With gritty sonic depth, Irish songwriter Marc O’Reilly attacks his muse with a bipolar verve that swings from reflection to sheer riotous joy. Backed by the tightest band in Christendom, rare and beautiful songs slam into wild blues fragments and effortlessly back to clean vocal harmonies.
Marc has released two critically acclaimed albums to date, ‘Human Herdings’ and ‘My Friend Marx’ and has established himself as one of the most exciting artists within the folk/blues genre gaining comparisons with artists such as John Martyn and Bon Iver.
Marc has toured all over Europe including appearances at major festivals like Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, Beautiful Days, Boardmasters, Shambala and Dranouter. He has also played in the US appearing at the Live in the Vineyard Festival in Napa, California.
His alter-ego side project with his brother Pierre, the electro-pop duo ‘R’, recently receieved excellent radio support for their debut single ‘Change’ from tastemakers such as Steve Lamacq (BBC 6music), Janice Long (BBC Radio 2) and Paul Mcloone (Today FM) and reached Number 1 on the Amazing Radio Chart.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Marc has also provided vocals on 3 tracks for the new album by MOBO winning act Karios 4tet which was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, has received 4 star reviews from Mojo, The Independent and Guardian and has led to the recording of a live BBC Maida Vale session for the Jamie Cullum Show on BBC Radio 2.
For nearly four decades, American fingerstyle wizard Richard Gilewitz has fascinated listeners with 6 and 12-string finger gymnastics while spinning enchanting yarns of a seasoned raconteur. His concert performances around the world spill over with unexpected turns of the funnies, thought-provoking takes on life on the road, and tunes that propel the audience on a magical journey of sight and sound. His signature playing style delivers a technical diversity of banjo style patterns and classical arpeggios with a rhythmic percussive approach, exploring the history of guitar with sounds of folk to Americana, the blues to the classical, ragtime to pop, and somewhere in between.In addition to his concert performances, his GillaCamp Guitar and Ukulele Workshops, Meet the Artist Seminars, Clinics, and Avenues for Success educational program for schools inspire players worldwide, providing opportunities for music lovers to work on their craft and young players to learn fingerstyle techniques and tips of the trade.
Growing up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Huntsville, Alabama, Richard embraced such diverse artists as The Beatles, Andres Segovia, Kraftwerk, Leo Kottke, J.S. Bach, Arlo Guthrie, John Fahey and Flatt & Scruggs. Soaking up the wealth of inspiration supplied by the assorted acts featured at the Renfro Valley festivals, “The Dr. Demento Radio Show” and “The Midnight Special”, Richard welcomed the challenge of mastering and adapting many styles of music for the acoustic guitar — a trait that continually places him among a multitude of genres.
Richard began honing his skills both as a performer and composer during the late 1970’s at the University of Alabama, playing the local coffeehouse circuit while pursing degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Music. Following graduation, Richard placed his musical calling in the background and joined the world of flight simulation design, telemetry and satellite systems.
The 1980’s brought Richard to Florida where he released his first LP recording, Somewhere In Between. As the pull of his passion for performing and recording became so compelling, Richard left corporate life to teach and perform full time in a career that has propelled him into an international music arena. He has gone on to release seven more recordings plus a number of educational materials.
Students around the globe attend Richard’s roving GillaCamp Guitar/Ukulele Workshops and Guitars, Gear, and a Bit of Ukulele Clinics. These interactive experiences provide players an avenue to renew their love of the instrument and hone their craft. Designed for all level of player, these events explore a wide variety of topics in a group and individual setting. Richard also has a number of international students that study with him through Skype and is guest instructor at a number of international guitar retreats including Winterbreak in Australia and Guitar Retreats in the UK. Meet the Artist Educational Outreach takes him into the learning environment at grade/middle/high schools, colleges, and universities as this 1-5 day residency program introduces students to the professional musician. Classes include lectures and instruction.He is on the faculty of Master the Possibilities of Ocala Florida, and is a Sherpa Classroom Instructor with TrueFire.
Today, recognized world-wide as a performer who has a quirky take on everything around him, Richard continues to live up to this depiction with rousing shows filled with offbeat observations combined with his right-hand wizardry and heaps of technique. With Richard’s performances teeming with sparkles of mood mastery and wonderment, he shares a fresh impression of sound to the listener during his concert appearances and at his workshops.
Says Spectrum Magazine, “Much of the charm of a Gilewitz performance is in the stories he tells. He wondered aloud to the audience how many ducks he could take out in a fight if he were to be attacked by a flock of the sneaky waterfowl.”
Whether playing solo, conducting guitar seminars and school programs, or sharing the stage with folks such as Stephen Housden of the Little River Band, Brooks Williams, Michael Fix, The California Guitar Trio, John McCutcheon, John Renbourn, Mose Allison, the late John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Norman Blake, Indigo Girls, or John Hammond, Richard always invites the audience to join his journey filled with twitters, twists, and turns at every tune.
“Ear-boggling” The Washington Post
“His complex, energetic originals have made Gilewitz popular on the festival and club circuits as a solo performer.” Guitar Player Magazine
”His performance style is very crisp and precise, allowing the personality of the music to shine through.” Dirty Linen Magazine
“His quick wit and twisted sense of humor has made him an entertainer as well as a fine guitarist.” Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
The Church, led by electric guitar high priest Matt Churchill is an instrumental, brain exploding, wig out machine that comprises some of the finest session musicians in the country, every lick, chop and lead that Churchill unleashes causes synaptic explosions in the central nervous system!
