MUSICIAN INTERVIEW: Freddie White

April 14, 2008

Musician Interview: Freddie White, 14 April 2008.
Q & A with Freddie and Nicola Murphy, Draiocht's Marketing Manager, two weeks before his show in Draiocht.



"I danced in a musical once to such reviews as “Freddie looks like a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time” (Irish Times) so didn’t pursue that particular branch of the arts!"
Freddie White, April 2008


Introduction:


Freddie White has long been synonymous with music of the highest quality. Whether interpreting songs by his favorite writers, such as Randy Newman, Tom Waits, John Hiatt and Guy Clark, or performing his own classy compositions, Freddie’s live performances are nothing short of legendary. Freddie has been part of the fabric of the live music scene in Ireland since the 1970’s and his albums continue to sell well, amongst his loyal and new-found fan base. Born in Cobh, County Cork into a musical family, by age thirteen Freddie was playing in school bands and by seventeen playing professionally. At nineteen, he moved to London, where he busked in subways, and developed his unique voice and guitar style. In 1974, he was a founding member of ‘Scullion’, together with Philip King and Sonny Condell. Later he formed ‘The Fake’, regarded as one of the seminal Irish bands of the late ‘70’s. Next came The Freddie White Band formed in 1978, which toured with Eric Clapton that year.

In 2004, Freddie White returned to Ireland after many years living in the USA. Since then he has regularly toured Ireland and Europe and during the past year has dedicated himself to the development of his latest recording, collaborating with songwriters Jimmy MacCarthy and Jim Barrett. Released in February 2008, ‘Stormy Lullaby’, is a stunning collection of moody tracks in which Freddie White’s musicianship and voice shine through. He has once again teamed up with his old cohort DanDan Fitzgerald to produce this gem. The album has an acoustic feel thanks to the input of a small, tight group of musicians from his native Cork. ‘Stormy Lullaby’ is a collection of eleven songs. Some tracks are newly written, while others (not previously recorded by Freddie) have proven their worth by becoming firm favourites with his live audiences. ‘Stormy Lullaby’ showcases what Freddie does best – that is ‘get inside’ and deliver heartrending, troubled love songs in a manner guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. It is often said of Freddie that he does not merely ‘cover’ great songs; more often than not he improves on the originals.





Q: What or who inspired you to become a musician?

Picked up a friends guitar at age 13 and never looked back.


Q: Are you a full time musician or have you other jobs to supplement your income?

I’m full time.


Q: If you weren’t a musician, what would you like to be?

A painter.


Q: What is the hardest thing about being a musician?

Days off either when you are on a tour or recording are a real pain - an interruption to the process.


Q: What type of music do you enjoy playing the most?

Songs with a bit of a bite to them.


Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

Aguas de Marcos by Elis Regina and Tom Jobim.


Q: Are there any famous musicians that you would really like to work with?

Yeah – but unfortunately Jimi Henrix is dead now!


Q: What's the most unusual place you've ever played a concert or made a recording?

The Tin Pub in Ahakista in West Cork would be one of many.

Q: Have you ever tried other art forms like drawing, painting, sculpting or dancing for instance?

I danced in a musical once to such reviews as “Freddie looks like a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time” (Irish Times) so didn’t pursue that particular branch of the arts!

Q: What other musicians or people have influenced or inspired you, and in what ways?

I have tried (and still try) to learn from anyone I come into contact with but my teenage years probably formed what I do to this day. Such people as Davy Graham, John Renborne and other guitarists of that time had a huge influence.


Q: How do you keep motivated if you’re having a bad day?

Wouldn’t write off a whole day – if one thing isn’t working do something else and come back to it.



Freddie White and The Fake (1978).


Q: How have you handled the business side of being a musician, promoting yourself and getting exposure, selling your gigs to promoters etc?

Very poorly.


Q: Do you have any advice you could give to a musician just starting out?

Play every day and don’t do it for the money!

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

It’s too late to stop now so ….



