Offaly singer songwriter Pete Kennedy has been making a name for himself in America the past few years, and is now bringing in the artists from America for a series of intimate gigs across the country, the latest being Bryce Hitchcock, Shantell Ogden and Marcum Stewart who all played Monroes tonight with local Pullagh man Stephen Rosney.
Stephen had the audience in the palm of his hand as is nothing new to him, being a part of the band “Roslyn” and who is the pen behind a lot of the songs of the equally famous and talented singer Ciaran Rosney. His end song about his mother passing after an illness and medical procedure gone wrong pulled the heartstrings as it was sung heartfelt as only one who has gone through such can sing.
He was preceded by the easy listening singing of Bryce Hitchcock who will be a voice to keep an eye out for in the coming years, and following him the stage was taken by Kennedy himself, Shantell Ogden and Marcum Stewart.
As is the procedure for such nights, a cultural innovation that is common stateside and Kennedy would love to see more of here as he told the audience, is where the featured singer songwriters do a song a piece, and then it goes round and round for the duration of the gig.
His songs about freedom of childhood inspired by seeing two of his four children playing at home was interesting, but the air if “Crazy Country Girl” will be the earworm for me for the next few weeks!
The quiet but commanding confidence of Shantell Ogden gave way to an amazing rounded voice that was like coffee for the ears… and I love my coffee so thats a good thing! Every man in that crowd wanted to be the John Wayne she was waiting for, and there are plenty ready to “saddle up / and do what needs to be done” at the Banagher Fair I thought to myself, and its a pity she wont be in the country in September for it! I think she would enjoy it!
Her background story of writing the song at a writers retreat in Colarado went down a treat with four Americans in the crowd who were actually from Colarado and knew the lake she was talking of well! She gave out CD’s to all in the audience for free which is very rare to occur at a gig – though I didnt stay to get it signed.
Marcum Stewart himself had a very laid back stage presence, as would be the stereotype of a West Virginia man, but what a voice… and the yarns of those he wrote with are something as a writer I could listen to all night. His feel good song telling as a songwriter how if the song reaches the heart of the listener he will play it all night was a song that will have the audience dancing in the ailes in the years to come, in my humble opinion.
On the strength of this gig, I am sure there are a lot who will be looking forward to see who Pete Kennedy and his KEMC Global label bring to our shores next…
Keep an eye on KEMC Global for future nights with singer songwriters