Surfside 61

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A celebration of the Post Elvis pre Fab Four instrumental music that inspired a new generation of rock guitarists.

The early 60s was a time of transition in popular music. The rough and ready innovators of the Rock and Roll boom had faded and the charts were dominated by a smoother sound often delivered by manufactured teen idols. This pre Beatles narrow corridor of time was a golden age for instrumental music, particularly guitar bands. The UK gave us The Shadows with no less than 5 number ones between 1960 and ’63 and in the USA there was a host of instrumental bands. In California the sound was called Surf Music. 

SurfSide 61 formed to present the music from this era at The Clonakilty Guitar Festival 2017. Band members: Stephen Housden; Guitar, Matt Churchill; Guitar, George Hart; Bass Guitar and Les Sampson; Drums.


Playing Stuff like this….


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its been a long year for LOWmountain , slowly & meticulously gathering inspiration for their next album, & now its time for them to offer a peak at their findings…

Sam Clague

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Sam Clague is a musician and songwriter from Clonakilty, Cork. He lives and works in Cork City, playing primarily as a jazz guitarist and also his own unique brand of original music. Jazz and folk influences blend together to make a form of kaleidoscopic chamber music, driven by intricate guitar arrangements and accompanied by psychedelic orchestral sounds. His debut EP “Balloons” was released in 2015 at the Clonakillty Guitar Festival. He plans to release his follow up E.P. at the festival in september this year.

“Sam’s writing is unique. He writes from the heart and creates his own world – his own sound world and lyric world. As well as that his musicianship is beyond reproach – capable of capturing many genres with multi instrumental abilities” – Carl Corcoran (former Presenter of The Blue of the Night)

“The EP is a gorgeous slice of harmonious pop music that touches on the big themes of getting older, love, home, death and friendship, and played out and ruminated on over a delicately struck acoustic guitar”
— The Point of Everything


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George Lowden is one of the world’s most celebrated luthiers, and his guitars are played by the finest players on the planet. The list of Lowden devotees includes Eric Clapton, Pierre Bensusan, Paul Brady, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Alex DeGrassi, Richard Thompson, Mike Oldfield, Nick Harper, Jon Gomm, Bill Shanley and Thomas Leeb. George is an old friend of the festival, having given numerous seminars and workshops over the previous 14 years. As we celebrate our fifteenth year, George is celebrating his forty fifth in the business!


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Jim Murray is one of the best and most respected accompanists in traditional Irish music.

Hailing from County Cork, Jim has toured and recorded both nationally and internationally with the A to Z of Ireland’s top musicians.

Having a wealth of teaching experience and performing master classes around the world, Jim has now produced his own highly anticipated on-line guitar tutorial focusing on all aspects of accompanying traditional Irish music with a guitar.


Jim Murray & Dezi Donnelly