Posted on

This diverse group of musicians are from the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, Cork, bringing a unique fusion of sounds and songs from Burundi, The Ukraine, Russia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. They perform in a variety of styles including traditional, folk and jazz.  They recently held a successful World Music Day in Cork featuring only asylum seeker as artists.


Posted on

Dave Lordan is a multi-genre writer, performer, editor, and educator. He has been described as Ireland’s most vital and courageous poet, and a performer of electrifying intensity. Lordan provides a portal to the inspirational power of the spoken and written word, and is currently one of Ireland’s leading educators in creative writing.

Dave returns to this years Festival to live stream events & interviews with festival performers and attendees over the course of the weekend.


Dave’s poem ‘The Lost tribe of the Wicklow mountains’ was covered by Christy Moore on his album Lily



Posted on

Bandjaxed; One of Clonakilty’s youngest Rock Bands have come through the ranks of Scoil na mBuachailli and step up to the big stage this september to make their debut appearance at The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival!

These four young boys have been gigging in Clonakilty for over a year. They’re certainly worth watching out for! They’ve captivated young and old Rock fans on the streets of Clonakilty at the Street Carnival, Clonakilty Show, and the Old Time Fair to name but a few. They play various different Rock music, anything from Ac Dc to Chuck Berry and even the Beatles! This is their first time writing their own music and so enthusiastically was it received at their school Scoil na mBuachailli, that the boys were encouraged to Launch their own CD. With the help of Mr Barth Harrington  Principal and many people they’ve had it professionally produced by Laurie Hedger and launched it at De Barras in Clonakilty in August. 


Posted on

Forty years on from when George Lowden first built an electric guitar, 2018 sees the introduction of the all new GL-10 electric.
George says: “My interest was revived through a request from an artist in 2016. I went away on a retreat to think through the design options. The first prototype exceeded my expectations in terms of visual appeal, balance and, in the guitar’s inherent design features, a natural ability to sustain without trying!”
The single cut pairs instantly recognisable Lowden characteristics and carefully crafted contours with unique design features finely tuned for that signature tone and sustain.
The GL-10 embodies classic Lowden character, drawing from over 40 years of guitar making heritage to invite the player to explore new tonal possibilities that await.


Posted on

George Lowdens right hand man Denis Currie gives a one stop shop on guitar maintenance at this years Festival

This will last approximately 45 minutes and cover the following topics: –

1. Why new guitars need set up
2. Poor factory setups – action
3. Proper stringing of the guitar and correct choice of strings
4. Choice of material for nut and saddle
5. Pickup choice for acoustics – LR Baggs and Fishman etc.
6. Adjusting nut and saddle height
7. Truss rod adjustment


Posted on

Belfast blues guitar legend Ronnie Greer has been at the centre of the blues music scene for over 40 years now, and has shared the stage with some of the greatest names in the genre, including Dr. John, Memphis Slim, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Lowell Fulson, Carey Bell, to name but a few. His distinctive guitar style, incorporating visceral Chicago style licks with be bop jazz inspired lines and chord voicings, has been critically acclaimed as world class. Two recent album realises, A Lifetime With The Blues and The Jazz Project, both illustrate Ronnie’s ability to seamlessly meld both aspects of these styles into his playing. Both albums have received four star reviews in the influential Jazz Journal Magazine. Ronnie continues to perform consistently to packed houses  with his all star band at theatres, arts centres and festivals nationwide, but for this appearance at Clonakilty, we’re delighted to welcome him as guest with the Bill Shanley Band, a meeting which should be a little bit special, we would suggest!

“Greer, the doyen of Irish blues guitar”-
“Proper blues from a proper bluesman” – Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster





Posted on

John Blek will be performing a very special show at this year’s Festival with long time friend Ari Sheehan. John came to know Ari
while working in Crowley’s Music Centre, Cork in 2012. “Ari was working as a luthier in the basement of the store and I was
upstairs trying to sell his wares” John said.  It was a mutual appreciation for one another’s crafts that drew them
together. Sheehan an incredible instrumentalist in his own right is part of folk group Rianor as well as progressive classical trio Second Moon of Winter with soprano Kim Sheehan and composer Tom Hodge.
This show will see the pair rework a number of John’s songs for two guitars and his voice. A celebration of friendship,
brotherhood and the acoustic guitar.


