Tell us about yourself and your music
I’ve always wanted to be a musician but have only been able to do it full time for the last few years. I grew up in New Rochelle, NY but now live in Galway, Ireland with Judy, my wife, who works at the Hospital in Galway. It was when I was at Villanova University that I started to write songs. In addition to performing solo, I play with a couple of bands when we get to the states: 2JAM Acoustic ( a band I formed with my brother, AJ ) and Billy and the Shoemen ( Billy Foster, Jim Magrath, Ray Simonelli and myself ). My favorite band is The Beatles but I also like The Stones, Dylan, America, David Gray, Ed Sheeran, Sinatra, Dion, The Eagles, The Drifters, and numerous others as well as jazz, classical, folk and country music.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“All One Together” a Covid-19 song was just released in June 2020 and took a couple of months to put together. It was all done virtually, of course, and the chorus involved singer/songwriter family/friends from both Ireland and the U.S. The song is dedicated to all the Healthcare and frontline workers who risk their lives daily to help us. The lyrics started to come to me the night Judy and I were watching One World Together on tv. I had to leave the room, grabbed pen and paper and the song began. The song, I believe, is timely, positive, uplifting, and healing and should be heard, as a number of my friends have said, by everyone. It is certainly my most gratifying composition, to date, no matter what happens. It can be downloaded, both domestic and international, on about 40 different media sites( ie: Spotify, iTunes, youtube, Pandora……).
What inspired you to write this release?
Judy, my wife, works at Galway Hospital and would come home shattered after spending long days, weekends, and nights dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. The news on tv was always about the virus. We were involved in lockdowns, people working from home, churches and stores being closed, daily reports of deaths and new cases skyrocketing, people dying without any family contact and we were experiencing something that you would think could only be written by Hollywood. This could never actually happen to all of us ! But it did and that is what inspired the song. I needed to put something down in words that would tell what I/we were all going through “Together”. We had to be “All One Together” or we would not win this fight.
Describe the writing and recording process
The writing took me from April 18, 2020, until April 21, 2020, to complete the song. Most of the lyrics and melody came to me the first day. It was initially just going to be me singing, playing, and recorded on my phone in Galway. I contacted Ed Train in the states, who has produced all my music, and he was on board. He suggested we use Soundtrap, on my laptop, to lay down the track(s). It was only when that was done that I came up with the idea of having a number of singer/songwriter family/friends singing, virtually of course, on the chorus at the end. This would now be a challenge for Ed but he was up to the task and recommended we also do a video. We would have everyone record their voices, usually using their phones ( on video mode ), singing the line “All One Together” 24 times in sync with me. They would be listening to me singing the song in their ear via headphone(s) attached to a computer, laptop, or another device. The recordings would then be forwarded to me for review and I would send them on to Ed for sync, mixing, and production. The chorus is made up of singers ( a couple of them are top recording artists ) and they are Judy Davitt ( my wife), AJ and Ellie Geoghegan, Liz Sheridan, Patricia Davitt, Naoise Davitt, Padraig Stevens, Leo Moran, Ursula Morrow, Wendy May, Shelley Welch, Dale Allen, Christine Cook, and Henry Geraghty.
Any plans to hit the road?
I wish. There are no plans due to the virus. To date, however, I have done a number of Zoom sessions and played my song “All One Together”. One of the sessions is specifically a Songwriter one. Also, our parish priest, Fr. Michael, has had me play the song twice at Mass, which is live on Facebook, at the end of the service. Two of my songs, “All One Together” and “Broadhaven Bay” have been aired over 1000 times on internet radio by radio airplay.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I brand myself as a singer/songwriter musician who loves performing original as well as cover tunes and getting the crowds involved in the music. My friends would say I’m different from a lot of other artists they listen to with my welcoming style, smile, song intros, and selections. My songs vary with some folk, storytelling, country, rock, and ballads.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Lately, I enjoy watching/listening to some YouTube concerts such as 1) the Anniversary special to Bob Dylan and the song “My Back Pages” which included: Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Roger McGuinn 2) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” featuring Clapton, Petty, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Winwood, Dhani Harrison and Prince doing a great job on guitar 3) “Little By Little” by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks and just about any Beatles video but especially the London rooftop performance. These are just a few of the ones I listen to. It is inspiring when I watch artists, famous or not, perform and they get the crowds into the music.
Who are your biggest influences?
The Beatles, I would have to say are my biggest influence. Their music was constantly evolving and I loved the music, screaming crowds, sold-out shows, and their look(s). They were and still are, I think, the biggest influence on Rock music. I would dream about performing just one show like theirs. Peter, Paul, and Mary were another influence on their harmonies and the personal way they would put songs together. I love the songs and vocals of Roy Orbison. His range was incredible. Elvis and Willie Nelson did some beautiful ballads. There are too many to list but these of some of the influences.
Tell us about your passions
I have a passion to write songs and record them. They may not please everyone but I get satisfaction when a tune is completed. It is high to go out and play gigs especially when you get a good crowd who sing along and you can tell that they love what you are doing. “All One Together” a Covid-19 song is my most gratifying composition to date and it would be great if it could get covered around the world. This may just be my dream?
What else is happening next in your world?
I’m working on my next album which will include “All One Together”, a Dylan-esque tune “Don’t You Go Too Fast”, a slightly revised “Little Worlds”, a yet unreleased “Stateside” which will be a joint effort with my brother, AJ, “It’s The Galway Races” and numerous other tunes that are still being worked on. I’ve got a number of songs written but not yet recorded. One is called “Where Is That Good Time Song” which I think would have been great for Neil Diamond. Another is “Ode to 1916” which, I think, will involve a children’s choir but it is a work in progress. Finally, I have a rock number “Lotta Rock n Roll Left To Play”. All of these need time, money, and collaboration which is a challenging combination these days.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Bill Geoghegan