Irish country music icons to perform in the Midlands
With the sad loss of the father-figure of Irish country music, Big Tom, earlier this year, the focus of many fans inevitably turned to those artists who were themselves inspired by the gentle giant from Monaghan – as well as being his friends – and who, with his passing, are now among the elders of the country scene.
On August 30, music fans in the midlands will have the pleasure of witnessing three of those artists, each one of country’s greats, all appearing on the same stage, on the same night in Moate Community School.
No one could argue against the fact that Philomena Begley, Ray Lynam, and T.R. Dallas have all made huge and important contributions to Irish country music throughout their careers. And thankfully, they’re all still out there on the road, entertaining fans from Donegal down to Dingle, and from as far east to west as it’s possible to go here in Ireland.
Affectionately known as Ireland’s Queen of Country, Tyrone native Philomena has a string of best-selling albums to her credit, including ‘Queen of the Silver Dollar’, ‘Nashville Country’, and more recently, ‘My Life, My Music, My Memories.’ Philomena was also the first Irish country singer to gain platinum status for album sales, and even sang at the Grand Ole Opry as the guest of the late American country star Porter Wagoner.
Ray and Philomena are well known for their work together, regularly touring and recording. Ray’s distinctive vocal style was influenced by his love of American country artists like George Jones, Buck Owens, and Merle Haggard, and is responsible for winning him fans from both the ‘country-and-Irish’ and the more traditional country sides of the genre.
Never one to follow trends, Ray has also walked his own musical path, and has never been short of company on his journey. His latest album, ‘Then And Now’, is a worthy testament to an artist who has more than just stood the test of time, but in his own unique way, has helped to define the times he’s lived in for so many country music fans.
And then, of course, there’s T.R. Dallas, the man who brought the cowboy hat into Irish entertainment when he asked the question, ‘Who Shot J.R. Ewing?’, back in 1980. T.R. also fronted The Mainliners for a time, and far from ‘Who Shot J.R. Ewing?’ being the only song he’s famous for, you won’t go to one of his shows without hearing shouts for ‘Lord, It’s Hard
To Be Humble’, ‘This Story I Tell You Is True’, his latest hit, ‘Travelling To Big Tom’, and many more.
As is always the case whenever we find ourselves suddenly without someone like Big Tom - who had always been there, and who it seemed would always be - two things tend to happen. We realise once again that none of us will last forever. And because of that, we discover a new-found appreciation for those whose company we remain blessed with. And when it comes to Philomena, Ray, and T.R, there’s so much to look back on and be grateful for. And ,as importantly, there’s so much still to enjoy, too.
And on August 30, at a special All-Star Country Concert in support of Moate All-Whites G.A.A. Club and Moate Golf Club in Moate Community School, there’s a very special opportunity to do just that, enjoy an evening in the company of all three.
Also appearing will be Offaly's Simon Casey, as well as Matt Leavy, Carmel Sheerin, and The Sheerin Family Band.
Tickets are just €25. For more information, you can contact the All-Whites G.A.A. Club, Moate Golf Club, or the event page on Facebook.