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The Acoustic Yard 1st Anniversary

IMRO supported The Acoustic Yard celebrates it’s 1st Anniversary on Sunday 22nd of February with a gathering of some of the finest songwriters in The West of Ireland and beyond.

Tony Reidy, Gerry Creen, David Dee Moore, Derek McGowan, Brian Duffy and Callum Keaveny or just some of the artists who will be playing in Matt Molloy’s, Westport with doors opening at 7pm. As a special thank you to everyone who has supported the event in 2014 which has included such celebrated names like Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan and UK Voice winner Andrea Begley there will be no cover charge.

It should be a great night and a double celebration with Matt Molloy’s a recent winner of IMRO Connaught live venue of the year.

For more information contact or check the website

Briege Murphy, Niall Teague and Joanna Marie

IMRO supported The Acoustic Yard on Tuesday November 25th will feature three different eclectic styles from traditional folk to Contemporary pop. Briege Murphy, Niall Teague and Joanna Marie will grace the stage in Matt Molloy’s, Westport for the last session of the year which in the past has featured acts from Ireland like Charlie McGettigan and Andrea Begley to Kelley McRae and Gary Ferguson from the USA. The event will return in February 2015 with a special anniversary party and news of The Acoustic Yard singer/songwriter festival which is in it’s early planning stages.

briege-murphyBriege Murphy from Co.Armagh writes contemporary folk songs, many with traditional roots. Her songs have been recorded Niamh Parsons, Frances Black, Rig the Jig, Don Stiffe, Anthony John Clarke, The Border Collies, Scold’s Bridle and The Once to name but a few. She has recorded 4 albums to date of her own songs and one of Irish traditional and American folk covers.
Briege has received a” keeper of the tradition” award for her contribution to the culture of her county and country, and recently won “Best female Bard”, at the Bard of Armagh, humorous poetry competition. She has performed at festivals all over the world including the Westport Arts and Clifden festivals and recently one of her songs was included on an acclaimed compilation album, called ” The Ultimate guide to Irish Folk “.

niall-teagueNiall Teague is a singer/songwriter from Belfast city but has been firmly routed in the Galway music scene for the last number of years. Niall has gained respect as a performer, singer and a songwriter in both Galway and further afield through groups 4 men and a Bass and The Fast Company as well the Sharon Shannon band. His style reflects his broad musical influences which include both Irish and American folk music leading to song and melody which is both rich and diverse. Multi-instrumentalist Niall brought out his debut CD with his band The Fast Company in 2010 with a high quality assortment of original folk ballads, and bluegrass songs.


Joanna Marie is a new singer/songwriter from Dublin whose writing is very much influenced by Joni Mitchell. She spent some time studying songwriting in BIMM Dublin and working on her performance where she met Ola Ersfjord, a producer who encouraged her to record an EP. Following a successful fundit campaign Joanna recorded her debut EP with Ola in Temple Lane Studios, ‘Cold on the Coast’ which was launched to a packed out crowd in Whelans in Dublin in July 2014 . Joanna continues to work on new material and is due to release her new single ‘ Finding our Feet’ in this December 2014.

Brigid O’Neill, Mairéad Duffy & Paula Ryan

There is a really special night of female singer/songwriters at IMRO supported ‘The Acoustic Yard’ on Wednesday 29th of October in Matt Molloy’s. Three great artists with their own original twist on songwriting playing such diverse instruments from the Marimba to the Harp.


brigid-oneillCo. Down singer-songwriter Brigid O’Neill is riding the crest of a wave following the launch of her new EP of original songs ‘Arrivals and Departures’. It has already received an enthusiastic reception with Cherrie McIlwaine on BBC Radio Ulster summing it up: “Gorgeous songs, gorgeous arrangements”.

The CD is a follow-up to Brigid’s acclaimed album ‘Inland Sailor’, which still gets regular airplay. It is a mix of country blues, folk and a dash of jazz for her distinctive voice with the quality of her songwriting attracting attention.

Brigid is a regular on the Irish festival scene and has appeared at Cathedral Quarter Out to Lunch, Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, the Bluegrass Festival at the Ulster-American Folk Park near Omagh, Celtic Fusion Festival, Shannonside Music Festival and Fiddlers Green Festival.


Mairéad Duffy is a fresh, contemporary artist on the music scene. She performs playing piano and the harp which gives a unique cutting edge to her music. Originally from Tuam, Co.Galway, the singer/songwriter released her debut single ‘Little Bridge’ in November 2013 and has featured recently on BBC Radio Ulster and Galway Bay FM. Comparisons have been drawn with Kate Bush and Tori Amos. She is currently recording her debut EP to be released at the end of autumn.


