Liam Ó Maonlaí
One of Ireland's most renowned rock and traditional musicians with a career spanning more that two-decades Liam Ó Maonlaí is preparing to play The Railway Station in Belturbet this weekend, Saturday 15. But as he explained to The Celt, the Cavan gig has a special place in his heart following last year's well-received performance there and when asked 'what the audience can expect this time around?', he replied, "miracles".
Tapping into his own vast worldwide musical experience which took him on a journey, not only across his native Ireland but to West Africa, Eastern Europe and the Northern Territories of Australia where he played with Aboriginal musicians, Ó Maonlaí confesses that "I never really do the same gig twice.
"The way it runs is that I have a piano and one or two other instruments with me and what I let happen is I let the instruments themselves illustrate the different stories I might have, the trips and experiences I've encountered", he says.
Its very evident when speaking to the former Hothouse Flowers front-man that music and the art of playing is something very special, but so too is sharing that experience with others. On the grander scale Ó Maonlaí has done that with the release of his two celebrated solo albums, 'Rian' and most recently 'To Be Touched', while he also featured on the renowned BBC music programme Transatlantic Sessions.
"When you make music, it speaks for itself. Its spiritual, its on another level but when you get a whole lot of people responding to it, singing along, creating an atmosphere of enjoyment, that is very much a soul experience."
See this week's The Celt for full interview...