Recently winning over audiences in New York and Nashville as a guitarist and songwriter Denis Carolan is also gaining increasing attention on this side of the water. Very much in the vein of “roots world music” his debut album “All Summer Long” is becoming the slow burner of the year earning thumbs up from everyone from John Creedon to John Lomax.
What musically inclined teenager could fail to be smitten by the bug when hearing the likes of Thin Lizzy, Dylan, Springsteen and U2 all performing at the bottom of his garden? Well not actually in the garden but just down the street. Any hopes of a sensible career were to be no match for David Bowie’s Giant spider or the banshee howls of Neil Young’s guitar. A part-time job and eighteen hard- earned quid bought him an old “Eko” guitar and fingers soon began to cramp and blister in attempts to emulate those who had played “The Castle”.
Playing guitar and writing songs has been his passion ever since those early days of peering through the huge gates and both his guitar style and his songwriting reflect the broad span of his musical journey as well as influences as diverse as cuban “Son” or celtic Sean- Nos. While studying English in college he formed his own blues group and also accompanied trad musicians. This willingness to embrace a mulititude of musical genres is a constant theme in his music. In Spain he played with Spanish rock and blues groups as well as being a regular guitarist with a Pogues like “trash- trad” outfit called “The Feenies” who mixed flamenco and Irish trad with predictably frenetic results!
The highlight of this period was playing the Celt-Iberia festival in Barcelona in front of a monster festival crowd as well as guesting with Ñaco Goñi, the renowned hamonica player in Madrid’s premier blues club “La Coquette”. Regularly collaborating with Jesus Goyenechea of the tropi-punk outfit “Joe Migro” gave him a fresh perspective on music and allowed him to play with the “musical wrapping paper” combining many musical styles and textures all in a sense of child-like fun…
AFTER THE GIG
Intergalactic – Whelan’s Indie/Electro Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm til late (FREE ENTRY).