Vintage night in prospect as Thomas launches second CD
It will be like a night at the Phoenix Cinema when the showband era was in full swing when Thomas O'Callaghan steps up to the microphone at the launch of his second CD in the Hillgrove Hotel on Friday night.
This is the second CD in two years from the Sraid Eoin man, who has been known as a fine singer from childhood but never contemplated going into a recording studio until he was prevailed upon to do so to raise funds for the lifeboat service.
Not a man to refuse a call for a song or a request for help, Thomas recorded his first CD, 'Dingle Bay', which was released in July 2017 and has since raised close to €7,000 for the lifeboat services in Kerry and Clare, where Thomas now lives.
The latest CD, entitled 'Take Two', follows on from where the debut left off, with a collection of timeless ballads, beautifully sung and backed by the subtle playing of a bunch of talented musicians assembled by studio owner Martin O'Malley in Ennis.
Songs on the CD include 'These Are My Mountains', which people of a certain age will remember Thomas's father, Mikey, singing with great passion. Mikey never needed to be asked twice before bursting into song and, clearly, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
Another ballad in the collection is 'Love Thee Dearest', which Thomas learned in the 'Grá Mo Chroí' Irish version with the late Sr Kevin's Ceoltóirí Bhréanainn.
And there are many more, all in a very relaxed 'seana waltz' tempo and performed with great assurance by a man who would surely have been at the front of a showband if he hadn't opted for accountancy.
Most of the cost of producing the CD has been covered by sponsorship from various locals, including James Curran, Tom Browne, the Dingle Race Committee, Michael Begley and Moran's Garage. Thomas is especially happy to have Jim Garvey as the main sponsor - partly because he appreciated the continuing encouragement and mostly because he loves the idea of a Piarsaigh from 'back the Quay' backing a man from Sraid Eoin.
The launch of 'Take Two' will be at 8.30pm on this Friday night, September 6, in the Hillgrove where Thomas will be joined by the studio band to perform songs from the CD. It's an open night and all are welcome - even those who aren't from Sráid Eoin. The CD will be on sale locally for €10 in Garvey's SuperValu and in Mazz O'Flaherty's record shop on Green Street as well as at horse and pony meetings around the country, where Thomas is a familiar figure.