POSTED ON DECEMBER 16, 2010:
Pittsburgh's Mark Dignam to play a Dublin tribute to Phil Lynott next month
By Aaron Jentzen
New Year's resolutions are coming up, but often these are, in the words of one accomplisher of missions, "aspirational goals." Few Pittsburgh musicians would resolve to journey overseas to pay tribute to a life-long influence, and even fewer would actually go -- like Mark Dignam.
In January, the Irish-born singer-songwriter will play "A Vibe for Philo" in Dublin, a tribute to Phil Lynott of Irish band Thin Lizzy, on the 25th anniversary of his death. Joining Dignam on the short tour are guitarist Nathan Zoob and percussionist Eric George.
"It's their first time in Ireland, so that will be fun!" says Dignam.
Dignam started out busking in Dublin, and played the early Vibes, soon after Lynott's 1986 death at the age of 36. Dignam's heard this may be the last Vibe. "If this is even remotely the last one they're going to do, I want to be on it."
Ten years ago, Dignam was passing through Pittsburgh when his Irish record company "went bust in the middle of [my] project." His friend Karl Mullen, then-talent buyer for Club Café, invited him to stay over the summer and regroup. Dignam soon met a girl; they're now married with a family.
He tours regionally and, periodically, in Ireland. His newly-named band, The House of Song, consists of George, Zoob and bassist Jessie Prentiss, with others sitting in. Dignam likes "the idea of everyone joining in and singing along and taking part," he says, joking, "it's almost the 'halfway house of song.'"
His latest album, the restrained, poetic Box Heart Man, doesn't immediately suggest Lynott's musical influence, but Dignam says Lynott's rise above humble circumstances inspired him early on.
While known for Thin Lizzy rockers like "The Boys are Back in Town," Lynott was also "an incredibly poetic writer," Dignam says. "Probably the first concert I went to was when Phil quit Thin Lizzy and started his solo career. I saw this big guy from a working- class neighborhood in Dublin" -- much like his own -- "looking like a rock star."
Live, Dignam is capable of real fire, especially on songs like the guitar-jam "Fable." He also takes the stage with a little effort, a legacy from cerebral palsy in childhood. "Dragged myself through life," Dignam says, simply; perhaps the extra physical effort to play any stage makes one overseas no unusual obstacle.
The band has raised travel funds through several concerts; the last, with guests Paul Luc, Morgan Erina and Ben Shannon, is 8 p.m. Tue., Dec. 21 at Club Café.
"We've been pretty bowled over by the support" from fans and friends, says Dignam. "I think everybody likes the sight of someone pushing a cart uphill."
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Subject: "Boston Med" featuring music from Brendan O' Shea and Jenna Nicholls
Just a quick blog for all those people who like Medical Drama's, this week ABC television starts an 8 episode real life documentary
series, featuring the music of Jenna Nicholls and Brendan O' Shea.
For all those people who can't watch the show live, I'm sure it will be shown online also. We will keep you posted on that.
The show will chronicle the medical drama at three Boston area hospitals: Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's, and Children's
Hospital. For four months, ABC cameras had access to hospital staffers and patients -- from operating rooms to end-of-life meetings,
Sunday May 30th 2010
Hi everyone , sun is shining here in nyc its sat holiday weekend in the USA, just a heads up on this new ABC show BOSTON MED which airs THUR JUNE 24 AT 9.00PM and every THUR @ 9.00PM FOR 8 EPISODES, it will feature songs of mine and songs of JENNA NICHOLLS , not sure what episodes our songs are in but we will have an update on that news soon as it comes in , so check it out and check back on my site in the comming weeks for a link to the shows website and more detailed info on the airing of our music , iam working on the art work for my new record SONGS FROM A TENEMENT due out late september.
be well and those of you in the heat stay cool
Oct 17 2009 8:00P Jenna Nicholls @ 92Y Tribeca - Resident Noise Manhattan, New York
Oct 24 2009 8:00P Mark Dignam @ Map Room Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nov 1 2009 7:30P Mark Dignam @ Pabst Theater Milwaukee w/The Swell Season Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 2 2009 7:30P Mark Dignam @ Clowes Memorial Hall w/The Swell Season Indianapolis, Indiana
Nov 5 2009 8:00P Michael Brunnock @ The Village Dublin, Dublin
Nov 7 2009 8:00P Mark Dignam @ Your Inner Vagabond (Joni Mitchell Tribute ) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nov 7 2009 9:00P Michael Brunnock @ The Headfort Arms Kells, Meath
Nov 12 2009 8:00P Michael Brunnock @ The Back Room Navan, Meath
Nov 20 2009 7:30P Mark Dignam @ The Rex Theatre Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dec 7 2009 8:00P Michael Brunnock @ The Bitter End Manhattan, New York
First I would like to thank everybody for their support and words of inspiration last year and with that I would like to wish everybody a year full of ups.
