Archive for October, 2011
Originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1997.
Also successfully recorded by Adele, Billy Joel, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks and Bryan Ferry.
Check out the Pale blue Jak version of Bruno Mars hit song “Grenade”.
This version is track number 3 on the album “Faces” by Pale blue Jak.
Neil Byrne, “When I heard Grenade for the first time it made me sing it even though I didn’t know the words, a strong melody but I could also hear a completely different version.”
Hello my friends…
This has been probably the busiest year of my life, not complaining but it was a very heavy undertaking.
When John (my manager) came to me with these words… “Neil, I think you should write an album” I had just returned from the 2010 Celtic Thunder Fall Tour and Sensitive Souls was not that long out but getting great reviews and a lot of positive feedback.
I do remember replying to John and it was something to the tune of this…. John, there is no way I can put together a full album between now and August, I have the cruise in January, an Irish tour with an Irish artist in Febuary, three weeks of Celtic Thunder promotions in the U.S. in March and to top it all off a new Celtic Thunder show to record along with rehearsals.
I was waiting for John to gently say, yes Neil I suppose you are right, there is simply not enough time… next year maybe!!! Instead, what he said was “you can do it, you will do it and it will be the best you have ever done”.
I can safely say my debut solo album would not exist without John’s faith, encouragement and confidence.
So I began to write some ideas, gather music and lyrics I had been building up over the years… I wanted something that would excite me, something that would make me cry, something that would make me laugh, something I would find myself dancing to without trying and most importantly something with a cool vibe. I want these songs to mean as much to the listener as they do to me. Writing random songs is not what I wanted to achieve. I was after a common thread throughout…. I could visualize the live performance, an unconventional, energetic, charismatic, quirkey show all in one mix.
Not easy to create but not impossible.
I then needed more help and am so lucky to have such a talented group of friends to call on. Without the amazing contributions of Nicole Hudson, Declan O’Donoghue, Conor McCreanor, Ailbhe McDonagh, Michael Keeney and my dad, it could not have happened.
It was a race against the clock… with the time given I was writing songs in the car on my way to studio, on my lunch breaks – from morning until night and forfeiting any possible social time. In one respect, I do feel regret about neglecting time with friends and family but at the same time they are the ones who encourage me too. They have always been my biggest supporters and it is because of them that I am in a position to do what I love to do.
I felt a bit of added pressure when my niece of three years, Sophie informed me that she wanted more music for dad’s car to listen to as she is being dropped to play school! Sensitive Souls had been worn
I promised her some new songs!
With this new concept album in mind, I felt that there was something missing… “The Title”. This was a brand of music I had been trying to create, rather than songs sung by Neil Byrne… therefore I was on the hunt for my brand name.
Random names where going through my head for weeks but nothing was sticking.
I asked myself what would describe the music!? Well, it is quite animated thus putting a colour in the name. A lot of the songs that I write are made up of characters, so a name thrown in there could be
cool! For some reason within this train of thought a name came into my
head.. straight off it sounded right, I could not get past it! I said to myself, “I will sleep on it” and I did. When I woke the first thing that came into my head was
Recorded on the Celtic Thunder Tour Bus outside the Beacon Theatre, New York on Saturday 24th September 2011