Their shows are a rare event making their annual Clonakilty International Guitar Festival not only one of the highlights of the festival but a highlight of the YEAR!
Crow Black Chicken have earned a reputation as one of Irelands top blues acts. This power trio of Christy O Hanlon (Vocals, Guitar, Stephen McGrath (Bass) and Gev Barrett (Drums, backing vocals) combine elements of folk and hard rock with the blues rock of bands like Gov’t mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin to create their greasy blues rock sound.
“These guys do the nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting and rock like they’ll skate come judgement day” Ray Wylie Hubbard
“CBC could save rock and roll” Alvin Youngblood Hart
“With their debut album Electric Soup the band shows steely intention to throw away comparisons and make their own mark.” Classic Rock Blues Magazine
“Loving the album, Rumble Shake is stunning”. Classic Rock Blues Magazine
“It’s not often these days for a band to lay down a complete track as a ‘take’ but that’s exactly the approach taken by Crow Black Chicken. This is a very honest album with a lot of feel and solid playing throughout and is a strong promise of things to come.” Guitar Techniques.
“Electric Soup is not only a promising debut, it’s a savage beast of a record: grimy, lean, mean, and soulful.” Allmusic.com
Our own guitar master Bill Shanley is back for this year’s festival!
Bill will perform with Matty Gordon on Fri 15th September in Shanleys,
He will be the guest on the Live podcast The Point of Everything on Sat 23rd at 2pm in O Donovan’s Hotel & will also be ducking in and out of sessions for the day in Shanleys on the 23rd September!
Raised in the West Cork haven of Clonakilty in the renowned Shanley’s Music Bar, Bill was surrounded by pro musicians from a very young age. Bill’s father, Moss Shanley, a great piano player and entertainer immersed in the music of the 40’s and 50’s, encouraged Bill to sit in on gigs from an early age and was a great mentor to him in his formative years.
Noel Redding, of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, gave Bill his first guitar lessons and was a big part of Bill’s musical education, introducing him to early Rock and Roll and more. From his first guitar lessons with Noel at the age of nine they played hundreds of gigs together in Shanley’s Bar, joined on regular occasions by Mitch Mitchell, Tom Mc Guinness and Eric Bell.
Noel and Bill’s playing partnership culminated in a concert, together with Randy California, in the famous Olympic Theatre in Paris in 1990 to mark the 20th anniversary of Hendrix’s death, the same venue that the JME did their first ever gig in 1966.
In 1990, straight out of school, Bill moved to Dublin and established himself as a highly sought after guitarist both in the studio and live. Accompanying Eleanor McEvoy during the heady days of recording “A Woman’s Heart”, on the strength of which Eleanor and her band signed to Geffen Records in 1993, and becoming a key member of Mary Black’s band in 1995, remaining so today as musical director, and recording the Full Tide, Stories from the Steeples, Speaking with the Angels, Shine and more recently Mary Black sings Jimmy Mac albums.
Midnight Mission is Shanley’s most recent album and comprises original recordings inspired by the excitement and melodies of early electric guitar music, drawing on Bill’s world class guitar playing and ability to write great, timeless melodies. It features special guests Ray Davies and Paul Brady.
Session & Touring Guitarist, Producer…
Dublin based, Bill is one of Ireland’s top session and touring guitar players and producers. Bill has established himself internationally too, through touring and contributing to albums with Ray Davies, Paul Brady, Mary Black, Roy Harper, Gilbert O Sullivan, Alexandra Burke, Sinead O’Connor, Judy Collins to name a few.
Being an accompanist has always been of key interest to Bill, enjoying the great scope and limitless backdrop you can create as a player for the artist you’re working with. This skill was commented on in the Financial Times review of a Ray Davies show a the Royal Albert Hall –“Is there a finer sideman around? It’s unlikely…”
“ … glorious technicolour hues that transcend linguistic boundaries; world music for a new world.”Siobhán Long, Irish Times.
One of the most accomplished songwriters in the country today, award winning trad/folk poet John Spillane continues to redefine musical boundaries with his own unique style of playing and songwriting which he likes to call ’Sean Nos Blues’. In the last 15 years John has released 9 award winning albums, penned top ten hit singles, had his music covered by the likes of Christy Moore and also recorded a groundbreaking TV series ‘Ceolcuairt’ for TG4 which saw John visiting Senegal and playing with native Senegalese musicians such as Baba Maal & CHEIKH LO.
While as a songwriter John’s talent is often acknowledged his guitar playing too is of distinct merit and fuses trad and folk finger picking with elements of world music and the Blues. He is endorsed by Rodriguez Guitars one of only two endorsements they have issued in Ireland.
JOHN SPILLANE SONGWRITING WORKSHOP:
John brings his Meteor Award-winning skills and many years experience of teaching the craft of songwriting to bear on these perennially popular workshops. Starting by forging a space where all negativity and criticism is banished outright, John teaches techniques of imagery, rhyme and rhythm to help unlock the gems of musical poetry that we all have hidden inside us! Book ahead as these workshops usually fill up fast.