The song, Among the Wicklow Hills was a big hit for the late Larry Cunningham from Longford. It has become intimately associated with the county and has had numerous cover versions over the years.

It is here in the Glen of Imaal, surrounding those same hills that a young country singer is setting his heart on a career in the music business.

Jack Keogh (18) has completed his secondary school studies and is currently working in a forestry related business in the area. Jack has come to major attention through his debut single, I’m Dreaming of You. The video of the song, shot by Steve Bloor on location in Wicklow, has garnered close to 700,000 views on You Tube.

“I got my love for this music from my nanny, Lily Keogh,” he tells Irish Country Living.

“She was always playing songs by Declan Nerney and Big Tom and some others as well. I grew up on those kinds of songs and country music is what I love to sing,” he adds.

First Song

“I was thrilled with the response to my first song which I recorded three years ago including feedback from so many radio stations,” he recalls.

“I am very grateful to those who featured the video of the song; it is hard in many ways to believe that the song has got so many views on You Tube,” he says.

Since then, Jack has recorded two other singles. Sing My Songs is his first self-penned number expressing his love for the genre, while the other song entitled Catherine Ann was previously recorded by Declan Nerney.

The young Wicklow singer is enjoying the buzz associated with the circuit and is looking forward to a number of gigs as well as guest spots on concert shows in the coming months.

“You ease into life on the stage after the first few gigs,” he admits.

He is looking forward to performing at Hotel Kilkenny in October and is on the bill for A Night with the Stars at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge on 24 May.

Closer to home, he puts on his own show in pubs and hotels around the locality and teams up with his producer, Wayne Thorose of Ballyrose Studio (formerly of the Robert Mizzell Band) to perform as a duo.

With his family supporting him on his musical journey, he acknowledges their encouragement.

“I am getting great enjoyment from it right now,” he adds with a smile.

Follow Jack Keogh on Facebook for further details about upcoming shows and new songs.

Patty, Tanya and Bob for Country Hall of Fame 2023

Three people who have made a substantial contribution to country music in America over the years will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2023.

Tanya Tucker, Patty Loveless and Bob McDill were announced as the latest additions to the legendary list by Vince Gill at a recent ceremony in Nashville.

Patty Loveless hails from Kentucky and has been immersed in the mountain music tradition for many years. She has recorded some superb songs on her country music journey and is a regular performer on the Opry along with Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt and others.

Tanya Tucker had her first hit song at the age of 13. Delta Dawn has since gone on to become a classic and is intimately associated with the singer from Texas. Tanya has retained a lot of the “outlaw” attributes of some of the well-known Texan performers from over the years. She has recently made a major comeback on the American circuit.

Bob McDill is being inducted into the Hall of Fame under the Songwriter category. He is especially associated with country legend Don Williams, who has performed many songs composed by Bob.

Among the many other songs penned by Bob was Song of the South which topped the charts for Alabama.

The official ceremony for the inductees will be held later in the year.

Ballinasloe to host country show

The Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe will host a major country show on Monday, 29 May. The night will feature acts including Mick Flavin, TR Dallas, ?Matt Keane, Caitriona Canavan and many more. All the artists will be backed by the renowned Ryan Turner Band.

Tickets for the show are now available from the hotel reception on 090 9630400 as well as from Ticketmaster, Patsy on 086 1551841 and some local outlets.

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