Cookstown’s Jim McKee comes home for one night only

COOKSTOWN’S Jim McKee will play a very special homecoming gig with guests Cathal Hayden and PJ McDonald this coming April at the Burnavon.

Jim and his guests will be joined by Cookstown’s Kojak and Mickey Duffin - also poet Jimmy Rushe will be appearing in this once in a lifetime line-up.

The Kinvara based ‘son of Cookstown’ and his band will play the Burnavon on Saturday 13th April at 8pm, performing their infectious mix of upbeat folk and rock through original songs and standards, all brought together by Jim’s distinctive, rich and haunting vocals.

The band is Keith Horan (drums), Ryan Gil (lead guitar/vocals), with Jim on vocals, guitar and harmonica. They have played support to Mary Coughlan, Mick Flannery, and Ocean Colour Scene, but it has been a while since Jim has returned to his roots in Cookstown and he’s looking forward to it!

A visual artist with an original and arresting style, a songwriter with a deep love of Irish folk and trad, County Tyrone’s Jim McKee is truly a renaissance man, rapidly gaining the deep respect of fellow musicians and critics alike for his song-writing talents and moving live performances. The former All-Ireland Boxing Champion has an original voice with plenty to say.

Fresh back after a busy year that took him to Newport Film Festival, California Cannes Film Festival, France and Galway Film Fleadh, with 4 of his songs which were featured in the award-winning film ‘Songs For Amy’ due for global release in 2013 - a romantic comedy set in the West of Ireland and New York, in which he also played a little role as tom the busker singing ‘Galway Bay’.

Jim will be launching his new album ‘Goodness Comes From The Heart’ on the night and singing songs with his band from that album and also his previous critically acclaimed album ‘Just a piece of’ and also songs from a new acoustic album ‘Unplugged Matters’.

Jim was born in 1970, in the heart of the Troubles.

Some of the violence and incidents and hatred he witnessed in those days haunt him still and memories and evocations of those dark and troubled times are occasionally recorded in his songs and paintings.

With fellow Tyrone virtuoso singer and whistle player, PJ McDonald and Brendan Hendry fiddle player, from Bellaghy, Jim was a member of the award-winning White Hare Band, which featured a high-energy traditional Irish music set. The White Hare Band contributed on numerous BBC television and radio recordings and won the Danny Kyle Celtic Connections Award in Glasgow.

He made his first major festival solo debut at the Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Festival in August 2008, and was also joined on-stage by Aisling Fitzpatrick, PJ McDonald on whistles and Cathal Hayden on fiddle so it’s fitting that this home-coming performance features two of this trio.

His original songs have been used as soundtracks for film productions and television documentaries. Jim has also toured with Bridgestreet, Full Steam Ahead and, most recently, Island Eddy- he wrote 3 new songs for their first album, co-produced by Arty McGlynn, all of which are Galway-based bands.

Currently, Jim is based in Bell Harbour in the Burren area of North Clare in the West of Ireland. The Burren has become his spiritual home, a major factor in his life. He finds inspiration all around him for his eye-catching paintings... in a cluster of wild flowers, a bend of the lane, a corner of a bog, a tractor in the landscape, Boats at rest at the quay, the colours of the Burren. Much of this inspiration comes through in his song writing too, as his beautiful melodies and soulful words paint vivid pictures and tell powerful stories.

This one night only performance is definitely one not to be missed. Tickets, priced at £10, are on sale at the Burnavon Box Office now, on 028 8676 9949 or online at . For more information on Jim McKee and his band, why not check out his Facebook page?