, Thomond Bridge, Joe Cooley’s Reels, and songs like The Voyage, Don’t Give up til it’s Over and The Beacon.

Part of a Tribe comes from the title of a song that the three musicians recorded with the cream of Galway’s folk and traditional musical community some years ago for St Vincent de Paul. Its theme of co-operation and team spirit is especially relevant as the country moves out of the shadow of Covid-19.

The concert will last 70 minutes and there will be no interval and no bar.

The maximum number of tickets that can be purchased per person is four. They cost €25 for the in-person event. Online tickets are €15/Online household €20.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App

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‘Cowgirl’ love song that hits all the right notes

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The Raines, from left, Yvonne Tiernan, Ruth Dillon and Juliana Erkkonen.

The wonderfully titled Love is sublime (til it draws out its gun) is the latest single from Galway based folk-Americana trio, The Raines. Launched on Friday, it went straight to number one on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts in Ireland and number 12 in the overall charts.

It follows their debut single, 2020’s Bare Feet on Grass, which also reached number one in the iTunes singer-songwriter Chart and was Song of the Week on RTE.ie’s culture section, with over one million impacts on Irish radio.

The Raines are Ruth Dillon, Juliana Erkkonen and Yvonne Tiernan, all terrific performers in their own right.

Ruth (vocals, guitar, ukulele) who toured and recorded with Dolores Keane, is a former member of The Molly Hicks, and has three solo albums of her own. Juliana (fiddle and vocals) has been at the forefront of Ireland’s Americana musical scene and released seven albums with various groups, including one solo album.

Yvonne Tiernan (vocals and ukulele) has toured as lead singer with ‘The Chieftains’.

This up-tempo summer single again showcases the beauty of their vocal harmonies, strings and their overall rapport.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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