Arts: Family and sons stir up a storm

When Kilkenny born Michael McDonnell weighed anchor in France with a knapsack full of songs, little did he know his own sons would later join him on stage in his native city decades after he left.

When Kilkenny born Michael McDonnell weighed anchor in France with a knapsack full of songs, little did he know his own sons would later join him on stage in his native city decades after he left.

Last week the father and son ensemble performed to a captivated audience in Ryans on Friary Street with their wonderful mix of music, which has strong Irish and French influences. They were joined on stage by local singer songwriter Colm Gray who shared his latest creation Aviary In a Gale.

The McDonnell Trio also performed at the Kingsriver Community in Ennisnag which they received a warm welcome.

In 2009, “Songbook”, their excellent first album, was praised by folk press and national radio.The McDonnell Trio have travelled a long way from singing among friends to playing festivals and cultural venues. Over 30 concerts all around France have brought them to prepare a whole set of new songs in 2012.

Michael McDonnell grew up in Ballyragget and Kilkenny City. He then went on to play folk clubs in London for a few years. In France his professional carreer as a singer and band leader took off with renowned bands Dirty Linen and Taxi Mauve.

Recordings by McDonnell Trio and band members include Songbook (by McDonnell Trio available at www.bemolvpc.com), Sovay Sovay (Dirty Linen), Avakatoo (Dirty Linen), Live (Dirty Linen), Spring in the West (Dirty Linen), Salmon Song (Michael McDonnell), Far Off Fields (Taxi Mauve) and Winter Fling (Dirty Linen).