29 October 2012

Hickory Wind - a musical storm

Uri Kohen reports from Westport, Co. Mayo:

During my searches for acts to add to my monthly musical programme, it was Tommy 'T-Bone' Lyons, of Balla Bluegrass Festival, who told me to check out a band called Hickory Wind. With very little info about them over the net, I followed Tommy's advice and booked them for a gig in Geraghty's pub in October 2011 [see the BIB for 3 Oct. 2011].

The excellent gig won the band a place in the 2012 Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival. They played the Jester pub and won over the hearts of bluegrass lovers and hard rockers alike. It was one of the highlights of the festival. I invited the band to play McGing's pub last Friday night (26 Oct.) and once again they took over Westport like a storm.

The band plays folk, country, and bluegrass classics with a very noticeable stamp of their own. Alan O'Neill, who plays guitar and sings most of the songs, has a unique voice (and superb hair style) which gives the songs warmth and connects with the crowd very well. The band have two bass players, and this time they arrived with Bean Dolan who also played mandolin and guitar. The band's music is driven by the very energetic sound of the fiddle and mandolin of Michael Byrne and Neil Fitzgibbon, both of of them changing instruments, throwing out the show, and providing the signature sound of the band.

It is still hard to find info of the band's gigs; but they are highly recommended, so look out for Hickory Wind. We had a great time; hope you will too.

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