BY SEÁN P. FEENY
LAST weekend a legendary Irish songwriter led a host of talent in recording a new song to celebrate a very special year in Donegal.
Come Gather Round has been spear-headed by Paul Brady, with the assistance of Mickey Joe Harte, for Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal Gathering and Riverine Project.
As well as celebrating this year’s Gathering, the song will mark Earagail Arts Festival’s 25th anniversary while promoting reconciliation through the involvement of the Riverine Project.
Strabane native Paul Brady and his neighbour from across the Finn, Mickey Joe Harte, brought together some fantastic musicians and singers for the project.
They gathered at Attic Audio in Termon, the studio owned by Tommy McLaughlin of The Villagers.
It features established artists such as Paul and Mickey, who have previously worked together; former Revs frontman Rory Gallagher, The Henry Girls, Pat Gallagher (Goats Don’t Shave), and also gave emerging artists such as In Their Thousands and Strabane’s Paul Tully were given a chance to participate in this exciting project.
Paul Brown, Earagail Arts Festival’s director, said the joint commission was a long time in discussion.
“This is an opportunity for us to recognise artists of the highest calibre such as Paul Brady and Donegal’s own Mickey Joe Harte, but there are also emerging artists featured.
“It’s a means of connecting with the world through the medium of music this year and will be first of a number of commissions for the festival’s 25th birthday celebrations and The Gathering initiative.
“So we will hope that people download it and listen to it, whether they are sitting working on a crane in Australia or are back home here in Donegal,” he said.
Paul did not give too much away of what the song is like, but said it was ‘very indicative of the writers’ and has a strong international dimension, but was rooted in the North West.
Kilcar’s Rory Gallagher, who flew in especially from Lanzarote, said the biggest joy for him was to be part of a song being produced by Paul Brady.
“The song is a real throwback to some of his early songs like Follow On and Homes Of Donegal, songs which really appealed to me when I started listening to Paul when I was about 14 and got out of the ‘only listening to heavy metal phase’,” he laughed.
Paul and the production team, of course, got a multi-instrumentalist in Rory who not only played the drums on the track, but also bass and sang backing vocals.
He said: “It was a great experience and there was such a good vibe in the studio, there were no egos and everyone was very open to suggestions.
“I’ve recorded in studios everywhere from Sweden, Australia to the United States and I have to say that none compare to Attica Audio in Termon.”
The song is expected to be released within the next five weeks.