Larry Gogan and Freddie White


Q: What are your interests and hobbies in your space time?

Mucking about in the garden – watchin the footy – cooking - eating.



Q: Could you tell us a little more about your forthcoming performance in Draíocht?

I’ve played Draíocht twice before and have had a terrific night. Funny, but I used to live in that area of Dublin when it was just a sea of housing estates and nothing else. Great to see it now has a beating heart in the form of a theatre and lots of old friends showed up the last night I played – hope to see them again this time.

What the Press have said:

'Stormy Lullaby' maintains a lifelong undertaking by this remarkable singer ... to get to the essence of a worthy song...a genuinely transcendent and inspiring sound.’ 
Gerry Quinn. Examiner, January 2008  


‘This is a superb return to form ... those trademark sharp-toothed guitar licks ... smoky, languid voice... there’s still nobody to match White at his best.’ 

Siobhain Long.  Irish Times, January 2008  

"Tia" is a smooth and affecting sound while "The Boy Talks Tough" sounds like a standard in the making. Freddie White shows again that class is permanent...
Danny McElhinney. the Mail on Sunday, January 2008








Images taken from Freddie's website.
Further info about Freddie White can be found on:
www.freddiewhite.com


For media information please contact:
Nicola Murphy, Marketing Press & PR Manager, Draíocht
Tel: 01-8098021

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By Draíocht. Tags: Music,

MUSICIAN INTERVIEW: Andy Irvine

April 3, 2008

MUSICIAN INTERVIEW: Andy Irvine  / 3 April 2008
Q&A with Andy Irvine and Nicola Murphy, Draíocht's Marketing Manager 




Andy appears in Draíocht on Saturday 12th April 2008 at 8pm with his group Mozaik, truly a World Music band, which fellow musicians Donal Lunny (Ireland & Japan), Bruce Molsky (USA), Nikola Parov (Hungary) and Rens van der Zalm (Holland, soon to be Australia). He chatted with Nicola Murphy by email from Japan ahead of the gig next week.


Brief Introduction:


Andy Irvine: Forty Years on the Road
Andy Irvine has been hailed as ‘a tradition in himself’. Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained both personal integrity and highly individual performing skills throughout his 40-year career. From Sweeney's Men in the mid sixties to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, to THE Irish super group, Patrick Street, in the 80s, Andy has been a world music pioneer and icon for traditional music and musicians. Irvine occupies a unique place in the musical world, plying his trade as archetypal troubadour, with a solo show and traveling lifestyle that reflects his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. Few others can equal his repertoire, Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes, and a compelling canon of his own material that defies description.
Taken from: http://www.andyirvine.com



Andy Irvine


Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from and where you live?

I have been playing music for my livelihood for over 40 years. I was a very good child actor who became not such a good juvenile actor. I play the Irish Bouzouki - an instrument that bears little relationship to its Greek origins. I also play Mandolin, Harmonica and Hurdy Gurdy. And I sing. I live in Dublin, though I spend most of my time traveling elsewhere. I am in Japan at the moment.
 

Q: What or who inspired you to become a musician?
 
My first inspiration was Woody Guthrie, the Oklahoma balladeer and song writer. Subsequently I became interested in all folk music.


Q: How old where you when you started playing?

I was 13 when I received my first instrument - a very poorly made guitar. I studied classical music for four years but decided it was not for me.



Rens van der Zalm & Andy Irvine


Q: Why did you choose your particular instrument to learn?

I wanted to play all the instruments that Woody played. The mandolin became my foremost instrument but after my good friend, Johnny Moynihan introduced the Bouzouki into Irish music, I gradually became more drawn to that.


Q: If you weren’t a musician, what would you like to be?

A novelist.


Q: What is the hardest thing about being a musician?
 
Practising when you haven't played for a while. It's like running through a field of porridge.


Q: What type of music do you enjoy playing the most?

My music.


Q: Are there any famous musicians that you would really like to work with?
 
