Sixties legend to play old and new songs at St John's

Donovan plays in St John’s on June 20.
Donovan plays in St John’s on June 20.

ONE of the most iconic singer/songwriters of the 1960s, a man who helped shape the counterculture while writing some of the biggest hits of the decade, is to play little old St John's in Listowel on June 20 next.

Donovan will take the stage on the date performing tracks from his latest country-tinged EP as well as many old favourites.

It's quite a coup for Vicar Joe Murphy, helped by Donovan's desire to perform his new material at more intimate venues across the country in this particular tour.

Catch The Wind and Mellow Yellow singer Donovan - who collaborated on songs with the Beatles and contributed lyrics to the Yellow Submarine even - is delighted to be on his way to Listowel and hopes the new songs will go down as well as the older hits.

He is, of course, no stranger to these shores with a permanent base near Mallow and a penchant for Irish folk music. Indeed, he set out on his latest album Shadows of Blue to rediscover the Irish and Scots roots of modern American country and rock and roll in a fascinating journey all music fans will be keen to hear more of.

The Irish-Scots angle is part of the more intimate nature of the tour as Donovan is focusing on playing in those smaller Irish towns from which so many of the emigrants who brought their music to the New World left from.

"As a kid in 1940's Scotland I listened to my Irish-Scots family sing folk songs, though I didn't know they were folk-songs then," Donovan recalled.

"Songs of oppression and rebellion, prison ships and forced migration, laments of lost love. My father would recite the poems of Robert Service, tales of The Yukon and the adventurers who went over to America in the 1800's, taking Irish-Scots music with them. Many settled in the rural south and helped create Country Music."


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