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ROSNEY’S ON A COUNTRY ROAD TO ‘HITSVILLE’

Stephen Rosney - HEM COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

Stephen Rosney is an Irish singer/songwriter with the whole world at his hands, thanks in no small part to having a whole world of talent in his hands! Give the Ballycumber, Co. Offaly native a pen and a guitar, and suddenly the easy-going, unassuming father of three (with wife Helen) is transformed into a master craftsman and storyteller.

Stephen, Shane and Tom of the Baxk Axles - HEM COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Stephen and Shane (left) and Tom of the Baxk Axles, with Irish TV presenter Caitlin Nic Aoidh

To those familiar with the Rosney clan, Stephen’s musical flair will come as no surprise at all, given that country singer Ciaran Rosney – no slouch himself with a pen in hand and probably one of the most gifted guitarists in Ireland – is his brother. Indeed, to anyone who follows the country music scene in Ireland with anything even slightly beyond a passing interest, Stephen’s reputation as a matchmaker for words and melody has already taken firm root as a result of hits like ‘The Old Turf Sod’ and ‘ Simple Things’ written for Ciaran. Stephen, however, is nothing short of prolific as a writer, and fans have also fallen in love with tracks like ‘Forgotten Hero’, ‘Movin’ Out’, and ‘We Want No Irish Here’, which Stephen penned for and performed during his time as the frontman for ROSLYN.

The latest single from Stephen and The Back Axles. - HEM COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
The latest single from Stephen and The Back Axles.

ROSLYN changed their name to The Back Axles last year, and while some band members have come and gone in the time since, Stephen remains very much the driving force of the operation. And with Stephen at the wheel, The Back Axles certainly seem on course for big things. The band were snapped up by the Hypermedia Nashville label of legendary country hit-maker Max T. Barnes (‘Love, Me’ by Collin Raye, ‘Before You Kill Us All’ by Randy Travis, and so many more), late in 2016 after Stephen and Max became fast friends having first met on one of Max’s visits to Ireland, the pair bonding over spontaneous guitar-pulls and songwriting sessions on the Rosney back porch.

This music business is tough goin' somedays! - HEM COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
This music business is tough goin’ somedays!

In fact, the duo even had a co-write picked up by Irish country star Robert Mizzell, the song ‘God Bless The Farmer’, for his latest album ‘Travelling Shoes.’ With the pair also responsible for Max’s last release, the fun-filled ‘Hen Party’, and his forthcoming single, ‘Box Button Boy’, one thing is sure, the Barnes/Rosney pairing will be appearing on the writing credits of many’s a song and album for a long time to come. And national attention is on the way for The Back Axles too, with the group having recently filmed an appearance for the acclaimed TG4 show Feilte.

Stephen on stage at the world famous Tullamore Show a few weeks back. - HEM COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Stephen on stage at the world famous Tullamore Show a few weeks back.

As if to prove the old saying about a creative mind seldom knowing a moment’s rest, Stephen has also ventured into the arena of video production. ROSLYN were famed for their imaginative videos, also brainchilds of Stephen’s, so it’s little wonder that other artists are now seeking Stephen’s help in that regard, too. And speaking of Stephen and the silver screen, plans are also well underway for a brand new show which Stephen will host on Keep It Country TV, hopefully going to air for the first time later this year.

He’s a hard man to keep up with, with so much going on! But try to if you can, because Stephen’s on a country road to ‘Hitsville’!

* The Back Axles are: Stephen Rosney (vocals and guitar), Luke Coffey (from Roscommon, banjo), Tom Brasil (originally Tullamore, now Kilkenny, fiddle and button-box), Shane Dunne (Clara, Offaly, double-bass).

** The Back Axles new single, ‘The Bold O’ Donahue’, is out now.

***For booking info on The Back Axles, or in relation to working with Stephen on a video project, please contact: thebackaxles@gmail.com

Anthony Sullivan
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Anthony Sullivan

Senior Feature Writer at HEM Country Ireland
Anthony is HEM Country's senior feature writer in Ireland, where his popular and successful 'On The Right TRAX' music and entertainment column is published in both the Tullamore and the Midland Tribune newspapers in the Irish midlands.

His contribution to the Irish music scene has been recognised by his inclusion in the entertainment industry directory, the Hot Press Yearbook 2017, which is the essential music and media who's-who in Ireland. Anthony was also asked to present John Farry (Nathan Carter's manager) with his award for Best Original Album at the 2017 Hot Country Awards and in 2015 presented Lisa McHugh with her Female Entertainer of the Year award.

In his role with HEM Country, Anthony has interviewed many artists who are well known names on the international stage, among them Clare Bowen, Imelda May, and Una Healy, as well as rising stars like Courtney Marie Andrews. Anthony's features for HEM Country have also helped to shine a spotlight on many of the best Irish country acts like Robert Mizzell, Cliona Hagan, Barry Kirwan, Bernie Heaney, and Hurricane Highway, bringing their talent and achievements to an even wider audience.

During his time writing 'On The Right TRAX', Anthony has interviewed most of the biggest stars on the Irish country scene, including Mike Denver, Nathan Carter, Lisa McHugh, Philomena Begley, Sandy Kelly, and Derek Ryan. He has also chatted with international artists such as Sunny Sweeney, Jim Rooney, Max T. Barnes, the late George Hamilton IV, and Tony Christie.

Anthony's sphere of influence extends well past the boundaries of country music, however, with time spent in conversation with international popstar Kiesza also to his credit. He has also shared time with several other artists from the Emerald Isle whose fame reaches beyond those shores, including Mundy, The Fureys, Frances Black, Pete Kennedy, Rackhouse Pilfer, The 4 of Us, Roisin O, Ham Sandwich and Mick Flannery.

As a writer, lyricist, and poet himself, however, songwriters have a very special place in Anthony's heart and some of his favourite interviews (together with the songwriters already mentioned) include those with Jimmy McCarthy, Johnny McEvoy, Charlie McGettigan, Kieran Goss, and Niall Toner.

Other household names whom Anthony has interviewed for 'On The Right TRAX' are the famous comedians Tommy Tiernan, Des Bishop, Neil Delamere, Jason Byrne, Andrew Maxwell, and Brendan Grace, as well as celebrity chef Rachel Allen, and television presenter Kathryn Thomas.

Anthony also does some artist representation and PR work, and has successfully secured national television and radio appearances for Irish and American artists.
Anthony Sullivan
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