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Hugo Duncan: Murphy sisters' new single about date with fisherman is catching fans' attention

The Murphys
The Murphys

By Hugo Duncan

When the talented Murphys family group, from the beautiful Dingle peninsula in Kerry, decided that they would like to release a new single, the song had its origins in a blind date, would you believe?

I am still left to wonder which of the three sisters - Cindy, Candy or Catie - found herself in the company of a fisherman with a hint of romance in the air.

While they are keeping mum on this particular aspect of the track, I can confirm Dancing with the Fisherman is a song that has made a huge impression.

Produced and distributed by Sharpe Music, where my good friend Raymond Stewart is in charge of operations, the number captures a meeting between two strangers that is both novel and interesting.

The sisters, along with their father Pat, have been entertaining for quite some years now and their innovative approach to recording, alluring voices and captivating stage presence have won them many admirers.

The single is to be followed by an album in around eight weeks and Raymond tells me that, in his estimation, it could prove hugely popular.

He confirms that there is some excellent material on it which portrays the vocal strength and musicianship of the group.

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Meanwhile, I will be popping along to the Royal British Legion club in Portrush tonight, where I will be appearing with the singing diggerman Andy Lowry, along with Kenny Paul, Country Features, Alistair Coyles and Owen Mack, among others.

There is never a dull moment when Andy is in the vicinity and I expect him to be the centre of attention tonight.

Tomorrow night, Nathan Carter and his band will be in concert at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.

Warrenpoint promoter Mickey Magill, whom I have known for many years, has everything in place for what he hopes will be a spectacular occasion, with Nathan certain to prove a massive hit.

Last weekend, Nathan wooed the huge crowds that attended the Farmers Bash on the beach at Portrush and the Shoreline Festival in Fermanagh.

Singing talent runs in the family for supremely busy superstar Jimmy

Jimmy Buckley currently finds himself fulfilling not one but three roles as he continues to cement his reputation as one of Ireland's leading country singers.

As well as fronting his own band, Jimmy will also shortly undertake a concert tour in tandem with his talented daughter Claudia before lining up again with Robert Mizzell and Patrick Feeney for another series of concerts under the Three Amigos banner.

One of the busiest singers on the country music circuit, Jimmy appears to revel in his work.

I recall wishing him good luck when he started out on the road with his band, but I never dreamt that he would reach the heights he has.

A combination of his vocal talent, a superb backing band and the songwriting of Henry McMahon has helped to keep Jimmy, who lives in Athenry in Galway, very much in the national spotlight.

Henry, one of the founders of The Mainliners band, has applied himself diligently to writing numbers tailored to Jimmy's voice and he has come up trumps.

Songs such as Your Wedding Day, Trucker's Wallet and My Mother are all Henry McMahon creations and they have helped to keep Jimmy very much to the fore.

Obviously, Jimmy, who comes from County Limerick, is best-known for fronting his own band on the busy country dancing circuit, but his reputation as a concert performer has soared since he first went on the road with The Three Amigos.

They are scheduled to undertake another tour of Ireland in the December-January period, but in November Jimmy will be joined by his daughter for what promises to be an exciting show.

"I am looking forward to this venture," he tells me. "I believe that Claudia is very talented and she is keen to make progress in her own right.

"Naturally, I am keen to see her do well and I will be giving her every encouragement.

"Performing on stage can be daunting, but she is gaining in experience all the time and I have no doubt that she will prove to be a big hit in her own right."

It won't be all singing either as Jimmy is a renowned mimic and his impersonations of entertainers such as Daniel O'Donnell, Declan Nerney, Derek Ryan, Mike Denver and others are akin to the real thing.

He has worked hard at getting these impersonations spot-on - so much so that his mimic segment tends to be the highlight of most concerts.

"I only do it for the craic and to provide a bit of variety in the overall programme, if the truth be told," Jimmy tells me. I don't think it's any harm to have a little light relief thrown in.

"I was very saddened to learn of the recent death of the great Brendan Grace as he was an iconic figure in comedy in this country and he will be sorely missed.

"He had the capacity to brighten up anyone's day."

Away from the stage, Jimmy is an avid follower of greyhound racing and, along with his brother, helps to breed racing dogs.

They are no strangers to success in this sector and Jimmy is a regular visitor to Harold's Cross in Dublin and Lifford.

For the moment, though, a packed diary ensures that he will be kept fully occupied.

"I must say that I am particularly looking forward to being joined by Claudia for the forthcoming concert tour and then it will be a case of getting together with Patrick Feeney and Robert Mizzell for the next Three Amigos tour," he says.

"Sometimes, my feet don't get the chance to touch the ground."

Gerry walking tall with cover version of timeless classic

Gerry Guthrie has gone back to the 1960s to source his latest release - and it would appear that he is on to a winner.

Walking in the Sunshine was written by Roger Miller some 50 years ago and sounds as good today as when it was first recorded.

Gerry, who has been making considerable waves over the course of the summer, took a liking to the song, and now that he has the finished product out in the public domain, he is confident that it can give his career a further boost.

"I mulled over the idea of recording the song and now I'm glad I did," he says.

"I have to say that I am very satisfied with the finished product. I think Walking in the Sunshine is one of those timeless songs that transcends the ages.

"It is certainly going down a treat at the dances which we play and this gives us great encouragement."

Gerry, of course, is already well-known for the quality of his recordings and, indeed, his dynamic stage show. He has, to date, appeared at a number of festivals over the course of the summer and will be exceptionally busy between now and the end of the year.

"We have lots on the agenda, but we will just take one thing at a time," says Gerry. "The fact that we have this new record out is a boost and we hope it helps us to reach out to a wider audience."

Gerry and his band have already enjoyed hits with such numbers as The Old Guitar and Second Hand Heart and he's hopeful that Walking in the Sunshine will give his career a further lift.

Meanwhile, I was saddened to learn of the death of popular Dublin singer Danny Doyle, who had a huge hit with Whiskey on a Sunday quite a number of years ago.

Danny was a very talented entertainer, whose warm personality and easy-going style endeared him to many.

He emerged as a very forceful presence at the height of the folk/ballad boom.

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