Ger Loughlin is a singer songwriter and guitarist from Co Kildare. He plays original songs and also performs a mix of traditional ballads and folk songs, some old and historic, and some more recent from some very fine Irish, Scottish and English songwriters.
He has several influences which are varied and eclectic. The Dubliners, Christy Moore, Sinead O’Connor and Kila on the Irish side, and from further afield: Tom Waits, Nick Cave and more recently, Gogol Bordello.
He has been hooked on Irish music from an early age. He said: “It’s the music of my childhood. Music and singing were a feature of every family occasion; lots of songs and Uncle Christie’s accordion. During my teens it was all rock music, I even played in a heavy metal band called Bad State, but the old songs were always there.”
He stopped playing altogether during his late teens and early twenties and it was only when he injured his hand in his mid-20s that he started playing again. He mentioned to his physiotherapist that he used to play and was told to pick up the guitar again as it would help with his treatment.
That was all the encouragement he needed and he hasn’t stopped playing since. He said:”It was at that stage that I really developed my love of Irish music. You can make a real connection with the songs – to get inside them and the characters in them, and the intent of the writer.”
Loughlin usually performs solo, just him with his guitar. However, sometimes he is joined by fiddle player Larry Shaw and on special occasions, multi-instrumentalist group, Bunoscionn, will also perform with him.
He mainly performs in Ireland and the UK but has played in most countries in Europe. He loves performing no matter how big or small the gig; from session fundraisers in his local area to hosting the Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl in Dublin and the Taste of Ireland night.
He says: “My favourite gig is the session. You can’t get better than a group of musicians playing for and learning from each other. When I perform on stage I try not to move too far away from the spirit and sound of the session.”
He has released three records to date; a live EP with his former band – Dublin City Workingman’s Band in 2003 through DCWB Records, an album, The Frost is All Over, in 2006, also with Dublin City Workingman’s Band and a solo EP, Home Ground in 2011.
When asked about his love for Irish music he said: “Many of the folk songs that I’m attracted to I see as historical records about real people and events. I try to reflect this in my own compositions which deal with contemporary subjects and are comments and reflections on what’s going on now in Ireland and the world.”