We thought it would be nice to drop an exclusive video by Damian Dempsey on you, what else would you be upto on a Saturday afternoon?
The video below is of Damien Dempsey being interviewed on The Ray D'Arcy Show, 30th April 2016, it includes live performances of "Negative Vibes", "Sing All Our Cares Away", "Aunt Jenny" and "The Rocky Road to Dublin".
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter uprising that precipitated Ireland’s independence, Damien has recorded a special collection of songs. The CD, “No Force On Earth” had initially been made available at Damien’s concerts however, the album is now also available exclusively from his store.
For those of you NOT aware of Damian Dempsey, here's a bio and a review of his 2012 album 'Almighty Love'....
Damien Dempsey is quite simply and unequivocally himself: Damo.
He’ll draw on Orwell and Kavanagh, on Chomsky and Joyce, but you probably won’t know that by listening to the album. It’ll just make sense if you happen to go looking for it.
In Almighty Love there are overt references to Gandhi, Marie Colvin, Tony Benn and Rosa Parks. There are themes of injustice and longing and loss, of heartache and hope, despair and adventure, excitement and childhood.
He is delighted to confirm the following festival dates this summer. There will also be some special limited edition CDs of his brand new release “No Force On Earth” available at some shows. The album is also available via his website.
June 25 – Dunmore East Festival
July 8 – Folk Festival Killarney
July 9 – Séamus Ennis Centre, Naul : (trio)
July 21 – Big Top, Galway Arts Fest
(Main support to Imelda May)
July 23 – Iveagh Gardens, Dublin
(guest slot for Little Green Cars – solo)
Aug 26 – Kennedy’s of Killeagh, East Cork
Review of his 2012 album 'Almighty Love'
This is an album from a travelled man, from a singer who is still rooted in the local but not bound by the locale, and not afraid to stretch his geographic and vocal boundaries. He is reaching out beyond the Dublin shoreline of his youth and diving into a new artistic sea.
His vocal range too has broadened its strokes. The punch is still there, but it’s more personal and he’s now more likely to show than shove.
In Chris and Stevie, the refrain “I’m missing you today” is maybe not one a 20-year-old Dempsey could have or would have sung. Now he is a man who knows it’s good to cry. Men should cry more. It’s okay for men to cry. Crying and singing. Crying and healing.
“I feel the hate in my own land against me for who I am,” sings Dempsey in Born Without Hate. He is taking the discussion he started with an earlier song, Colony, and stretching the theme.
Back then, he sung about how some colonisers took what wasn’t theirs. Now, he sings about how quickly the colonised forget what they didn’t have.
Glorious revolutions can breed terrible evil and rage. Bob Marley understood that and London based poet and rapper Kate Tempest understands it too. She collaborates with rhythmical focus and fury on Born Without Hate, adding to the internationally grounded feel of the album.
Like all good songwriters, heartache is never far away. In Bustin Outta Here, Dempsey is breaking from a bad place. He’s done with beating himself up. Others will do that for him. Now he wants to heal.
There isn’t a preachy pose on this album. He doesn’t have to force his point home. This album is as subtle as a Damien Dempsey album gets and yet it feels bigger. After listening, kids will still look to him as a Rocky-type figure and adults will still turn to him for his particular poeticism.
Of course, with any Damien Dempsey album, there’s politics. Or at least in this case, there is political thought. People have come to expect Damien Dempsey to say something about today, about the world, about us.
On Moneyman, he rails against the banking bureaucrats who have mortgaged entire nations for decades to come. He says it as it is, but manages to do so in a way that sets it in a historical and social context, which is relevant, and above all, real.
Ultimately then this is an album of grounded hope, both personal and national.
Making Almighty Love was a long and careful process. Damien worked with long-term collaborator John Reynolds, who is an internationally recognised producer. This is their fifth album together, and theirs is an instinctive and homely artistic relationship, and it shows.
Of the 100 or so songs earmarked for the album, they chose nine originals and one cover – Andy Stewart’s Fire in the Glen, which Damien was singing in the kitchen late one night and it stayed in the air and drifted into the studio.
Sinéad O’Connor, one of the greatest voices of her generation, adds backing vocals, but gives without taking. Her voice alongside Damien’s makes sense in their mutual authenticity and authority. They both have something to say and they give each other the space to say it. Symbiotic is probably the technical term.
All that is mighty about Dempsey Dempsey is on this album. We hear the universality of the man and his concerns, are invited to connect with his accessibility, and can’t help but be lured by his unique vocals and particular rhythms.
This is an artist who has grown up and is self-confident enough to do it his way.
The fist and the fragility: that’s perhaps how you could best sum up the lyricism of Almighty Love. It’s Dempsey singing from the heart and soul as he always does, but there’s maturity reflected in the lyrics now as well as a resignation, a brave emotional openness and an easing of unease in his own skin.
The Story So Far:
Damien’s debut album in 2000, ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ set him apart as a unique and important voice, championed from an early stage in his career by Sinéad O’Connor and others. The follow-up, ‘Seize the Day’, released in 2003, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, picking up many awards and leading to extensive international tours. Commercial and critical success continued with the release of the No. 1 album ‘Shots’ in 2005, backed by Brian Eno, and ‘To Hell or Barbados’ in 2007, which debuted at No.2 in the Irish charts.
Damien’s fans include Brian Eno, Sinéad O’Connor, Bob Dylan and U2, (both of whom he has shared a bill with), and Morrissey, who invited him to support him on his US tour. Damien is an award-winning artist, having won several prestigious Irish Meteor Awards including Best Irish Male and Best Traditional Folk Award. His albums have topped the charts and gone Platinum, and he has been lauded by, among others, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Billboard, MOJO and The Sunday Times.
Since the release of his previous album, Damien’s creativity has found other outlets also. One notable project was with Irish graffiti artist Maser, on a project entitled ‘They Are Us’. This was sparked by Dempsey’s lyrics, and involved the painting of his words on derelict buildings in Dublin. Sales of the limited edition prints raised funds for The Simon Community, which was a charity set up to help the homeless and disenfranchised in Dublin and elsewhere.
Dempsey’s charitable work continued in December 2010, when he and Oscar winning songwriter Glen Hansard recorded and performed the Irish folk classic, ‘The Auld Triangle’. Monies raised went towards the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) ‘Keep The Lights On’ Campaign.
In 2013, Damien also made his acting debut in the Irish feature film ‘Between The Canals’. His music is also proving very much in demand for soundtracks, with ‘Sing All Your Cares Away’ featured in the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Tyrannosaur’, while Damien contributes to two upcoming Irish films “Stalker” and “King of the Travellers”.
Since his first live outings in the mid-1990s, Damien’s gigs have seen him wow audiences across the globe, and his performances have taken on a spiritual and soulful quality. These outings have been captured on two recordings: Live at the Olympia and Live from Vicar Street. Most recently, when asked who was on his hit list of artists for the main stage of the Sydney Opera House, music director Fergus Linehan listed Damien among his targets for one of the most renowned stages in the world.