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John Spillane

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Acclaimed folk singer/songwriter from Cork released his debut solo album in 1997

About John Spillane

John is a native of Cork, the county he lovingly describes as 'the centre of the universe' and it has been a huge influence on this singer / songwriter. Vocally, Spillane is quite unique with an almost sean nos like element and has been described as having a voice 'full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity'.

His debut solo album 'The Wells of The World' (1997) was described by Hot Press's Oliver Sweeney as, 'not only a striking and individual musical statement, but one of the albums of this or any other year.' His compositions have been described as, "highly original in concept, full of imagery and wonder".

Before embarking on his solo career, John honed his 'live' skills playing for over seven years with Cork based "The Stargazers" and more recently toured the globe for five years as singer with trad giants, Nomos.

The hugely successful album '?ist' featured two of Spillane's works, one of which was 'Eist do Bheal' performed beautifully by Sinead Lohan and written by Spillane and the Gaelic poet Louis de Paor. It's follow up, '?ist Ar?s' (or 'Son of ?ist' as John calls it!) again features one of John's songs.

Spillane and De Paor, have often paired up on projects, John refers to their collaborations as 'The Gaelic Hit Factory'! At the end of 2000, following an invitation, the 'GHF' performed in several universities on the east coast of America and they got the year 2001 off to a good start by winning the prestigious Realta 2001 Irish song contest. With the prize involving one piece of Galway Crystal, the GHF decided to re-enter in 2002 and again won the competition. So now both mantelpieces are adorned with the Galway Crystal!!

John's latest album title 'Will We Be Brilliant Or What?' , which entered the Irish album charts at number 14(!) is a collection of thirteen songs that tell the story of his life up to now. "Will We Be Brilliant Or What?" was produced by Peter O'Toole (Hot House Flowers) and Declan Sinnott. Released in May 2002 on the EMI Ireland label. In March 2003 John won the prestigious Meteor Ireland Music Award in the Best Folk/Traditional Act category.

2003 also saw Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Sean Keane, Karen Casey and others record and release some of John's songs

John has his own Radio Show on RnaG. The show is called "Rogha John Spillane" and is broadcasted from pm to 11pm pm every Sunday night. It'll be all in Irish of course. That's what they do on Raid?? na Gaeltachta, it's Ireland's Irish Language Station!

In 2004 as well as writing the music and song, John produced and performed on a Brown Bag Films ("Give up your Auld Sins" animation, nominated for an Academy Award in 2003) animation called "The Boy Who Had no Story" based on one of John's songs "What's the Story Rory" It won an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Awards) under 2 categories, best animation and best children's program. On Sun 31st Oct '04.

Towards the end of 2004 John met up with producer John Reynolds (Sinead O'Connor, Damian Dempsey, Indigo Girls) and started to work on his next album at John Reynolds's studio in London.

April 1st 2005 saw the release of "Hey Dreamer" on EMI Ireland. John's third solo album went to number 4 in the Irish album charts on week of release and three weeks later it was still in the top ten. A sell out Irish tour followed, ending with a sell out show in Cork's Opera House (home town).

John Spillane Press Release '05

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