Yes, Woody Guthrie but unfortunately he's dead.


Q: What's the most unusual place you've ever played a concert or made a recording?

Kilmainham Jail with all the ghosts looking down from the cells above.


Q: Have you ever tried other art forms like drawing, painting, sculpting or dancing for instance?
 
No, no good at any of these.


Q: What other musicians or people have influenced or inspired you, and in what ways?

I have been inspired by many people who rose up and fought against injustice. People who spoke for those with no voice. From James Connolly to Joe Hill.



Rens van der Zalm & Andy Irvine


Q: How do you keep motivated if you’re having a bad day?
 
Imagine myself to be in a worse position.


Q: How have you handled the business side of being a musician, promoting yourself and getting exposure, selling your gigs to promoters etc?

Like most musicians I am not a big self promoter. My first band, Sweeney's Men was a minor success but my second band, Planxty was a major success. I have never felt the need to sell myself since then.


Q: Do you have any advice you could give to a musician just starting out?

Don't expect to be a success. But believe in yourself and keep doing what you believe in.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
 
Still battering around the globe with any luck.
 

Q: What are your interests and hobbies in your spare time?

Football, Cricket, Rugby. Anything with a ball except Basketball.


Q: Could you tell us a little more about your forthcoming performance in Draíocht?

It's with Mozaik, a fiery blend of Irish, Balkan and Old Time American music that should keep the audience in excitement. Between us all the band plays over 20 instruments with Nikola covering a bewildering range of East European instruments that many people will never have seen before.
I started the group 5 years ago, and we rehearsed for the first time in Australia and finished the tour that followed with a live recording at the Powerhouse, in Brisbane. That album conveys the exciting sounds that the band creates on stage. Since then we've played at many of the world’s major festivals and concert halls in Australia, Japan, USA, Ireland, Italy and the UK. (Vicar Street, National Concert Hall, Cork Opera House notably). Each member of the band has recorded extensively during their musical careers – Nikola solo and with numerous Balkan bands in Hungary; Bruce with solo albums and collaborations with Pete Seeger, Martin Hayes, Bill Frisell and many others; Dónal with bands ranging from Planxty and The Bothy Band to Moving Hearts, and more than 100 albums that he has produced and played on for other artists; I've played with Sweeney’s Men, Planxty and Patrick Street, solo and with Paul Brady; Rens has also recorded with me, and many Dutch bands like Wolverlei and Fungus.
 

Q: Do you have any performances coming up after this one in Draíocht?

Yes, Draiocht is the second gig of a nine day tour in Ireland with Mozaik.


What the Press have said:

“This was glorious music that raised spirits, roofs and not a few pulses along the way. Yet another magnificent musical detour that unleashed our imaginations and our energies, free to roam where passports and language barriers hold no sway.”
Siobhan Long, The Irish Times


Further info about Andy Irvine & Mozaik can be found on his website:
www.andyirvine.com 




Mozaik
Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Bruce Molsky, Nikola Parov, Rens van der Zalm
First envisaged by venerable vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Andy Irvine (Planxty, Patrick Street), Mozaik is the ultimate global string band- a truly international ensemble who can not only perform music from a wide array of cultures, but interweave their myriad influences into an entirely new sound. Mozaik moves effortlessly from Celtic to old-time to Eastern European music, with intricate string arrangements complementing Andy and Bruce's vocals. The line-up boasts musicians as versatile and eclectic as the music created between them, whose traditions and styles are distinct, yet blend beautifully to form a cohesive work of art. Long time fans from Irvine's Planxty days, will be aware that he has been experimenting with Eastern European melodies and rhythms for a long time now, which is a style he incorporates magnificently into this band.
Main Auditorium
Sat 12 April 2008, 8pm
Tickets:
€22 / €20 conc


For media information please contact:
Nicola Murphy, Marketing Press & PR Manager, Draíocht
Tel: 01-8098021

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By Draíocht. Tags: Music,

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