A Ramsgrange musician has released a debut album offering a rip roaring mix of rock, country and blues, which is perfect pop ear candy.
Eugene Kelly, whose stage name is Copper Kelly, has spent two years working on the album in a studio he made at his house.
The album, Worthwhile Waste of Time, features six original songs and four covers, namely Mama Tried by Merle Haggard, Kelly The Boy From Killane, Tennessee Whiskey and Jackson.
Kelly was drawn to Kelly from Killane, in particular, as the song's namesake is his ancestor.
The former Good Counsel student has been playing music for 17 years in different rock bands. A chance meeting with lyricist Dympna Walsh from Wellingtonbridge moved him more in the direction of country music.
'I met Dympna shortly after being made unemployed. She had written lyrics for Michael English and other country stars and she gave me some lyrics. I recorded a quick demo, putting a melody to music and sent it back to her. She loved it and we recorded a version of it which was on the local radio a few days later.'
Kelly worked on his own on Worthwhile Waste of Time, producing and recording the music.
'I produced and recorded it all myself in a studio made at home,' he said.
Having studied sound engineering at Athlone Institute of Technology, Kelly was able to mix and produce all of the songs to a high quality, recording the songs several times before he was happy to include them in the album's final cut. With musical inspiration from Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and other country and rock legends, Kelly finished the album in the autumn and quickly recorded six songs for his follow up album.
When he writes a song Kelly starts with the melody and a catchy hook and the lyrics follow after. 'I like singing songs from the heart.'
He has 100 physical copies of the album for sale and the album is also available on Spotify, itunes and Apple Music. He released his first single, the album title track Worthwhile Waste of Time in October, following it up with Her Home, which was promoted with a video featuring aerial drone footage of the Hook Peninsula.
The songs have gotten air time in radio stations in Northern Ireland and in Canada and Scotland. As for the future, Kelly plans to continue releasing country songs and is hoping to get a manager to help him promote his work.
He focuses on his music every evening, after working his day job at Glana Controlled Hygiene, New Ross. 'I'm rehearsing with a five piece band so we're looking forward to doing gigs. We're working on a second album,' Kelly said.
For more information on Copper Kelly and his music see copperkelly.com.