After a summer full of comedy and drama the Ardhowen Theatre programme now has a variety of musical performances to enjoy. For country fans we have The Gentle Giant of Country Music, Mick Flavin, plus two young rising stars on the country music scene, Derek Ryan and Nathan Carter. The Sands Family and Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn bring us two evenings of fine traditional and folk music. And in contrast we then have a celebration of Irish rock with Harry Hamilton.
MICK FLAVIN AND FRIENDS Mick Flavin reaches a milestone in his music career as he celebrates 25 years in the business. As one of the most successful entertainers in the Irish country scene he has produced a catalogue of hit singles that includes 'The Old School Yard', 'Try It You'll Like It', 'Wild Flowers' and of course his latest monster hit single 'When I Lay Me Down'.
Encouraged by his good friend Declan Nerney to go to a small studio in Athlone and record a cassette tape, Mick has gone from strength to strength. In 2005, he was nominated for the Country Music Association Global Artist Award. A robust vocalist capable of conveying startling emotion and making deceptively ordinary characters shine, he has appeared at the Wembley Festival in London and the Grand Ole Oprey. Mick will be appearing at the Ardhowen on Thursday 30th August at 8pm.
THE SANDS FAMILY IN CONCERT From the days when Anne, Ben, Colum, Dino and Tommy played together in the family's "ceili house" in County Down their career took a sudden upturn when they won a Folk Group contest in Dublin's "Old Shieling Hotel" in Raheny. As a result, they were invited to play for three weeks in New York in early 1971. The band's clever mix of traditional Irish music and song with their own thought provoking compositions about life in Newry and Mourne won them audiences not only here but abroad. They regularly tour throughout Europe, the UK and Ireland. With over 20 albums under their belt, they've been the subject of several television documentaries and the recipients of numerous music awards.
Celebrate '40 Years Of The Sands Family In Concert' with an evening of well-crafted songs and stories, and a great deal of devilment, on Friday 31st August at 8pm.
BILLY BOY MISKIMMIN'S 'MERCY LOUNGE' Billy Boy's musical career started in the summer of 1987 when he was watching Belfast blue's man Jim Daly with whom Van Morrison started his career. Daly invited him on stage and from that moment the 'blue's bug' bit. He formed R&B outfit Black and Blue Jam within a month of that meeting, essentially a Nine Below Zero cover band with some Stone's songs thrown in to break up the set a bit.
Billy quickly established himself as an International blues star. He went on to become part of rock and blues aristocracy, playing with legends like BB King and The Doors and earning accolades not only from Alice Cooper but from Jimmy Page, Scotty Moore and others.
Along with Billy Boy Miskimmin on vocals and harmonica, we have Lou Campbell on guitar, Aaron Loughran on Bass, Matt Martin on keyboard, Hal Gordon on drums and special guest Rab McCullough. This superb blues band will perform in the Gallery Bar on Saturday 1st September at 9pm. Early booking is essential as seating is limited.
DEREK RYAN AND HUGO DUNCAN The emergence of young talented performers such as Derek Ryan, Nathan Carter and Lisa McHugh has created a new wave of interest in Country Music amongst the younger generation. Derek Ryan will be the first to perform at Ardhowen this Autumn with his concert on Thursday 6th September at 8pm.
Having played to sell out audiences around the world, Derek brings a high energy vibe to the stage with his guitar playing and vocal ability. He has recently picked up awards for 'Singer-Songwriter Of The Year' and 'Best Newcomer' at the Northern Ireland Country Music Awards, 'Best New Band' at this year's Sunday World Awards and 'Album Of The Year' at the Irish Entertainment Awards.
With two critically acclaimed albums on release including his most recent, 'Made of Gold', a five piece band and thousands of fans, Derek is well on the road to superstardom. With no limit to his potential, songs such as 'A Mother's Son', 'Kiss Me Mary' and 'Just a Little Love' are just a small sample of the talent he is harbouring.
NOLLAIG CASEY AND ARTY MCGLYNN Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn are a captivating musical duo, who together provide a rich mix of talent and experience. Nollaig and Arty first met in Dublin in 1979, after which their musical paths crossed again and again at recording sessions, television and radio studios and on stage with Andy Irvine, Planxty, Makem & Clancy and Maura O'Connell. The more they played together the more they enjoyed each other's company and eventually in 1984 they married.
They have performed in many countries, always at the cutting edge of what might be termed modern Irish music and are among the most popular folk artists in the business. Without a doubt they are two of the most talented musicians on the Irish music scene today. Their performance in the Ardhowen Gallery Bar is on Saturday 8th September at 9pm.
EXTRA NIGHT FOR NATHAN CARTER Nathan Carter is the hottest property on the Irish Country Music scene. So much so that the theatre has scheduled an extra night on Wednesday 12th September to meet the high demand for tickets. This young talented singer has recorded three CDs and a hugely successful DVD in his short career to date. His concerts promise to be an action packed, with a blend of great Country music and tender ballads.
Nathan will be joined by special guests Hugo Duncan and the Benn Sisters on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th September at 8pm.