Sunday, January 17, 2016

New country duo debut in The Spout

It was a real debut when the Texas Exiles took to the stage in The Spout tonight as part the lineup for the January Country Sunday gig, writes Brian Byrne.

Mike Bartlett from Avondale joined with Fiachra Shanks only today for the spot. "We only started practising at 2pm," said Fiachra, a Dubliner who has been into music since he took up the guitar in 1988.

Well, by the time they tuned up, it was like they had been playing together for years. But then, they've both been in the 'backline' technical end of the game for a long time.

Mike is originally from Killarney but has been living in Kilcullen for 13 years, a neighbour of Jimmy Aspell who is the prime mover behind the Country Sunday series. In 2007 he went 'front' with an EP collaboration with Simon Good and Tony Flaherty called 'Uppers and Downers'. "His vocals remind me of Chris Rea," says Jimmy Aspell.

Fiachra Shanks moved to London in 2005 to write songs, and made his living by sound engineering for many different bands in The Cross Kings and Aces and Eights venues. He played mandolin and guitar in Shane McGowan's band The Popes during 2007, and his 'Ain't no Eden' was written, recorded, and played entirely by himself.

So The Spout had some very sound new talent entertaining tonight, along with Jimmy himself, and a typically strong finale to the evening by Bernie Heaney from Newbridge.

There will be another Country Sunday in February. Stay tuned for details. Well worth being there for. And I bet we're going to hear more of the Texas Exiles too.

All the pictures can be viewed here.