People Like You

Seán P. Feeny

Tommy Bonner’s lullaby with ‘Glow’ dedicated to kids

Ballybofey singer Tommy Bonner (right) performs with guitarist Ally Doherty.

Ballybofey singer Tommy Bonner (right) performs with guitarist Ally Doherty.

A NEW single just released by a Donegal singer/songwriter and his duo is a lullaby dedicated to his children. Tommy Bonner from Ballybofey is the lead singer of Glow, which he formed with his good friend Ally Doherty, from neighbouring Stranorlar, early this year.

Glow first recorded the song I Won’t Let You Down during the summer for a charity album compiled by John Grealish of Elevation Studios, Convoy Enterprised Centre.
The duo decided after to go back into the studio and add a bigger arrangement to make it Glow’s first official single before they record their debut album.
Tommy, who works as a lecturer teaching International students English at Sligo Institute of Technology, said they are very much looking forward to getting back into the studio and recording original material.


“We started gigging May and we had such a good summer performing as a two-piece playing both good covers and originals, but we are now really going to focus on recording our own music and are booked to start recording our album in January.”I suppose I was trying to convey a sentiment without being ovberly sentimental or contrived about it.

“I’m aware this song is going to have more resonance among people with young children. That said, as for lyrical content, melodical structure, instrumentation and the general tone and sentiment, I think it stands up on its own, I’m very proud of it,” he said.

Having already had the ‘bare bones’ of the song recorded, rhythm and lead guitar, for John Grealish’s charity album, Tommy and Ally decided to add to the arrangement and invited some well-known local singers and musicians to join them.
“We got John’s daughter Catherine Grealish from Stranorlar to join us on backing vocals. She has a beautiful, soft voice which lends itself very well to this lullaby.
“We were also delighted to have Carn violinist Seamus Devenny (The Trips, Kate O’Callaghan Band) join us in the studio. Seamus is not only an incredible musician, but he also brought so much joy and fun into the studio, which can be a boring place at times.”

One of Tommy’s students at Sligo IT, Tatiana Sakagami originally from Brazil, also came into the studio to join the recording on the ukulele which was a fun experience for her. Tommy had a certain brass arrangement in mind for I Won’t Let You Down and invited Derry trumpet player Bryan Morgan into the studio to lay down some tracks. He said: “I have worked with Bryan in the past and he was just a dream to work with on my own song.”

Also featured on piano is Letterkenny man James Gillen of the well-known Indie duo Constant Supply who have received a lot of praise on national level.
“James wrote and produced one of my favourite albums of last year and he came up with a beautiful little piano arrangement for this song.”
Tommy decided not to have any percussion on the song. “I actually did add a tambourine, initially, but then I decided that it wasn’t really necessary and didn’t add anything; it seemed to be on the recording as a gesture and we felt the other instruments were more than enough.”

After a lot of work at Elevation Studios, and additional recordings at Beatlab Studio in Sligo, Glow finally received their hardcopy singles on Friday. “I have to give James Hennigan, who designed the cover a special mention, he did a fantastic job,” Tommy said.

This is Glow’s first outing into the world of music publishing, but they are already looking forward to recording other original songs they have been playing all summer.
“We are booked into Elevation Studios for three weeks in January, which we are realling looking forward to, and aiming for the launch of our debut album in April or May.”

A music video filmed this weekend at the Balor Arts Centre by film-maker Christopher Curran will also be released very soon.

Copies of Glow’s debut single I Won’t Let You Down will be available at Universal Books, Church Lane, Letterkenny, or download the new single on iTunes and Bandcamp. Also don;t forget to give the duo a ‘LIKE’ on