Billionaire Jim makes Roots Festival line-up in Kilkenny

Billionaire Jim makes Roots Festival line-up in Kilkenny

A US billionaire who doesn't give interviews, controls a huge media empire and owns Madison Square Gardens, New York is coming to play at the Kilkenny Roots Festival during the May bank holiday weekend, writes Sean Keane.

However, James Dolan is paying all his own costs to play at the best little festival in Ireland, having previously toured and provided back up for The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen.

Jim Dolan is the lead singer of JD & The Straight Shot which have also toured alongside The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, and Robert Randolph.

Their song "Can't Make Tears" is the theme song for Cablevision-owned AMC's TV show Hell on Wheels.

Jim Dolan is also the CEO of Cablevision and the band's music has also been featured in films as well, including Hurricane Season.

The band is scheduled to open for Jewel on her 2016 Picking Up the Pieces North American Tour.

Jim Dolan also serves as CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation and Executive Chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company.

They have two gigs at the Roots Festival as part of Smithwick's Music Trail.

On Saturday, April 30, they play Rafter Dempsey's on Friary Street at 10pm.

On Sunday, May 1 they will be on stage in Kyteler's Inn, Kieran Street at 11pm.

JD & The Straight Shot also includes guitarist Marc Copely who has played with Rosanne Cash, The McCrary Sisters and Billy Squier.

Band guitarist is Aidan Dolan while Kentucky-born bassist Byron House has played with Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris. Violinist Erin Slaver has performed with Rod Stewart, Trace Adkins and Martina McBride.

Hayes Caroll is one of the big names at this year's festival. Richmond Fontaine will release their first album since 2012 in April and will be visiting Kilkenny for two shows.

The band is lead by Willy Vlautin. He has published a fourth novel, ‘The Free’.

Another coup for the festival is the signing of Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones for a show at The Watergate Theatre on Sunday, May 1.

Other acts confirmed include The Delta Saints, Lewis & Leigh, Ryley Walker, Barna Howard, The Weather Station, Fernando Viciconte and David Corley.

The festival includes over 80 free gigs to the Smithwick’s Music Trail.