Already this year is off to a flying start. Bush is on his way out and Obama is on his way in. It sure makes for a historic times.
I would also like to give a big thank you to Rebel Spirit Music
for their event last week at the The Rockwood Music Hall
, in which our very own Jenna Nicholls
played a stormer of a gig. The full house was very warm and were encouraging in their singing along with Jenna. Watch out for these showcases as they are a wonderful way to find new talent but also to help the independent music scene here locally and nationally.
Next up, if any of you who travelled in the downpour to see Brendan O' Shea
at his recent Mercury Lounge set, you were in for a wonderful performance. Brendan with guest musicians Tim Finn and Jenna Nicholls were on good form and the rain didn't get to dampen the evenings music.
There is a small review of this gig at LiveJournal
. It's always a pleasure to play support to the men from Stand
, there's also a good possibility that there will be more support openers for these guys, either in or around New York.
Now to the news that Michael Brunnock
is introducing his friend Declan O' Rourke
to New York for a couple of shows. It's Declan's first time over to the states, and as I remember, my first time to New York with The Mary Janes
, it can be a very memorable time and an amazing experience. Declan's success at home has made him a household name in Ireland . He continues to play to huge audiences.You can catch this bill at the following venues.
Monday Jan 19th Rockwood Music Hall
Michael Brunnock 9pm
Declan O Rourke 10pm
Saturday Jan 24th The Living Room
Declan O'Rourke 7pm
Michael Brunnock 8pm
In our next blog, We will be starting something new. We are going to write about some of our favourite friends from Ireland, some of the guys that we like to play with and who are maybe not as know here states side, then they are in Ireland. We won't be keeping it strictly Irish but we want to open up this page and our website www.fairplaycollective.com
to more artists, to give you an insight to some of the folks/musicians/poets/painters that we know and wish to share with you guys.
And speaking of playing with old friends, Mark Dignam
will be traveling to his native Ireland in February, for what truly will be a couple of those great memorable evenings. These gigs will be worth traveling for, that I can guarantee.
Thursday Feb. 5th, 7pm Vicar Street
Dublin, Ireland with The Swell Season
and friends. The gig is a benefit for people with intellectual disabilities and is likely to feature some memorable one-off collaborations.
Sunday Feb. 8th, 8pm Whelans
, Dublin, Ireland. This is Mark's headline gig and he will be joined by some very special guests. This is Mark's old stomping ground, and might well be a nostalgia fest...
Back in Pittsburgh Mark is busy building up his gig at The Map Room, it is his desire to play this gig every so often, to make it his own venue, while bringing in musicans that he feels will raise the standard of musicianship at the Map Room and in Pittsburgh.
And finally, please come down to the Scratcher Sessions
here in New York City, times are hard for us all, but getting out and supporting independent musicians and artists will make you feel better and all for a very reasonable suggested tip of five dollars. Every Sunday Brendan O' Shea puts on two acts. The evening starts at 7pm and ends at about 9pm, this makes for a lovely night of song and music, in the same style as the old Sin-é Café.
The room features good sound, an attentive audience, and is currently seeking to book artists who are promoting a record or have more than one to promote. Artists will be able to sell their CD's, along with any other available merchandise.
Up and coming dates are as follows:
Sunday Jan.18th 7pm Paul Sachs
(Urban acoustic/folk songs in the tradition of Harry Chapin and Springsteen.)
8pm John Francis
(John's carefully crafted songwriting works so well with his mellow delivery. He's twice as talented as most performers. Gene Shay/WXPN Radio)
Sunday Jan.25th 7pm Michael Brunnock
("Brunnock's beautiful clear crispness and clipped tones match exquisitely and expertly arranged melodies, driven home with truthful lyrics and heart-filled soul.")
8pm Brendan O' Shea
(Picture an Irishman, in New York, standing with arms open wide....telling you the kettle is on and he's got something he wants you to hear.)
So that's all the news that I'm able to write about for now, but stay tuned for more news and reviews coming soon. If anybody wants to help by reviewing gigs or be a reporter for us please don't hesitate and write to us, we will include your reports or reviews on our pages. Good Luck!!!!!