Paula Ryan is a compelling Singer/Songwriter from near Ardfinnan in Co. Tipperary. Paula’s insightful songs are inspired by the lyricism and musical passion of her Tipperary roots & driven by the rhythmic influences and of music from other cultures. She has literally travelled all over the world and become a popular figure at major folk festivals. Paula’s original peace anthem “Raise Our Voice” was the Winner of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival Peace Song Competition and Finalist in the Tipperary Song Of Peace. She accompanies her songs on Marimba, Guitar, Bazouki, and a range of percussion instruments including Djembe & Bodhran. In performance Paula provides an entertaining mix of original songs, some of which are in Irish and presented with a deal of good humour.

Warren Attwell, Brian Casey, Jean Harnett, Callum Keaveny & Brian Lalor

The Acoustic Yard on Tuesday the 30th of September in Matt Molloy’s will celebrate the new emerging singer/songwriters emanating from the island of Ireland. 5 artists all with a story to tell and each one signifying the diversity of talent on these shores.



warren-attwellWarren Attwell

Currently working on a new album due for release in Winter 2014, Warren Attwell from Belfast is a pop singer-songwriter with substance. His ever-evolving style combines a raw yet soothing voice reminiscent of Sting or a young Bryan Adams with modern melodic hooks and production influenced by bands like Coldplay, Keane and the Killers.

He studied Music Technology in Queens University music which culminated in his debut solo effort ‘Chapter One’ released in September 2008.

He then spent the next 2 years working hard on his second EP ‘Fallen From Grace’; a collection of songs exploring love, loss, imperfection and redemption. Received with critical acclaim, title track ‘Fallen From Grace’ and heavy hearted foot stomper ‘Time’ received massive radio support. This, alongside his passionate live performances, helped to propel him to the forefront of Belfast’s bustling music scene.

brian-caseyBrian Casey

Blending folk, blues and acoustic pop to taste, Brian Casey’s debut solo EP ‘Plain Sailing’ is a collection of songs that find things to be positive about in the face of poor weather and bad news. Released in August 2013, this first 5 track offering showcased a wide range of styles and moods influenced as much by contemporary singer-songwriters of the past decade as they are by the likes of the Beatles and folk/blues artists of the 50’s and 60’s.

Winning positive reviews in national publications and significant radio exposure, Casey toured nationally promoting the EP. Along with an Autumn/Winter tour, Brian will be featured in hard Working Class Heroes 2014 as well as Guinness’s Amplify series.

jean-arnettJean Harnett

‘Bricks & Mortar’, the debut release from Sligo songbird Jean Harnett is equal parts ‘Mississippi Delta’ blended with the wilds of West Ireland. This honest, thoughtful, and powerful EP will stir up comparisons to Damien Rice, Alison Krauss, and Glen Hansard, while having a ‘familiar’ and distinct sound all its own. With this record, Jean deftly navigates the waters of complex subject matter (relationships, family, and growing up) with impassioned storytelling, haunting melody, and a swagger that transcends her tender age. Jean has spent a lot of time recording and performing in Seattle honing her particular unique viewpoint in songwriting.

callum-keavneyCallum Keaveny

Callum Keaveny from Letterkenny Co. Donegal is an accomplished guitar and keyboard/piano player who has been playing music since the age of 7yrs. He released his critical acclaimed debut EP in January 2014 which he recorded at ‘Mo+Co’ studios in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. This EP has 5 original tracks all of which were composed and performed by Callum and have received considerable air time. He recently played as far afield at the renowned ‘Arlene’s Grocery and ‘The Scratcher Sessions’ in New York. Callum will be touring around Ireland at various venues promoting his new EP linking up with the ‘Guinness Amplify’ series.

brian-lalorBrian Lalor

Brian Lalor, a Laois native who now resides in the North Cork area has recently released his debut EP ‘Hand Full of Seeds’. This collection of songs has been described by some, as refreshing and honest. With over a decade of experience writing, performing and recording music, covering everything from folk to metal to garage band Brian has been busy writing his own material whilst also learning his stage-craft combining, the sounds and spirits of Chuck Berry to Tom Waits through Steve Earle and Fats Domino. All this experience soul-searching and mining for musical gold has led to the already mentioned ‘Hand Full Of Seeds’, completely self-funded and recorded at Golden Egg Studios in Portlaoise. In describing the EP, Brian sees it as “a blend of acoustic country blues folk and rock”.

