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Swimming the Horses

Gerry O'Beirne

Singer songwriter Gerry O’Beirne performs a new collection of songs and guitar pieces written in Dingle in West Kerry where he lives. He plays 6 and 12 string guitars, slide guitar, ukuleles, tiple, U-Bass, 5-string banjo and National steel guitar.

Swimming The Horses is a collection of new songs and music written in West Kerry and recorded in an old cottage in Dún Síon near Dingle where Gerry O'Beirne lives. The title track refers to his time living by a pier where horse trainers would bring horses to exercise them in the sea. The Last King Of Feothanach is about a local who wandered about the wild West Kerry coast, a man who couldn't speak in a way that people could understand and who Gerry got to know while living there. All Down The Day is about life in London where he spent a couple of years in his youth. The Lights of San Francisco is about an emigrant to California where he lived for a time, and Where Foxglove looks back on years spent playing music in Ireland. The Old Coastal is a love song played on National Steel guitar. Marbhna Luimnigh is a solo guitar piece on National Steel guitar and is the only traditional Irish music on the album. It is perhaps the most beautiful and majestic tune in Irish music. Golden Hair is a setting of James Joyce's poem Lean Out Of The Window and finishes with an outro of abandon. Dún Síon is another original tune on the National guitar, as gaunt and lonely as the place itself. Night In Ventry is a solo ukulele piece. The album concludes with The Banyan Guitar, about the solace of music and friendship. There are some great guest singers singing along: Pauline Scanlon, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Teresa Horgan, Seamus Begley and others, and Rod McVey plays Hammond organ on two tracks. Gerry plays 6 and 12 string guitars, slide guitar, ukuleles, tiple, U-Bass, 5-string banjo and National steel guitar.

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Half Moon Bay

Gerry O'Beirne

Rhapsodic acoustic guitar and creative original songs. Many connections with Irish folk and traditional music, but this album goes far beyond that.

"Gerry O'Beirne has written some of the best new tunes to come out of Ireland's Celtic music scene. O'Beirne's guitar playing is always a thing of wonder and his lyrics have become increasingly poetic and emotionally deep." - Dirty Linen

"The instrumentals are out of this world. A self taught master of the 6 and 12 string guitar, the playing of O'Beirne is superlative and subtle beyond words." - The Sunday Times

"His works are simple, elegiac and exquisitely worded pen pictures of life's experiences." - Rock 'N' Reel

"A masterpiece." - Folkworld

"He's a lovely singer, a powerful performer and a master musician." - Evening Herald

"While much of his material (Isle of Malachy, Shades of Gloria, Western Highway, The Holy Ground) is best known sung by others, Gerry reclaims his songs. He involves the listener with a gentle intensity that allows the beauty of his melodies to envelop and sweep them along: images abound of mountains and deserts, foreign lands, and County Clare, loves lost and loves won." - Irish Edition

"The highlight of the recent Waterboys concerts at the Olympia Theatre was a truly mesmerizing bottleneck solo.....by guitarist Gerry O'Beirne." - In Dublin

"Material comes from Paul Brady, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Lennon & McCartney, but the highlight is Gerry O'Beirne's beautiful 'Half Moon Bay'." - Q Magazine (of Maura O'Connell's 'Stories')

"He should be compulsory listening for any aspiring ambitious guitarist. It's not just his technical dexterity and brilliance that catches the imagination, it's the inventive use of arrangements, lyrics and melody." - The Word

"Intelligent, articulate, insightful musicianship from a real craftsman. Not a wasted word nor an untrue note ."
- Pay The Reckoning

"He plays guitar like an elephant roller skating through neon grass."

composer Harry Williamson

Gerry O'Beirne

Born in Ennis, County Clare, along Ireland’s music-rich west coast, Gerry O’Beirne is a renowned singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (6 and 12 string guitar, tiple, and ukulele, slide guitar among others). Gerry grew up in Ireland and in Ghana in West Africa, and has since lived in England, California, and Mexico. Gerry’s own compositions blend the passion found in traditional music with the freshness of contemporary song.

