October Nights Festival

October Nights Festival

Thursday, 20 October 2022, 7.30pm

October Nights Festival lands at Ballina Arts Centre on October 20th featuring Brigid Mae Power, Alannah Thornburgh & Graham Sweeney.

Never comfortable with the blasphemous 'predictable' accusation, the festival draws on some of Mayo’s finest musicians and leading lights in folk song, queer pop, hyperpunk and hard rock.

Brigid Mae Power
Visual artist and acclaimed country- folk singer Brigid Mae Power was born in London to a big Irish family. Brigid began to learn the accordion from an early age and moved to Galway with her family when she was twelve.

With a voice inspired as much by the sound of the uilleann pipes as by Joni Mitchell, it has an improvisatory, instrumental and spontaneous feel. The Guardian described her voice as an ‘instrument that raises the everyday to a near-mystical realm’.

Asked about the creative process, Brigid explains, "It's a mystical thing for me, I don't usually remember when or where I write something or when I finish a song. It just appears."

She has thus far released four albums, the most recent of which was 2020’s ‘Head Above Water’ on the UK label Fire Records. The US record label Tompkins Square has released two of her albums.

In 2021 she released the Burning Your Light EP featuring covers of Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Songs: Ohia, Townes Van Zandt.

Brigid has previously played Other Voices, All Together Now, Green Man Festival (UK).

Alannah Thornburgh
Harpist and Swinford native Alannah Thornburgh - a two time 2021 RTE folk award nominee - deftly weaves between ancient airs and tunes from the Irish, American Appalachian and jazz traditions.

Her debut solo single “The Front”, was an homage to the late Swinford born composer Conor Walsh. She has also collaborated and recorded with an array of artists including David Keenan, Lemoncello, Brían Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds), Anna Mieke, Niamh Bury, Aoife Scott, Varo and others. She is also a founding member of the band Alfi whose debut album ‘Say Old Man’ is due for release in late 2022.

Graham Sweeney
It's the hotly tipped Achill guitarist Graham Sweeney who opens proceedings on Thursday night.

As a child, Graham discovered his father’s vinyl collection, containing some of the great names of the ‘60s and ‘70s - Pink Floyd, Planxty, John Martyn and Supertramp.

His unique alternative folk style absorbed these influences, blending traditional guitar playing, percussive finger-tapping and rhythmic vocal melodies.

Graham has played Vantastival, Another Love Story 2022 and opened for Lisa Hannigan, Damien Dempsey, Mick Flannery. He counts Declan O’Rourke and Luka Bloom among his biggest fans.

The Local Live Performance Programming Scheme is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and administered by Mayo County Council.

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Published by October Nights on 22 September 2022

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