Andrea Begley, Brendan Monaghan & Dennis McCalmont

The Acoustic Yard singer/songwriter sessions at Matt Molloy’s, Westport has a surprising special guest on Tuesday August 26th with none other than Andrea Begley last year’s UK Voice winner.


andrea-begleyAlthough not known as a songwriter Andrea from Pomeroy has written some superb tracks on her hit top ten CD ‘The Message’, songs that effortlessly blend in with the rest of the Album. She worked as a singer/songwriter before being catapulted to fame on the hit show and The Acoustic Yard is delighted to get the chance to hear her originals songs and experience her wonderful ‘voice’ with her one and only appearance in the West of Ireland.

Partially blind Andrea has continued her success as a regular guest on television and radio programmes including a recent appearance on the BBC ‘Songs of Praise’ programme filmed at the Albert Hall, London. She also works tirelessly as an Ambassador for the Royal National Institute of Blind People.


Joining Andrea on the bill are fellow Northerners Brendan Monaghan and Dennis McCalmont two great singer/songwriters who have been travelling similar paths in sharing their compositions.


brendan-monaghanCo. Down native Brendan Monaghan has been performing his material all over the world sharing the bill and writing material for other top recording artists. He has released an impressive 5 albums ‘Precious time’, ‘No more words’, ‘Look no further’, ‘Flicker of hope’ and ‘Never too late to come home’ all released on Brambus Records. Brendan will be promoting his new release at ‘The Acoustic Yard’ the retrospective album called ‘Lovers always win’.



dennis-mccalmontDennis McCalmont originally from Derry has build a reputation from a solid base in Mayo with his live shows and numerous recordings. His new CD ‘Forevermore’ is a great follow up for his previous CD the highly acclaimed ‘#SoulRecall, both recordings have enhanced his songwriting credibility. The Dennis McCalmont Band have been playlisted in France and were named ‘Artist Of The Month’ for October last year on ‘365 Radio Network’ in the USA. Dennis manages to cross musical boundaries from mainstream rock into funk, soul, folk, country and blues, he applies his sturdy and sensitive vocals to attract an ever-increasing number of fans both here in Ireland and abroad.

Doors open 8.30 and further info is available on

Gary Gene Ferguson, Gary Alan Ferguson & Janet Holmes

Country Bluegrass Special at The Acoustic Yard

This month’s IMRO supported ‘The Acoustic Yard’ on Tuesday 22nd in Matt Molloy’s has got more than a hint of a Country Bluegrass feel with two singer/songwriters from the USA both coincidentally called Gary Ferguson and Belfast born songstress Janet Holmes sharing the bill.

Irish audiences are known for their love of American Folk, Country and Bluegrass music, a fact Gary Ferguson discovered on his first tour of Ireland in 2005. Gary Gene Ferguson has toured in Ireland every year since then, working with such Irish musicians as Mick Hanly, Charlie McGettigan and Frankie Lane. His upcoming July 2014 Irish tour marks his tenth trip to the Emerald Isle, and to commemorate the milestone, he’s going to tour Ireland with a special appearance at ‘The Acoustic Yard with none other than his namesake renowned Bluegrass player Gary Alan Ferguson.

Gary Gene Ferguson a longtime resident of southeastern Pennsylvania, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who’s been a mainstay of the bluegrass and Americana scenes since the 1980s. In addition to the Gary Ferguson Band, Gary has recorded or performed with such distinguished bluegrass musicians as Ronnie McCoury, Robbie McCoury, Mike Auldridge, Alan O’Bryant, Ron Stewart and Jimmy Gaudreau.

A five-time finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, Ferguson is an acclaimed songwriter, best known for the Larry Sparks hit, “Last Day at Gettysburg,” which rose to number two on the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 chart.

Gary Alan Ferguson from Fredericksburg, Virginia is an engaging singer, songwriter and versatile multi instrumentalist whose music blends influences from rock, soul and gospel to folk, jazz, country and bluegrass. His performance and/or recording credits include the Knoxville Grass, Donna Fargo, Claire Lynch, John Starling and the Virginia Squires and is currently writing songs for East of Monroe’s upcoming debut CD.

Janet Holmes has become a mainstay of Irish Country and Bluegrass music especially up north where she is a regular at festivals. Her beautiful voice encapsulates a smooth country sound blended with a more modern Americana feel. Her latest CD ‘Wonder Why’ has proved that now she is one of the finest country singer/songwriters this part of the world by writing most of the tracks. She will be joined onstage by her musical partner and husband Dobro player extraordinaire Colin Henry.

Doors open at 8.30 and as usual the performance will be hosted by David Dee Moore and filmed by IRISHTV.

