Rocky Road To Dublin
From a ten-day tour of the former Soviet Union to eighteen shows at Dollywood’s Valley Theater in the heart of Tennessee, the General Guinness Band has performed the songs and music of Ireland for over 28 years. Hundreds of concert programs and festivals, countless traditional music sessions, a number of television and radio programs, and even a guest appearance with the Chieftans have allowed the band to share their music far and wide.
Rocky Road To Dublin, the fourth recording by General Guinness, features songs collected by lead vocalist James O’Shea. James, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, grew up in a family who sang as they worked, played, or walked the road from home into town. Over the years, James has collected an abundance of songs and has a song to compliment any topic. Poetic, witty, and inspired, the songs of Ireland have persisted through generations, and James sings them today with the same passion and joy as the day they were conceived.
During the preparations for this CD, the band learned that fiddler Charlene Adzima would soon leave the group. The decision was made to go ahead and record with Charlene, who has since moved to Reno, Nevada. At the same time, the band prepared for Charlene’s departure by bringing in a new fiddler, Carol Metheny. After working with both Charlene and Carol, the band found that they enjoyed having two fiddle players! So in addition to Carol, old friend Sheree Green was invited to join the band’s permanent lineup. All three fiddlers actually contributed to the CD.
Providing backing vocals and adding to the instrumental music are the band’s stalwarts: Larry Dulin (Irish flute and tin whistles); Steve Steele (guitar and Irish bouzouki); and Tom Davis (bodhran and percussion).
The Irish have a colorful oral history of stories handed down from generation to generation, and General Guinness takes great pride and pleasure in the retelling and embellishing of these stories of old.