Dear music lovers and lovers of musicians,
I'm delighted to write my first blog here at The Island of Music. The Crowley Family have literally been supporting Cork Music for a hundred years and this website is building on that legacy in what are very uncertain times for musicians.
On this site you'll see instruments for sale by Irish instrument makers, instruments for rent for €25 a month (you name it, they'll find it for you!) and albums for sale in physical or digital form across all genres of music. Please consider ordering an album from The Island of Music today. Here's why…
First and foremost, because our island of music is bursting with incredibly talented musicians who deserve to have a platform which puts their needs and interests first!
Our musicians need our support. They have been left out in the cold and have no idea when they will get back to work. This could easily turn into a rant about what those who are driving the bus (..wait...is anybody actually driving the bus?!..) are doing. The internet is full of these rants and rightly so. The industry that employs thousands of musicians, sound engineers, stage managers etc is sinking.
While there have been much needed funds granted to venues across the country, and deservedly so, these won't reach everyone. These funds may ensure that some musicians get work, but our beloved pub musicians are not going to benefit when the pubs themselves have not been allowed to open. Also, let's face it, when these indoor establishments which have suffered great financial strain are finally allowed to open, (IF they can manage to reopen) it may be some time before they can afford to hire musicians again.
In the meantime there are thousands of excellent musicians and performers looking at other options because they cannot survive without work. We can help these people by going online and ordering their albums of work. It might seem like a ridiculously obvious thing to say..but our support could be the difference between a person selling their instruments and gear or hanging in there until things improve.
Now you might think that as a musician myself, I'm guilt-tripping you into buying my albums (rest assured.. I won't stop you!), but this isn't the point of what I'm trying to say. I've been lucky enough to have employment as a teacher, a job I dearly love, during this pandemic and things here in Germany are opening up again, slowly but surely. What I'm trying to say is that in Ireland we have something so special that we need to preserve and by buying our favourite musicians' albums, digital or physical, we just might keep them afloat.
Everywhere I go, when I talk to people who know I'm Irish, one of the very first things they mention is the music..Irish musicians they love, Irish people they have met who could sing at the drop of a hat, that time they went to a pub in Ireland and the music that made their time there so special. The musicians MAKE Ireland the magical place it is. Having been unable to visit home for a year and a half, am I seeing Ireland through rose-tinted tourist glasses? Quite possibly.. but I'm certainly right about this..
Think back to the last time you were out and saw Roy Buckley up in Murphy's Rock belting out a ballad or Andy Dunne lifting the rafters in The Oliver Plunkett like only he can. Or perhaps you've heard Fintan Lucy bringing a noisy pub to a standstill with a self-penned song that would make the hairs on your arms stand up, or Greenshine singing harmonies that would have you smiling for a week. It could be Brian Morey up on Blarney St with the whole pub singing along or Eileen Healy & Co. in the corner of the Sin É playing the kind of music which has made our little island famous the whole world over.. you see what I'm saying here. This IS unique. These people and thousands more like them across the country (I give examples of Cork because it was my home for 12 years) are what actually defines us as a nation with a distinct culture. They accompany us in birth and death and all the other times in between and we need to show them that though the government and the overpaid powers that be have forgotten them, WE haven't!!
Go online today if you can, be it The Island of Music here, or Bandcamp (or the musician's own website), enter the name of a musician you know and order one of their albums. If you already have it, order it for a friend. I don't want to sound preachy..(too late, perhaps) but THIS is how we will ensure that we will have those magic nights again. We can do something concrete to show our appreciation to those who would give anything right now to be back to work, throwing their heart and soul and sweat into every, single sweet note.
Photos by Kieran Murphy
Header photo: Greenshine at The Corner House
Cover photo: Sunday afternoon trad session at Charlies
- Feel free to comment here if you'd like to engage and please spread the word! The Island of Music is looking for musicians of all ages across all genres to join the platform!