Saturday 17 March 2018

Guitarist Jim swaps the road for a fine easy chair

Sharon Shannon cuts the ribbon at the official opening of musician Jim Murray's new Furniture Store in Macroom.
Sharon Shannon cuts the ribbon at the official opening of musician Jim Murray's new Furniture Store in Macroom.


"FOR FURNITURE sake, where's Sharon Shannon?" Reporters and photographers were getting excited.

Jim Murray remained calm as he patiently waited for his co-musician to officially open a new furniture store in Macroom last Friday afternoon.

A large crowd had gathered outside the shop in Barrett's Place to see the queen of trad cut the tape.

And then she arrived in a Land Rover specially fitted for a dog rescue campaign she supports.

Jim's parents, Nóra and Jim senior, were there - they both set up the business 20 years ago.

The Clondrohid musician and his Scottish wife, Kathleen, are now running the business, with a renovated store for new furniture, a second hand retail unit next door, and a shop window on Macroom's Main Street.

"I went into it (the business) because I didn't want to be on the road all the time," said guitarist Jim. "It was a family business and the opportunity was there for us as my parents had retired. I've got three small children now, so it keeps me at home - I'm still playing but I'm not playing for a living anymore."

Jim Murray Senior officially handed over the keys of the furniture store to his son at the opening, with great cheers and warm applause from the crowd.

Family friend and former McEgan College principal Brendan O'Brien was MC for the occasion. "He's a wonderfully talented and creative musician, and I am quite certain he will bring all of that talent and creativity to this business as well," said Mr O Brien of his former pupil.

Sharon Shannon told the crowd that she and Jim had become great friends since they began to play music together 15 years ago.

"I feel so lucky to travel the world with Jim because he's an absolute genius musician," said the accordionist.

Sharon and Jim treated the crowd with an impromptu live performance of some well-known sets on the sun drenched street outside the furniture store.

And then it was off to Jim's new place of abode in Clonakilty, where they both played at a concert in De Barra's pub last Friday night.

The music duo have played around Europe and in Australia this year, and they are to go on tour to Japan in December.

"It's grand, I'm as busy as I want to be," said Jim Murray as he began a new chapter in his successful career.