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In the Spotlight

Father and son team Steve and Dan Bloor make up Steve Bloor Media, one of the most sought after video producers in Irish country music. Steve tells us about the numerous shows they make for Spotlight TV.

Londoner Steve Bloor moved to Ireland from Golders Green and set up home in his wife Kate’s native county of Roscommon.

The family settled quickly, Steve got a job in Longford town working for long established family butcher’s shop, Herterichs, as a delivery driver.

Since then this quietly spoken cameraman has worked with some of the biggest names in Irish Country music and won several industry awards including Video Producer of the Year and Best Music Video for his company, Steve Bloor Media.

The Irish World spoke to Steve about how he went from butcher’s delivery driver to award winning music video producer.

When you moved to Ireland did you have plans to work in the music industry?

No, I had no real knowledge about country music. When we relocated to Ireland, I began working for Herterich’s as a delivery driver.

To my surprise when I was out on my deliveries, I was starting to look forward to the country music show on the local radio station Shannonside each afternoon at 2pm, quickly becoming a fan of the likes of Jimmy Buckley and Robert Mizzell.

I eventually opened my own graphic design business in Longford town called Longford Signs which, thankfully, was remarkably successful.

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I’d always had an interest in videos, more of a hobby. I was browsing on eBay and saw a TV camera for sale, so I decided to take the plunge and I bought it.

I asked Joe Finnegan if he knew of anyone wanting anything filmed.

The following day Joe came back to me to see if I would shoot a video for Patrick Feeney.

I jumped at the chance, we headed up to Loch Rynn Castle for the shoot, and that was my first job.

I was hooked. Work from the music industry started to pour in, I eventually closed the shop in Longford.

Videography is only a part of what you do. How did you become involved in distribution and duplication?

I’d released a song for an artist and I got emails and messages from a lot of people who didn’t receive the song. As I was spending an increased amount of time sending the track out to DJs so I thought I may as well do it myself.

Similarly, when it came to duplication I was let down when I released a song for another artist. The song came back to us much later than promised and too late for the original release date, so again, I thought I might as well do the job myself. I invested in the equipment and we now release singles internationally for country music artists.

Steve Bloor Media has now become a family business with your son Daniel joining you. Was that always the plan?

Dan, like me, has always had a passion for making videos and when he was younger, he would often accompany me around the country shooting videos for various stars. I suppose it was inevitable that he would follow in my footsteps. He began shooting his own videos from the age of fourteen and hasn’t looked back since. It was a proud moment in 2018 when he won Young Video Producer of the Year at the Hot Country Awards – he was only fifteen years old.

These days Dan shoots almost all our videos while I edit them.

Over the years you have had an eye for spotting some great young talent and have successfully managed several of them.

I have managed several young artists including The Wee Amigos, Ben Troy and Keelan Arbuckle although I am not managing anyone now, though I do work as publicist for the hugely talented Owen Mac.

You seem to be busier than ever these days producing several TV shows…

I have been extremely lucky to work with and alongside some of the best in the business over the years including Hugh O’Brien from Hot Country and, of course, Phil McLaughlin. I originally started working with Phil on Keep it Country TV which is now Spotlight TV.

I have my own show, Steve’s Country Showdown on Spotlight TV, featuring Nashville based singer/songwriter Max T Barnes with his Max T’s American Country section and Grammy nominated Ed Holland from Hurricane Highway with his slot called Hurricane Highway Country.

The show has proven to be extremely successful which I am delighted about.

We are hoping to have Louise Morrissey’s Country Show back on air later in the year following the success of her previous series.

I also produce Country Show Time with Sabrina. Sabrina Fallon who is an immensely creative and talented person and singer and it’s great to see it is popular and similarly so for Paul Kelly’s show Kelly talks Country.

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