Kevin Doherty, Kathleen Turner & Jimi Cullen

This month’s IMRO supported ‘The Acoustic Yard’ on Tuesday 24th of June offers up the sublime songwriting talent of Four Men and a Dog frontman Kevin Doherty, the amazing vocals of Kathleen Turner and the fabulous tunesmith Jimi Cullen. The monthly sessions offers a perfect blend of singer/songwriting under the intimate setting and glass roof of Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar.

Kevin-DohertyKevin Doherty, fom Donegal, has recorded 5 albums with the hugely popular Four Men and a Dog and has appeared at many of the world’s major festivals and venues. Their performances and recordings include supreme examples of the playing of Irish traditional music and a mix of country, folk, blues and americana, including original songs by Kevin. Two of their albums were recorded at the studio of Levon Helm ‘The Band’ in Woodstock, New York.

Kevin has recorded 4 solo albums, ‘Strange Weather’, ‘Sweet Water’, ‘Telegraph’ and ‘Seeing Things’ as well as a limited edition EP called ‘Morocco’. He will be playing some new tracks especially for ‘The Acoustic Yard’ from his latest offering ‘Seeing Things’ a brilliantly constructed CD. Kevin is a true songwriter with lyrics and melodies immersed together in thought-provoking brilliance.


Kathleen Turner is a new name on the singer/songwriter scene and her latest EP release ‘Some Stories’ will surely catapult her into a household name. Coming from a good pedigree as sister of songwriter Juliet Turner, Kathleen has managed to blend contemporary melodies with a more traditional slant which is apparent in her fantastic song ‘Kenmare Bay’. As Juliet posted recently, “Sometimes I see Kathleen coming towards me and think “what am I doing over there?”

Now based in Limerick since 2006 the Tyrone-born singer is Education Outreach Officer with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the key manager of their ‘Sing Out With Strings’ programme.


Jimi Cullen is currently touring his third CD ‘Life’, a wonderful collection of songs played with his amicable carefree sound. Jimi hails from Wexford and started out ten years ago playing in every nook and cranny. As one of the hardest working musicians, it finally paid off when his cover of The Cranberries classic ‘Zombie’ reached number two in the Irish iTunes chart last year.

Recently he was nominated for Best Male, Best Acoustic/alternative and Best Unsigned artist in the Music Review Unsigned awards. As a songwriter, Jimi has written some of the catchiest melodies around and he is a perfect addition to this month’s ‘The Acoustic Yard’.


Doors open 8.30pm and as usual IRISHTV will be there to film the event for future broadcast.

Gerry Creen, Mike Langley & Siobhán O’Brien

This months ‘The Acoustic Yard’ on Tuesday 27th of May in Matt Molloy’s will feature three unique singers and three unique songwriters. The monthly event filmed by the newly launched IrishTV showcases the best of songwriters not only in Ireland but around the world.



Gerry-CreenGerry Creen is acknowledged as one of Belfast’s finest singer songwriters. Having lived all his life in the city Gerry emerged from it’s vibrant folk scene of the 1960s and 70s sharing stages and billings with some of the worlds finest songwriters including Nanci Griffith, Paul Brady, Ralph McTell and Tom Paxton. A great exponent in the art of finger picking with a voice and melodies to match. His classic song ‘A Rose By Any Other Name’ which was written in 1977 during the darkest days of the Troubles is considered by many as one of Irelands leading Peace Anthems. It has been recently re-released on CD along with his wonderful new CD ‘Hindsight’.


Mike-LangleyMike Langley was recently proudly inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2012. A superb guitar player and evocative lyricist and the son of legendary country songwriter Jack Langley also a hall of fame inductee. Mike lived and toured in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, France and the UK in the mid-eighties playing at international jazz and folk festivals and recording movie soundtracks. He moved back to the USA in 1997 and formed his independent record label Orange Carpet Music whilst playing with his late brother Jon in The Langley Brothers Band. A regular visitor to these shores and has written a lot of great songs that invoke the spirit of the West of Ireland.


Siobhán O'BrienSiobhán O’Brien has a strong connection with Matt Molloy’s as she has performed as a guest vocalist with ‘The Chieftains’ at Boston Symphony Hall. Her third album ‘Songs I Grew Up To’ features Paddy Maloney (The Chieftains) on her versions of ‘Long Black Veil” and “Lakes of Ponchartrain. Siobhan from Limerick is also a niece of Brendan Bowyer of ‘The Royal Showband’ and has performed for Bob Dylan, Christy Moore, Donovan, The Cranberries, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon and Paul Brady. Her solo work incorporates traditions of American song, including folk, blues, country and Irish traditional music. In recent years she has toured extensively in the USA performing with The San Diego Symphony in California and appearing recently on the popular ‘Ginger TV’ in New York City promoting her latest CD simply called ‘Siobhan O’Brien’.


