Laurence brings a lifetime’s experience to debut CD

Music and song was flying out the door of Curran's pub on Saturday night as Laurence Courtney (centre) celebrated his 70th birthday and launched his debut CD. Photo by Declan Malone
Music and song was flying out the door of Curran's pub on Saturday night as Laurence Courtney (centre) celebrated his 70th birthday and launched his debut CD. Photo by Declan Malone

Well known fisherman, singer and musician Laurence Courtney waited until his 70th birthday to launch his first CD but it was worth the wait - just ask anyone who packed into Curran's pub on Saturday night where the session was great and the craic was mighty.

On the CD entitled, 'The Last Boats a-Leaving', Laurence is accompanied by Damien Dempsey, Rita Connolly and Shaun Davey to name a few. The CD was launched on Saturday night by singer Mary Black who has been visiting West Kerry for more than 20 years, and during that time Laurence has played in many sessions with her.

There was a great gathering of musicians for the night of songs in Curran's pub with Mike Shea, Pat Goode, Avril Bowler, John O'Brien, Páidí Callaghan, John Kelly, Paidi Mharthain Mac Gearailt and Eílís Ní Chearna as well as Mary Black joining in.

It wasn't only musicians and locals who gathered to celebrate Laurence's CD launch and birthday, people from all along the western seaboard fishing community from Castletownbere to the Aran Islands and further north made the trip for the weekend. The music from Saturday night continued again on Sunday evening where the musicians gathered for another session that lasted more than four hours in Curran's Pub.

The album, a collection of folk songs that Laurence picked up from singers such as Mick Moloney and Luke Kelly, was released last year but the official launch was delayed because, as Laurence explained: "We were waiting until we could get everyone together". They nearly waited too long because the entire stock of CDs was nearly sold out before Saturday but some are still available and they are for sale in Dingle Record Shop, The Dingle Music Shop, and Curran's bar.

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