Q: Hi! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your song “Dancing at Crooked Point”?
A: When I was younger, my friends and I would go to one of the highest points near where I lived in Dublin, Ireland, near Howth Head. We would bring drinks with us and play music out the stereo and dance till the wee hours of the morning. This was an ode to this memory and the carefree nature of the time and place. I never danced with a perspective or current girlfriend at that place, but always thought it would be a great place to hide away from the world.
Q: How did you come up with the title for the song, and does “Crooked Point” hold any special meaning for you?
A: “Crooked Point” is not a real place, nor has it any specific meaning or relevance in my life or memory. I just love the way the words rolled out of my mouth as I wrote the song, as I came up with the melody and the chords first. And while playing the chords over and over again the ‘dancing and Crooked Point’ line just rolled off the tough, and became the title of the track.
Q: Your music has been described as a blend of country folk and blues. How did you develop this unique style?
A: I think this comes from my background listening to Irish Folk Revival bands as a child. On the weekend my mother would blast The Dubliners, The Chieftains and The Fureys from a tape deck when she would clean the house. Soon after, in my early teens, I was exposed to Bob Dylan, bringing a more Americana/Folk style to my young ears. And I think the Blues feel comes from endless hours listening to Van Morrison bring the Blues/Jazz/Soul feel to my taste in music. My eclectic taste in music is probably the biggest contributing factor in why my music draws many elements of different genres and styles.
Q: What was your songwriting process like for “Dancing at Crooked Point”? Did you start with the lyrics or the melody?
A: I started with the melody and a general chord structure. The title came pretty quickly after that, I always like to have the title to a song before I write the rest of the lyrics, as the title denotes the theme of the song and is what the story line is based around and hangs off. Than the narrative of a lost love came about from the imagery in my head of falling for someone so hard that when they are gone you go to the same place just to remember them, and you would dance alone just to catch a fleeting moment from the past.
Q: You are currently based in Melbourne, Australia. How has the local music scene impacted your career and sound?
A: I am currently based in Melbourne, which has a thriving living music scene (of course, notwithstanding the two and a half years that we dare not speak of). However, I was not really active in the Melbourne scene due to the long hiatus I had from creating music. I was however somewhat active in the Dublin, Ireland scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with a lot of great Irish acts that are still writing and playing today. That scene exposed me to the soulful singer/songwriter and neo folk influences that were still heavy in the Dublin air from the music of the great Folk Revival heroes like The Dubliners, The Chieftains the Wolftones, to name a few, that was the soundtrack to the city in the 1970s and 80s. And of course, the great Van Morrison (and Irish legend) was a great influence on my music.
Q: Can you share any memorable experiences or challenges you faced while creating “Dancing at Crooked Point”?
A: I do remember it was hard to get the sound and ambiance for the track in the studio. I write with an acoustic guitar and vocals only usually. So we had to add subtle instrumentation, so the piano was added, than we put in the drums. Finally, we decided to put in the Celo (sounds more like a violin in this track). But I think we got a really good balance of singer-songwriter, Americana and Folk in the track.
Q: What artists or musicians have been your biggest influences throughout your career?
A: I started listening to a mix of ‘classic rock’ or ‘golden oldies’ radio stations in the Melbourne suburbs in the 90s (so hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s). And, as mentioned above, Irish Folk Revival music from The Dubliners, The Chieftains, the Wolftones etc…
I have to credit OASIS with getting me into guitar in the second half of the 1990s. Before that I was interested in listening to music, but never had the inclination to pick up and learn an instrument. This got me into the Beatles of course and opened up the music from the 60s and 70s to me.
I then remember getting really into Bob Dylan. It opened my mind to what a song could be, as in what you could sing about, how you can create visuals with your lyrics and express far more than the usual pop sentiment that was being played on commercial radio.
However, I would say my biggest influences musically are Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, and I think this shows in my music.
Q: How do you hope listeners will connect with “Dancing at Crooked Point”? What emotions or messages do you want to convey through the song?
A: I wanted to create a melancholy feel to the song, a lost love, looking back vibe. But also, I wanted the song to be easy to listen to, and have a relaxing atmosphere. I hope listeners can draw some of their own memories from the story.
Q: What can fans expect from you in the future? Are there any upcoming projects or performances you’d like to share?
A: I have 2 more songs to be released over the next couple of months for this project of 6 releases before the end of the year. I will be releasing an EP early next year and hopefully an Album late next year.