Recently winning over audiences in New York and Nashville as a guitarist
and songwriter Denis Carolan is also gaining increasing attention on this
side of the water. Very much in the vein of "roots world music" his
debut album "All Summer Long" is becoming the slow burner of the year
earning thumbs up from everyone from John Creedon to John Lomax.
What musically inclined teenager could fail to be smitten by the bug when
hearing the likes of Thin Lizzy, Dylan, Springsteen and U2 all
performing at the bottom of his garden? Well not actually in the garden
but just down the street. Any hopes of a sensible career were to be no
match for David Bowie's Giant spider or the banshee howls of Neil Young's
guitar. A part-time job and eighteen hard- earned quid bought him an old
“Eko” guitar and fingers soon began to cramp and blister in attempts to
emulate those who had played "The Castle".
Playing guitar and writing songs has been his passion ever since those
early days of peering through the huge gates and both his guitar style
and his songwriting reflect the broad span of his musical journey as well
as influences as diverse as cuban “Son” or celtic Sean- Nos. While
studying English in college he formed his own blues group and also
accompanied trad musicians. This willingness to embrace a mulititude of
musical genres is a constant theme in his music. In Spain he played
with Spanish rock and blues groups as well as being a regular guitarist
with a Pogues like “trash- trad” outfit called “The Feenies” who mixed
flamenco and Irish trad with predictably frenetic results!
The highlight of this period was playing the Celt-Iberia festival
in Barcelona in front of a monster festival crowd as well as guesting
with Ñaco Goñi, the renowned hamonica player in Madrid's premier blues club
“La Coquette”. Regularly collaborating with Jesus Goyenechea of the
tropi-punk outfit “Joe Migro” gave him a fresh perspective on music and
allowed him to play with the “musical wrapping paper” combining many
musical styles and textures all in a sense of child-like fun...