Local act Corner Boy are getting set to embrace the 'opportunity of a lifetime' next week as they fly out to represent their home county and Ireland at the Folk Alliance International annual conference which takes place over four days in New Orleans.
Blood sweat and tears over the last number of years has given the band a taste of success, notably headlining major shows at The Wexford Spiegeltent Festival, performing across the globe and making numerous TV and radio appearances, but they are hopeful that this latest trip to the US will result in them taking the step to the next level.
The transatlantic trip came about after the Wexford act impressed at last year's Dublin Trad Festival, resulting in them being selected by Culture Ireland for the conference alongside the likes of Mick Flannery and Kila.
'It's the biggest folk conference in the world,' said frontman Mick D'Arcy.
'It's attended by lots of industry professionals like booking agents and record executives. We've been told that this is a major opportunity to open some doors. Really, we've been working towards this kind of opportunity for five or six years and it's great that it's finally kind of fallen at our feet.'
While at one stage, Corner Boy clocked up serious mileage, bundling into a van every other night of the week and travelling to any given far-flung corner of the country, in recent times they've taken a step back from the road.
'In the last two years, we've kind of flipped our approach completely,' said Mick. 'Instead of gigging constantly, we're working away at producing new material and we've set up a studio out in Piercestown. We're going to have a lot of new material this year and, strange as it sounds after seven years, we're going to release our debut album probably during the summer. We've only released EPs so far. We're hoping that maybe our stuff might catch the ear of somebody who'll be able to platform the release while we're in New Orleans.'
As a warm-up gig, the lads are taking to the National Opera House stage on Friday night in support of Hermitage Green before they jet off. When in New Orleans, they have plans to play upwards of ten shows over the course of the four day conference.
'We've been in rehearsals for the past three months out in our spiritual home of Murphy's Barn,' said Mick.
'We've really gone to work and it's been going really well. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and not every band gets this kind of a chance. We're determined to make the most of it and represent ourselves, our county and Ireland out there.'