Donaghmore musician releases debut album

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Local man PJ McDonald will be airing his debut album ‘The Long Road Home’ at the Bardic Theatre in Donaghmore next month.

This remarkable and long-awaited album by one of Ireland’s most talented musicians is bursting with an eclectic mix of the traditional music for which PJ is well renowned, along with some revamped classics and original compositions.

PJ was ten years old when he first started attending tin whistle classes with John Convery at Castlecaulfield School. Initially a reluctant musician, PJ soon discovered his talent and fell in love with the instrument. Continuing under the inspirational guidance of local fiddle player Hughie Hetherington, PJ went on to establish a reputation as one of Ireland’s finest tin whistle players, renowned for his dexterity and understanding of the instrument. These days he is just as likely to be admired for his vocal skills and guitar work as his tin whistle or flute playing.

PJ has worked with many top names in the Irish music world including Arty McGlynn, Mairtin O’Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd to name but a few. His music has graced and sold out venues the length and breadth of Ireland as well as having been recorded for the renowned Irish playwright Marie Jones.

His album was recorded in Rhubarb Studios, Belfast, by Cormac O’Kane and features guest vocals and musical contributions from some of Ireland’s finest musicians, many of whom will accompany PJ on stage at the Bardic Theatre for the launch concert.

Musicians featured include: Gerdy Thompson (guitar); John Joe Kelly (bodhran); Brid Harper (fiddle); Stephen Hayden (fiddle); Bronagh Graham (banjo); Maureen Browne (fiddle); Oonagh Derby (vocals) and Claire O Neill (fiddle). Contributions were also made by PJ’s talented son Brendan (mandolin) and sisters Eileen, Sinead and Grainne (vocal).

‘The Long Road Home’ was a personal journey for PJ, inspired by influences, memories and reflections of his past. The music ranges from slow and soulful to high energy, uplifting and inspirational pieces in PJ’s unique style that blend together in perfect harmony.

This wonderful debut album will will be showcased throughout Ireland and the UK later this year in a Spring/Summer tour.

“The Long Road Home” will be on sale from 3rd February 2012. Tickets for the album launch are available in Gene Stuarts, Dungannon priced at £10, contact 028 8772 5286.