One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of GruffWuff; a 19 track compilation of new, previously unreleased and exclusive recordings from some of my very favourite acts over the past 5 years of blogging.
It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is Ciaran Dwyer, of Knoxville Morning.
The Knoxville Morning project was inspired by a trip around the USA taken by chief troublemaker Ciaran Dwyer. The result of which is a combination of sweet folk, country and Americana. While it certainly wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remains a cornerstone as does their home town roots. A longtime BarryGruff favourite that never cease to deliver, again and again.
Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out Knoxville Morning’s fabulous self-titled debut LP, and their GruffWuff inclusion, ‘Bridget’ – of which you can download here for FREE.
What was your personal high point of this year, musical and/or otherwise?
I was lucky enough to be given a run out at Glastonbury Festival and played on the same day as my hero Ryan Adams. To have to run from my little stage over to see his show on the Sunday night was a surreal experience that I won’t ever forget. I’d never in a million years thought my songs would reach that field. I had heard all the stories but It honestly eclipses everything I have ever been to. Its a truly amazing Festival and the week around it was one I’d live over and over If I got the chance. I got to meet Mavis Staples and she gave me a hug which is as good as it fucking gets really.
Personally otherwise anyways, I organised a kind of songwriter circle for a festival in my local Bar in Newbridge with ten of my heroes that will live in my memory for a long time. My favourite songs all in the one place. What a treat!
Favourite album of 2015?
It would have to be I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty which blew my mind on first listen. Daniel Anderson made a perfect album this year in the most perfect way. That’s probably what I’ll pick actually. Anderson, Patterns is number One!
Favourite new act discovered in 2015?
Probably East River Pipe which I discovered from listening to Ken Sweeney on Tom Dunne’s radio show. Essential listening, both the Radio show and the Band. Incredible songs and his attitude towards his music really inspires me. Peter Byrne and Conor Mahony are a folk group I have recently gotten to know and become friends with, and they are genuinely something very special. I’ve taken sly recordings of them on my phone at sessions and I listen to them regularly.
A Lazarus Soul – ‘Mercury Hit A High’
Blake Mills – ‘Don’t Tell all our Friends About Me’
Natalie Prass – ‘Violently’
Lynched – ‘Cold Old Fire’
Anderson – ‘The Melody’
Alabama Shakes – ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’
All amazing songs from this year and all very meaningful to the year I had.
What are you plans for the new year? What can we expect from you?
A new album that we have started with Gavin Glass. A Nude Calendar. Less Drunken Texts, An overhaul of my fashion sense. And common sense. A spectacular move out of my Mothers house. Read more, Write more and to make the Kildare Football panel.