7 July 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Seán Keane, possessor of one of Ireland’s most distinctive voices, appears for the first time in Ballymaloe Grainstore on Friday 21 July at 8pm. He will be joined on stage by guitarists Pat Coyne and Fergus Feely.
Steeped in music, Seán Keane has grown to musical maturity in an atmosphere where nothing is more important than playing a tune well and singing a song as it should be sung. Although heavily influenced by traditional styles and values, Seán cannot be categorised simply as a traditional singer. Whether the songs are traditional, folk, country or blues, he applies a unique voice and unforgettable individual style.
Seán released his tenth solo album, ‘New Day Dawning,’ in November 2016 with the single ‘One More Hour’ getting much attention and radio airplay. His songs such as ‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears’, ‘Galway to Graceland’ and ‘Home Away From Home’ are enduringly popular with his many listeners.
New material like ‘Paint Me a Picture of Ireland’ ‘Nature’s Little Symphony’, ‘Don’t Teach Me How to Cry’ and ‘One More Hour’ are now becoming modern standards.
“There is a simple lucid clarity to Seán Keane’s singing voice which – like a laser – cuts through the cacophonous clatter and bang of a noisy world. He is a storyteller, whose voice is the sound of everyman; as ancient history [simultaneously] as vital as a digital radio signal, winging its way across the heaven in search of new civilisations. Sometimes he can sound as lonely as an emigrant standing on the prow of a ship taking him away from his native homeland and more times he can sound like a cyber survivor, full of strength and valour that provides comfort to those who battle unequally with the hostile emotional landscape of the modern world. Seán Keane is a touchstone of great signing tradition. He is the past, the present and the future” – Shay Healy, songwriter, broadcaster and journalist
Tickets for Seán Keane in Ballymaloe Grainstore are €28. They can be booked online at www.ballymaloegrainstore.com or by phone on 021 475 7200.
Born into a musical family in Caherlistrane near Tuam in County Galway, it was inevitable that Seán would be connected to music. He won his first Fleadh title for Solo singing at the age of seven and went on to win 13 all Ireland title by the age of 15.
He joined his first band Sigui at the age of 17 in London and made one album.
In 1982, he toured America with his sister Dolores in a band called the Reel Union. They also recorded one album. In 1989 he was a founding member of Arcady, that included other greats like Frances Black, Sharon Shannon and Ringo McDonagh.
He has had a solo career now for more than 25 years and has been in the music business for more than 37 years. He has recorded 10 solo albums and has won numerous awards for his singing and his album.
His wife Virginia was his manager until her untimely death in 2010.
Seán continues to tour the world and plays to full houses all over Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, and America.