Posted on

Laura Quirke (vocals, guitar) and Claire Kinsella (cello, vocals) started performing together while studying music and languages in Maynooth University, Ireland. Harmonious vocal melodies simply accompanied by cello and guitar, lend a sincere and honest rootsy sound. Borrowing from wide range of influences, traditional and alternative, the duo create an immersive experience through a dynamic expression of lyrical story. Their writing weaves their personal insights of human nature & behaviour with the imagery of the contrasting modern and natural world that surrounds them.

In their relatively short lifespan, Lemoncello have played a sold out show in France at the beautiful Musée de La Piscine in Roubaix, supported renowned Irish songwriters Mick Flannery & Damien Dempsey, & helped form ‘Common Grounds Collective‘, a group dedicated to building a network of musicians of all disciplines, giving them a platform to create and showcase original works within a nurturing community environment.

Their debut EP “Stuck Upon the Staircase” was released on April 26, 2018, earning radio play on stations such as RTÉ Radio 1 and FM104. They followed this with a successful tour of intimate venues around Ireland. They are set to play a variety of Irish festivals this summer before going into preparation for the release of their second EP, due for release in early 2019.

“Lemoncello’s blend of mystical & contemporary folk sounds conjure images of moving Harry Clarke characters from ancient Irish folklore. It is colourful, thought-provoking & vivid.” – Remy’s Music Blog



Posted on

Since immigrating to the United States from Scotland in 2014, Lorkin O’Reilly has been making a name for himself as a commanding new songwriting talent. His unique transatlantic approach blends old-country inspired open tunings similar to that of Bert Jansch, Nike Drake and Dick Gaughan with direct and personal reflections and poetry. His writing portrays not only his own reality, but experiences faced by most of us: the purgatory between childhood and adulthood, between new home and old home and finally the overarching struggle of finding a new identity.
Born in Edinburgh in 1994, Lorkin’s early musical education was heavily steeped in the sounds of his mother’s native Ireland. Those early influences are heard throughout his work on tracks like “Alba,” “When The Days Cool Down,” and “Tuttles Reel.”
In 2014 Lorkin moved to upstate New York to work on a farm. In the basement of the farmhouse he found an old acoustic guitar and began writing, resulting in his first E.P., After The Thaw. Recorded in a single day on two-inch tape, After The Thaw is a small body of work that tastefully sets the stage for what would become his debut album, Heaven Depends.
Heaven Depends is the result of late night-writing sessions in the kitchen after long days working construction in Poughkeepsie N.Y. With songs that range from traditional reels to twanging Townes-esque imagery, the album is a musical representation of an immigrant’s journey. Using a multitude of instruments set against a backdrop of alternative tunings and fingerpicking “Heaven Depends” invites the listener on a complicated, yet ultimately beautiful journey.





Posted on

Having first come together in the autumn of 2016 on the basketball courts of a Dublin city park, the four members of Pillow Queens, soon realised that making music together would be an equally productive group activity. Cathy plays guitar and sings. Rachel plays drums and sings. Pam and Sarah swap guitar , bass and lead vocal duties. Within a few months they’d released their debut EP, Calm Girls, titled in an ironic nod to the bands anxious nature. The three songs dealt with themes of despair, crisis of self and distrust. The closing Wonderboys “an attempt to put into musical form the feeling you get when your eyes roll back into your head when faced with toxic masculinity.” The songs quickly found their way into the hearts of new fans in the local underground DIY scene, and even onto BBC 6music playlists, with Steve Lamacq calling them “deceptively infectious, with sharp hooks and sharp nails” . By the summer of 2017, the band were touring the UK and performing on festival stages.

Pillow Queens second EP, State of the State, will be released on March 9th 2018 on UK DIY label Specialist Subject.

While taking influence from artists from contemporary US DIY indie & punk scenes (such as Mitski, Waxahatchee, Hop Along, Cloud Nothings), Pillow Queens stay true to their Irish heritage, using Dublin colloquialisms in their lyrics and singing in thick Irish accents.