Three years after the release of her debut album Dare To Dream, Bernie Heaney continues her journey with a follow-up collection, Plenty of Steel.
The title reflects an enduring love for the sounds of the steel guitar and one which has been close to her heart since childhood.
“The steel guitar was always a part of our family. My father (Paddy) played it for us growing up and my love for country music was nurtured through this beautiful instrument.
“My dad has always loved the great legends of American country like Charley Pride, Hank Williams, Slim Whitman, Jim Reeves, Porter Wagoner Dolly Parton and many more. Music can become such a part of your life. The tradition and love is handed down through the generations.
“I have been fortunate to work with some of Ireland’s finest musicians to create this album. The studio producers involved were Jonathan Owens, Wayne Thorose and Brian Kerrigan,” says Bernie.
These are exciting times for Bernie, who recently launched her new band The Country Five. The band features the highly acclaimed Packie McDermott from Monaghan (former lead guitarist with Big Tom and The Travellers), Billy Burgoyne (former of Ray Lynam and The Hillbillies, Frank Downey, Noel Callan and Finn Morris.
“They are an incredibly talented combination and all of them have a passion for country music. I think it is great to have a name on the band like they always did in former times. The Country Five gives them an identity. All of the big bands in former years had an identity of their own and that was always a tradition in country music. Nowadays, a lot of fine musicians belong to bands that just carry the name of the lead singer.”
Later this month will see Bernie debut her new show on the Keep It Country channel on Sky 389.
“Phil Mack tells me the first show will be aired before the end of October and I hope the viewers will enjoy my choice of music. I have three shows in the can already and am working on the next batch in the series.
“The title of the new show is Rhinestone Country. People who know me realise I have a fascination with rhinestones, so the title was an easy choice for me in the circumstances,” reflects Bernie. CL
• Plenty of Steel, the new album from Bernie Heaney, can be ordered via www.irishmusic.co.uk. For upcoming gigs with The Country Five and further news updates, check out bernieheaney.ie