Farm Ireland

Sunday 23 October 2016

Rockin' Rowley: 'Concert tour is going to be special'

Eddie Rowley

Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30

Country star Michael English from Castledermot
Country star Michael English from Castledermot
Three Amigos mix music and comedy
Ciaran Rosney

They say that the journey of your life is mapped out by your childhood experiences.

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Country star Michael English grew up in the small Co Kildare town of Castledermot to the soundtrack of Irish traditional music as his father, Pat, played the button accordion in a trad band.

Pat later encouraged Michael to learn the piano and enrolled him for formal training at Carlow's Hennessey School of Music.

At the age of 12, the boy wonder composed his own piece of classical music, which he called 'Perestroika' - a Russian term he'd heard on the news at the time.

Michael then wrote a personal letter to The Late Late Show, explaining that he had written his own tune.

To his surprise, the young boy ended up performing on The Late Late Toy Show that year, 1991. English began his professional career playing in dance bands, recording well received albums and doing concert shows on cruise ships in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Today, 25 years on from that first Late Late performance, Michael is one of the top country music attractions on the Irish and international scene.

Earlier this year he picked up a gong for 'best Irish country band' at the RTÉ Irish Country Music Awards.

And tomorrow night he starts his very first tour of Ireland as a concert artist.

"I love being on the road and rarely take time off these days," Michael tells me.

"I love the dances, but doing a concert tour is going to be very special and I'm pulling out all the stops to make it memorable for the fans.

"I've put an awful lot of work into developing the show and I've increased the size of my band."

He added: "Hopefully people will leave the concert feeling that they've just had the best night."

Life's a bed of roses for trio


The Three Amigos' new single, 'Bed of Roses', out on Friday, sees the trio put their own stamp on The Statler Brothers' classic.

Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzell and Patrick Feeney have become Ireland's answer to The Highwaymen in recent years, combining hugely successful solo careers with their popularity as a supergroup.

The chemistry and magic they create on stage singing and acting as a group has earned them critical acclaim, country music awards and chart success. "Fifty per cent of the success of the Amigos' show is comedy," Patrick Feeney says. "It is the comedy that keeps bringing people back as much as the music.

"The Three Amigos has given people the opportunity to see another side to us as performers. I love entertaining and I love acting as well as singing, and performing with the group has opened up that whole world to me."

The Three Amigos tour nationwide from December 28.

Ciaran teams up with Margo


Country  legend Margo O'Donnell has teamed up with newcomer Ciaran Rosney (pictured) for a brand new duet, 'My Kind Of Woman/My Kind Of Man'.

Offaly man Rosney who now lives in Latton, Co Monaghan, is fast gaining recognition himself for quality country music and the energy and passion he delivers in his live performances.

Ciaran is also a talented guitar player which really shines through in his acoustic performances.

You can catch him in concert this Thursday at the Town Hall Theatre, Westport, Co Mayo at 8pm.

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