With more than 40 hours of music on RTE Radio 1 every single week, we want to ensure the best music for our listeners is played. Every fortnight we have a new playlist of the best of the new releases from Irish and international acts. And there's always an album of the week. The tracks are rotated over the main daytime programmes and are updated every week.
It’s a long way from Ballyshannon to Nashville might sound like the first line of one of his songs, but that’s the twenty-year journey Danny Burns had to take to arrive at this fine debut album. While it would be hard to mistake Burns for anything other than Irish - he’s got a head like safety match, as my Gran would have put it - this album is very much an American(a) record. The most casual of glances at the list of collaborators involved – Nashville Royalty Jerry Douglas, Tift Merritt, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Alison Krauss man Dan Tyminski, and mandolinist Sam Bush to name but a few – marks this out as a release to be taken seriously.
Backed by Mindy Smith, Sam Bush and ChessBoxer, Irish songwriter Danny Burns nods to his homeland with “North Country,” a moody folk song about Ireland’s earliest residents repelling a Viking raid. The acoustic instrumentation is top notch, but it’s Burns’ voice — with its unique pronunciations shaped back home in Donegal — that sells this salute to the old days.”
I wrote this about the indigenous people of the island of Ireland engaging the Vikings in Viking raids! I started writing this on the banks of Lough Melvin looking up at Rossinver Mountain in the village of Garrison in County Fermanagh where my family are from. This song took many years to take shape and present itself to me; I started this maybe in 2001 and it was finished in 2015. When we went in to cut it in Nashville with Mindy Smith, Sam Bush, and Chessboxer, they were able to add depth and mood to this historical story.
Irish singer-songwriter Danny Burns is preparing for the release of a new album in mid-January, but he's giving The Boot's readers an advance first listen to one of the tracks. Press play above to hear "Great Big Sea," and see its accompanying music video.
“If the old adage that you can judge a man by the company he keeps, then the judgments of Danny Burns are all positive. His debut album North Country, which releases Jan. 18 on Bonfire Recordings, contains guest appearances by Americana royalty like Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien, Tift Merritt, and Old Crow Medicine Show's Critter Fuqua.”