Mags McGagh in Manchester spoke to rising Irish country star David Kiernan, from Ballinamuck, when he recently visited the self-styled ‘capital of the North’.
Where did you get your love of country music?
“As a youngster I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who were massive country music fans. It was always on in their house. My mum Geraldine was also a big American country music fan, so I was surrounded by it.
How did this lead to you performing?
“I loved to sing, and I attended the Evolution Stage School in Longford from the age of 14. Very quickly I was given lead singing roles in their productions. I also had music lessons with Paul Hennessy one of the original Celtic Tenors.”
How did this lead on to you establishing yourself as a country singer?
“I was at the Ballinamuck Fair Day in 2015 and I approached Mick Flavin and asked if I could join him on stage to sing. Over the months that followed Mick invited me as his guest at several events, including a concert at the Backstage Theatre with himself and the late, great Noel Cassidy, also a Ballinamuck native. I was thrilled to be appearing on the same stage as them. Mick also arranged for me to appear on the Frank Kilbride TV show. I did an interview with Frank and sang three songs. I was so grateful to have this opportunity and exposure.”
You famously wrote your first song in school. How did this come about?
“I was in school one day and was playing around with some lines I had for a song about Mick. When I completed it, I took it to Paul Gurney. We listened to it and felt it needed a little tweaking. Paul sent it to singer/songwriter and Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan. We worked on it and my debut song was ready for release. It was a great success and I have continued to record ever since.
“I had a very successful album launch in April 2018 and have released several singles since including the Mud classic Tiger Feet. My latest release S.O.B. It’s been my most successful release to date reaching number one in the iTunes Country music chart on the first day of release.”
Earlier this year you presented a TV show. Do you have any plans for anymore?
“Yes, definitely. I covered six shows for Chrissy Mac on his Country Jukebox show earlier this year and as a result I will be presenting my own show at the end of the year which I am very excited about.”
What does the future hold for you?
“I have a very full diary consisting of social dances, concerts and my solo shows. I also plan to go back to the studio to record along with the TV show. We are in the process of arranging a return visit to England after my very successful trip to Manchester. I received such a warm welcome when I was there and look forward to my return visit.”