Irish singer-songwriter Colm Keegan is currently in the middle of his second solo tour, in which he is showcasing plenty of new material.
The Celtic Thunder star is going from strength to strength and was recently named ‘Best New Artist’ at the Irish Music Awards.
He has also released a new song, Raglan Road, with his brothers under the name ‘The Keegan Brothers’ which went to number one on the iTunes world music charts.
Colm has plenty going on right now, so we were delighted to be able to catch up with him to ask how things were going.
Irish Music Daily: How is the tour going? Do you like performing solo and how does it compare with being in Celtic Thunder?
Colm Keegan: Tour is going really great! I think we learned from a few of our mistakes last year, which was only going to be natural it being our very first solo endeavour. This tour has been really easy going. It makes a huge difference having my little (well, not so little anymore!) brother Mark with us selling our new CKonTour2015 merchandise at the gigs. Laura is the ultimate professional and such a joy to work with. Apart from her incredible Cello playing, she now sings, plays the cajun all at the same time!! I’d really be lost without her. I really feel this year like our concept product has really established itself
IMD: What kind of music are you playing and how does it differ to what you do with CT?
CK: I feel like these solo tours gives the fans a completely new perspective of me as a performer and musician. As I said before, I really feel this tour that our concept has become an established product and it’s really great to sing an original song, one I wrote and seeing the audience singing along. This year’s set list contains a lot more original material, with a futuristic plan of hopefully going back into a studio in a few months’ time to record my first, debut album!
IMD: Tell us about the award and what it means to you.
CK: Ye it was a terrific honour to be voted as the ‘IMA Best New Irish Artist’ at the start of this year! It’s been a whirlwind of a few months, very busy with both Celtic Thunder affairs as well as solo tours, so it was really a great moment to feel like all of this work has been worthwhile, so really appreciative of everyone who voted.
IMD: Congratulations on the success of Raglan Road. What made you choose Raglan Road?
CK: Thanks a mill! Always a huge honour when seeing your name as number one on the iTunes World Music charts. Raglan Road has been one of my favourite songs since a very early age. I fell in love with Luke Kelly’s voice from a young age and that piece has never failed to send shivers down my spine. It has, in recent years, become a bit of a family party-piece and one that I’ve wanted to release as a single for a long time, so I’m really over the moon that it’s out! The reaction and feedback has been incredible, very overwhelming. Hopefully it won’t be the last time the brothers will record something!
IMD: What’s it like performing with your brothers? Will your record an album with them?
CK: It’s really an incredible feeling! As brothers, naturally, there’s a really tight blend and even the sound engineers were having trouble differentiating between our voices in the control room!! I would really love to record an album some day with them. The plan this year is to record my own solo album, the others will be featuring on it (even though I haven’t told them yet!) in some capacity, however as a ‘Keegan brothers’ album, only time will tell. It really would be a great thing to do and it’s just something John, Noel, Paul, Mark and I will have to sit down and pan out logistics sometime. I know they’re busy at home with a chamber choir set up originally by my oldest brother John, now run by Noel called ‘Habemus’. They released an album a few weeks ago ‘Purity’ which is doing great, so we’re busy all over the place! It really would be great though, so who knows. Watch this space 😉
IMD: What are your plans for the next few months following on from your successful single release and tour?
CK: We’re heading West Coast for the first time! We’ve a number of gigs out West which will be announced very shortly, we’ll also be performing in the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival in Colorado! Really looking forward to that! After that? Studio time! Both myself and Laura are really happy with the product we have built. We are performing original numbers as well as arranging some of our favourite Celtic songs. We’re getting requests of songs we’ve done in the past which is always a sign that people are enjoying what we’re doing.
Thanks very much to Colm for taking the time to answer our questions. For more news about his new material or live dates check out his Facebook page or website.