Many of his songs have been embraced by the contemporary folk community. Maura O’Connell recorded Half Moon Bay, Western Highway, Shades of Gloria, and The Isle of Malachy. Mary Black recorded The Holy Ground as a title track. Cathie Ryan recorded Shades of Gloria and The Lights of San Francisco. Muireann Nic Amhloaibh has recorded Western Highway and The Isle Of Malachy on her album daybreak: fainne an lae.

Gerry has toured the globe as a solo artist and with the Sharon Shannon Band, Patrick Street, Midnight Well, Andy M. Stewart, Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, and the Waterboys. He has performed at the White House, opened for the Grateful Dead, and played electric guitar with Marianne Faithfull. He composed and recorded the score to River of Dreams, an artistic response to the River Shannon commissioned by the Irish Department of Arts and Heritage, and he has written music for film and theater.

Gerry has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. His performance of Western Highway was chosen as an audio highlight on A Prairie Home Companion’s website. (http://www.prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/20011110/)

As a producer, Gerry has a large number of albums to his credit, including Promenade by Kevin Burke and Michael O’Dhomhnaill (winner of the Grand Prix Du Disque at Montreux), Irish Times by Patrick Street, Man in the Moon and Donegal Rain by Andy M. Stewart, First Foooting by Anam, The Connaughtman’s Rambles by Martin O’Conner, Up Close by Kevin Burke, Lifting the Veil and Sacred Space by Fiona Joyce, To Anyone At All by Clandestine, Fine Small Storm by Jen Hamel, The Willow by E. J. Jones, Silver Hook Tango by Australian singer-songwriter Kavisha Mazella, and most recently Lumina by Irish piper, low whistle player, and composer Eoin Duignan, which was hailed “a stunning achievement” by Hot Press, Ireland’s foremost music magazine.

Gerry’s solo album, Half Moon Bay, features his own songs and instrumental compositions. Half Moon Bay was citied as one of the 12 best releases of the year by Performing Songwriter magazine and was chosen as one of Folkworld’s Top Ten Albums of the year. Gerry has toured recently in Holland, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, performed solo at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and has taught musical composition from visual art at Swananoa Music Camp. He is currently at work on his second solo album, which will feature his completely original and compelling instrumental music, and an album with fiddler Rosie Shipley.

More information at gerryobeirne.com.

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The Bog Bodies And Other Stories: Music For Guitar

Gerry O'Beirne

Music made on a ragtag collection of stringed instruments, digging deep into the wood and the strings. At times lush, at times raw and emotional, the tunes are epic in scale.

The music was written and performed on my ragtag collection of guitars
and other stringed instruments including 12 string guitar, National
Steel guitar, Spanish guitar, slide guitar, ukulele, and tiple. Two
tracks feature fiddler Rosie Shipley.

I always had a sense of the kind of guitar music I wanted to make, but
I also wanted to stress the physicality of playing music; the sense of
touch, of graininess, that you get when you dig deep into the strings
and the wood. Many of the pieces are evocations of places and people
in Ireland and around the world. Fergus River Roundelay is for a
river in my native Co. Clare; Crows of Homer is inspired by a town in
Alaska; The Desert And Two Grey Hills is about looking for something
and someone in New Mexico; Stranger in Texas features a 5-string banjo
I picked up on a porch in Crockett, Texas where Lightnin' Hopkins used
to play; Deora Dé is a lament on an old National Steel guitar; Dancing
Sweeney is the bockety dance of an outsider; and The Song Sings Itself
is so named because it came easy and when I put the National Steel
lead guitar on it it just seemed to sing.

The final tracks, Oldcroghan Man and Clonycavan Man, were composed
for two Iron Age bog bodies lately discovered in Ireland, carefully
preserved by the earth to which they were committed long ago. Time
and the bog seem to have burnished them into an essence of their
persons and personalities. Oldcroghan Man was about six foot five; a
powerful man. Clonycavan Man was five foot three and wore hair gel
that could only have come from France. What stories they could tell!
When I saw them in the National Museum in Dublin, I immediately
thought about writing this music.

I hope you enjoy it.

Gerry

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Yesterday I Saw The Earth Beautiful

Gerry O'Beirne & Rosie Shipley

A collection of songs and music by Gerry O'Beirne, and traditional tunes from Ireland and Cape Breton played by fiddler Rosie Shipley and Gerry. The poems Free Soul by Paddy Kavanagh and Labasheeda by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill were set to music by Gerry.

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