Country Cuts by Roger Ryan. April 1st 2011.

Country Cuts by Roger Ryan.  April 1st 2011.

Grand Ole Opry Star Mel McDaniel died on Thursday last at the age of 68, after battling lung cancer.Mel McDaniel was born September 6, 1942 in Checotah, Oklahoma, and his hitmaking years were the 1980s.His hits included “Louisiana Saturday Night,” “Stand Up,” “Anger and Tears,” the Number One hit “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”, “I Call It Love”, “Stand On It” and a remake of Chuck Berry’s “Let It Roll (Let It Rock).” His career really took off with “Louisiana Saturday Night” in 1981, followed by a number one hit “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” in 1984 and Top 10 hits like “Right in the Palm of Your Hand” (later covered by Alan Jackson in 1999), “Take Me to the Country,” “Big Ole Brew,” and “I Call It Love.” During his heyday Mel performed at the International festival of Country Music in Wembley and last year I recorded an interview with him for the Hot Country TV Show.
If you want to hear some down home guitar pickin’ in an intimate setting then I highly recommend that you go along to the Kilworth Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co.Cork, on Tuesday next April 12th, where Thom Bresh from Nashville will be performing. Thanks to promoter John Nyhan we are given a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest guitarist’s and singer who’s voice has been described as firmly rooted in the deep south. Guitar afficinados will be well aware that Thom is the son of the late legendary guitar player Merle Travis, who’s unique style influenced Chet Atkins among others.Tickets will be available at the door.
Following on the heels of Taylor Swift who was in the O2 Dublin on March 27th we will have 2 more superstars visiting us later this year with Brad Paisley at the Olympia on August 19th and Dolly Parton at the O2 Dublin on September 14th.Hopefully we will have some more names to add top the list before the year is over.
The Hot Country TV Show which is now well into it’s second year on Sky 201 and more recently on Chorus UPC Channel, will stage it’s second Annual Hot Country Awards at the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe, on Monday May 16th. Most of the top names on the Irish country scene are due to perform and the hotel is offering a special deal for the weekend.You can also view the show on your laptop by logging on to
Thomas Maguire and Fhiona Ennis recorded a new single in Nashville with some of the top session musicians performing. It’s an old country standard called the Wild side Of life which has been given a new lease of life by this popular duo. Look out for a new album and dvd from the couple later in the year.
Daniel O’Donnell who will perform at the Cork Opera House on July 9th and 10th as part of his Irish tour, has released a new album called Moon Over Ireland.
March has really taken it’s toll on the country music industry with the death of three of it’s stalwart performers. On March 17th Ferlin Husky died followed by ace steel player Ralph Mooney on March 20th. The last day of March saw the death of one of my favourite performers Mel mc Daniel.
If you fancy a weekend in the Kingdom of Kerry then you should check out the Country in the Kingdom Festival at the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, on the weekend of June 24th,25th&  26th. This is a Midsummer Dancing Festival starring Mike Denver, Declan Nerney, Louise Morrissey, Larry Cunningham, Trudi Lalor, Tom Healy, Patrick O’Sullivan, The Dreamers, T.R.Dallas, Seabreeze, and Tommy’s Country Roadshow.For full details and weekend packages ring 062-63773.
Mary Gauthier will perform at Whelans, Dublin, on April 29th and at the Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival on April 30th.The Annual festival will take place at various venues throughout Kilkenny City from April 29th to May 2nd.
Plans have been announced for the 23rd tour to Nashville which will take place from Nov 5th to Nov 15th and will take in the CMA Awards in Nashville as well as visits to well known tourist spots such as Dollywood, Graceland, Country Music hall of Fame, Studio B, Sun Studios etc. Full details from 087-6859895 or 021- 4504841.

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