Knowing Where He’s Come From Will Get Him Where He’s Going
Colin Kenny is one of the rising stars of the Irish country music scene, and while his name may still be a relatively new one, his fantastic voice is already proving memorable to everyone who hears the midlands man perform. Colin has just released his second single, his take on Joe Dolan’s classic, ‘You’re Such A Good Looking Woman’, and when it comes to showcasing his powerful vocal ability, it’s a track that doesn’t disappoint. And not one that most would have handled with such style, either.
Since making his first appearances on the Irish country scene over the past year or so, the Banagher (county Offaly) singer has been winning over fans everywhere he’s taken to the stage. And he’s taken to some pretty impressive stages in that time, too! Opening spots for country stars like Mike Denver, Robert Mizzell, and Ciaran Rosney, for trad and folk heroes The Fureys, and perhaps Ireland’s best-loved comedian of all time, Brendan Grace, now adorn his musical cv. The charming barber from Borrisokane has even had the honour of supporting the legendary ‘Amarillo’ icon Tony Christie twice on his most recent Irish tour. Colin also took to the stage to open this year’s Hot Country TV Awards Concert, still the biggest event of its kind on the Irish country music calendar.
Colin’s debut single, a heartachingly beautiful version of Keith Whitley’s ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ – and which Colin, accompanied by producer/guitarist Greig Berry, recently performed on the acclaimed tv show Feilte (on the Irish station TG4) – made it all the way to the #1 spot on the iTunes Irish country chart. In choosing a follow-up, however, it wasn’t possible chart positions which were the most important thing on his mind.
“The reason I recorded ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ was because Keith Whitley was such an amazing singer, and he’s had such a big influence on me. Both in deciding that I really wanted to do this [perform] for a living, and in how I wanted to do it, too. And it’s the same with Joe Dolan and this new single. Joe, as everyone knows, is and always will be, a monumental figure in Irish entertainment. And like Keith Whitley, he’s been a major influence in me. So this is my small way of tipping my hat to Joe, and saying thank-you for the legacy he’s left behind, one that I wanted to celebrate and pay tribute to because of how much it means to me.”
Colin continued, “I hope to be doing this for the rest of my life if I can, so it was always important to me that I start off in the right way. And for me, what that means more than anything is acknowledging the reasons why, and the people who, have made me want to live this musical life. I’m in this for the long haul, so I think knowing where I’ve come from, as an artist, as a singer, will help me get where I’m going and to where I want to be in the long-run. And I think it’s the best way for fans to get to know me as well.”
Asked whether there’ll be more songs to come continuing this trend, Colin agreed that it was definitely a possibility.
“You know, there might well be. There’s so many great singers I look up to, and they all have so many wonderful songs, it would be easy to stay going in that direction for an entire career. But I also want to build a name for myself in my own right, and the only way to ever really do that, is with original songs. I want there to be songs in the world that, when people hear them, they associate them with me first. I think that’s every singer’s dream really. Now making that happen is a job that won’t be finished today or tomorrow [laughs], but it’s a job that you can work a little bit more on each day. So that’s what we’re doing. We have some original songs that we’re thinking about, and sooner or later that’s going to happen.”
Whatever comes next, one thing is certain, Colin has everything it takes to become and remain ‘a voice to remember’ in Irish country for many years to come.
* Colin’s new single, ‘You’re Such A Good Looking Woman’, is available now on all digital platforms, and to request from radio.
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.
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