Doors open at 8.30 so come early to avoid disappointment.If you would like to perform at ‘The Acoustic Yard’ or require further information please email David at

Charlie McGettigan, Kelley McRae & David Dee Moore

‘The Acoustic Yard’ is a new singer/songwriters session in Westport hosted by recording artist David Dee Moore and supported by IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation). It is also filmed by as part of their new music schedule and the first session was shown recently on ‘Out and about in Ireland’.

The monthly event features some of the finest songwriters from around the world and has been set up not only as a concert but as an educational workshop for audience and player alike. Each month three songwriters will showcase and talk about their songs In a relaxed environment to a listening and hopefully appreciative audience in the surrounds of the yard bar in Matt Molloy’s.

The next ‘The Acoustic Yard’ on April Tuesday 29th will feature former Eurovision Song Contest winner Charlie McGettigan, Mississippi born Americana songstress Kelley McRae and Belfast multi-instrumentalist and host for the evening David Dee Moore.

Charlie-McGettiganTwenty years ago Charlie McGettigan won the Eurovision Song Contest when joining forces with Paul Harrington and Brendan Graham with the song ‘Rock and Roll kids’ and was catipulted into Irish Music folklore. In 1973 he formed the highly successful Jargon group, who won the prestigious Letterkenny Folk Festival and led to a recording contract with Polygram records. The band went on to record three singles before Charlie pursued a solo career. He worked with artists like Maura O Connell and Eleanor Shanley who both recorded many of Charlies songs including “I dont know how you do it”, “Feet of a dancer”, “A bed for the night” and “If anything happened to you”. Today Charlie still enjoys huge success as a singer/songwriter and as a presenter on “The Saturday Connection” on Shannonside/ Northern Sound Radio.


Kelley-McRaeKelley McRae is touring Europe for the first time and is playing only a handful of gigs in Ireland. ‘The Acoustic Yard’ is privileged to provide her only West of Ireland show and to witness her beautiful haunting voice that immediately catapults you into the indie Americana heartland. Songs like ‘Johnny Cash’ and the title track of her new CD ‘Brighter than the blues’ sets Kelley apart as one of the finest ‘New Country’ songwriters to come out of the USA.


David-Dee-MooreThe host of the evening David Dee Moore recently released his critically acclaimed CD ‘The sun, the moon, the stars…and other moving objects’. A stunning collection of country folk songs that have recently received a lot of airplay in Ireland and the UK culminating in recent appearances at the Westport Arts festival and the Belfast Nashville singer/songwriters festival. His discography includes two successful albums on the USA label ‘Green Linnet’ with Niamh Parsons with whom he toured with and played at some of the biggest folk festivals in the world.



The doors open 8.30 and please come early to avoid disappointment. Anyone wishing more information please contact

Kate O’Callaghan, Jim McKee & Paul Kirwan

‘The Acoustic Yard’, a monthly IMRO supported showcase event that features singer/songwriters from around the world will hold it’s next original collection of songs on Tuesday March 25th in Matt Molloy’s, Westport.



After last months successful launch hosted by David Dee Moore and filmed by, ‘The Acoustic Yard’ presents three exciting contemporary songwriters in Kate O’Callaghan from Donegal, Jim McKee a Tyrone native based in the Burren and Mayo resident Paul Kirwan.

KateOCallaghanKate O’Callaghan’s recent CD ‘The Still Beyond’ manages to combine evocative melodies with intelligent considered lyrics. She has a very distinctive writing style that compliments her beautiful vocal delivery. She has sung at numerous festivals including the Galway Arts Festival and Glastonbury in the UK.




Jim-McKeeAnother hidden gem is the multi talented Jim McKee whose new CD ‘Goodness comes from the heart’ is full of catchy tunes and emotive lyrics. Some of his songs appear in the award winning film ‘Songs for Amy’ which will be globally released this year. Jim is also an actor and a professional artist with his paintings displayed extensively in Ireland and France.




Paul-KirwanPaul Kirwan is known around Ireland as front man with his Mayo based Paul K Band. With his smooth and atmospheric vocal and his virtuoso fast piano blues playing, his original songwriting can make you both dance and clutch at your heart strings. Paul has shared the stage with Duke Special, Arlo Guthrie, Deacon Blue, Imelda May and he recently appeared on BalconyTV.

Doors open at 8.30pm and any singer/songwriters wishing to be considered for ‘The Acoustic Yard’ or require more information please contact David Dee Moore at