THERE are two brilliant American bands playing The Balor Theatre, Ballybofey this week. Carolina folk/roots three piece The Locust Honey String Band play next Wednesday, October 23. The following night, Thursday, is the turn of Indie legend Mark Mulcahy.
Mulcahy was the creative force and lead singer of US band Miracle Legion – highly acclaimed contemporaries of REM in the ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. Although the group amidst record company squabbles and never achieved commercial success to match their critical acclaim Mulcahy is regarded as the finest American singer-songwriter of the last 30 years by his peers.
Many music critics have said that Mulcahy is the singer that Stipe wanted to be.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke says it was Mulchay’s voice that made him want to make music.
In fact type Mark Mulcahy Thom Yorke into youtube and you’ll get footage of Yorke playing Mulcahy’s song All For The Best at a Radiohead gig in New York.
Nick Hornby’s book 31 songs contains a chapter about Mulcahy’s track Hey Self Defeater. Prince once gave him the use of his Paisley Park Studio for free for three months in the hope that a new album would emerge.
When tragedy struck a few years ago an unbelievable who’s who of music industry greats – Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe, The Flaming Lips, The National, Mercury Rev, Frank Black from The Pixies – got together to record Ciao My Shining Star : The Songs Of Mark Mulcahy to help him out.
Mark Mulcahy comes to The Balor as part of a UK and Irish tour on the back of the release of his first album in over 8 years entitled Dear Mark J Mulcahy I Love You.
He’s already played electric Picnic this year – he was one of Irish Times music critic Tony Clayton Lea’s 10 acts not to miss at the festival.
The previous night – Wednesday, October 23 – there’s toe tapping foot stomping old time Appalachian music from the source with The Locust Honey Sting Band.
The Locust Honey String Band consist of Chloe Edmondson (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Areil Dickson (banjo, vocals) and Meredith Watson (guitar, slide guitar, vocals).
The band was born when the three friends got together in a North Carolina living room to make a makeshift demo and quickly realised that something very special was happening.
The girls blend sweet harmonies with raging old time fiddle tunes to take ‘girl band’ to a whole new level. Using various combinations of fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass they each contribute a different style to make a collective sound of blues, old time tunes, honky tonk and old country music.
The Locust Honey String Band play the Balor, Ballybofey on Wednesday October 23rd at 8.30pm, admission €15. Mark Mulcahy plays
The Balor next Thursday next October 24th. Support on the night is from talented Derry singer Best Boy Grip.
Tickets are also €15 and are available from The Balor on 0749131840 or online at www.balorartscentre.com.