Celebrating 10 years of Irish-US music harmony

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

THE TV series Nashville may be a cutthroat newcomer to our screens, but the Belfast Nashville music festival has notched up 10 years of Irish-american harmony. The United airlines Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival launched its 10th anniversary programme in the city yesterday. The festival will feature more than 100 artists performing at 90 events across Belfast, from February 28 to march 9. This year’s programme will run for 10 days rather than the usual five in celebration of a decade of music and cooperation across the Altantic.

Sixties folk icon Donovan, famous for hits such as Catch the Wind and Mellow Yellow will headline the festival.

Irish band Bagatelle, led by songwriter Liam reilly, will also be celebrating 35 years on the road by performing famous hits including Summer in Dublin and Second Violin.

Other well-known singer songwriters include midge Ure of eighties band Ultravox, and a host of award-winning american songwriters including Jason Blume, Benita Hill, Chip Taylor and Jim Lauderdale who have written famous songs for international artists such as Garth Brooks, who has just sold out a record five concerts at Croke park in Dublin.

Local artists performing at the festival include former energy Orchard frontman and established solo artist Bap Kennedy and rising stars Gareth Dunlop, Simon McBride, Chris Keys, Sara Crockett, and Amanda agnew. A series of popular ‘In the round’ concerts will feature three acts on stage simultaneously to explain and perform a selection of their songs. The ‘Belnash’ Festival, as it is affectionately known, also prides itself on celebrating the art of the songwriter with workshops featuring top music and hit-producing composers.

Donovan and Jason Blume will be hosting song-writing seminars as part of the festival’s Song Writing Convention with 17 workshops offering critiques and tips on everything from lyric and melody writing to copyright, publishing and the financial side of the industry. The festival is sponsored by the arts Council of northern Ireland, United airlines, NITB, Dawsons music, Department for Social Development, Holiday Inn Belfast, the empire, tourism Ireland, Avalon Guitars, arts and Business nI.

Festival organiser Colin Magee of Panarts said: “We started the songwriters’ festival back in 2004 to focus on the people who create the songs we love and to put them centre stage.

“Back then we could only have dreamed that 10 years on we would have such a lineup of local and international artists performing over a period of 10 days. It really is amazing how the festival has grown over the past decade.”

“From americana to blues and rock, country to traditional folk, there’s great live music on offer,” he said.

* To download a copy of programme or to book tickets, visit www.belfastnashville.com.

* ON THE BILL: Clockwise from far left, Irish singer songwriters on this year’s bill include Bagatelle’s Liam Reilly, Wilfie, Triona and Stephen McCartney

Pictures: Hugh Russell

Comments are closed.