Includes covers of Ramones, Elvis, The Jam, T. REX, Bradford, Lynn Anderson, New York Dolls, The Pretenders, Patti Smith Group, James and Lou Reed
A short film made by my niece Ava Christina for her college project.
In the film, we discuss getting my first guitar, meeting Morrissey’s guitarist Boz Boorer and releasing my new single “Earh Monkey’.
I had a lot of fun making this, thanks Ava.
#Morrissey #Bozboorer #irishmusic
‘Black Irish Dogs’ is a song by Irish singer-songwriter Bead.
Partly inspired by Philomena Lynott’s book, who’s one year anniversary was this month, the song is now available on YouTube in addition to usual platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby and Amazon).
The song was produced by Boz Boorer who is best known for his songwriting and guitar work with Morrissey (see Vauxhall & I, You Are The Quarry, World Peace Is None Of Your Business) and features a full band sound of vocals, drums, bass, guitars and fiddle.
“The initial concept for this song came one morning waking up in London to the sound of sirens and helicopters overhead. It was August 2011 and it was the start of the London Riots where businesses were burned to the ground.”
“I had wanted to write a song with an Irish theme for a while. Ireland seems to be a revolving door to England, America and Australia since the recession of the 1980’s.”
“After the so called Celtic Tiger collapsed in 2008, Ireland lost thousands upon thousands of young people who had no choice but to emigrate to find work. The cycle continues. This song came together quite quickly.
I recorded it on acoustic guitar with Boz adding instruments and guest musicians later.”
“After recording the song and listening to it, I thought it was missing something. As luck would have it, I started reading a book which would inspire a title for the song. This was the missing piece which I also sing at the end. The book in question was ‘My Boy’ the life story of Philomena Lynott, Mother of Thin Lizzy singer, Phil Lynott.”
“Reading the first chapter, I was struck by how Philomena struggled to bring up her child in England. Her life was made all the more difficult by the racism she and Philip endured. In chapter 2, she retells how while walking the streets of Birmingham to find a better home for herself and Philip, she was greeted by window signs depicting the message ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs’.”
Plans are afoot to release a full video soon following the announcement of forthcoming airplay on Irish radio.
Another chance to hear ‘Black Irish Dogs’ by Bead on The Acoustic Yard Radio Show program # 157 broadcast from the town of Westport, Ireland. The track opens up the 1 hour show of singer songwriters from Ireland hosted by David Dee Moore.
Featuring on the acoustic yard radio show tonight from 17:30. Tune in now http://www.bluesandrootsradio.com @theacousticyard #acoustic #singersongwriter
Still standing. $olus street art in Dalkey used with kind permission for the cover of my 2010 album ‘Battle Stations’ Thanks @solus.art #streetart #irishmusic #singersongwriter
Yes, the recording which got off to a bit of a ‘rocky’ start last year is now complete and will be released in the coming weeks. So keep an ear out on my soundcloud and Instagram for updates.
It was an amazing experience and I am over the moon with the results which was achieved over two brief sessions (June and August 2017). I cannot wait for people to hear it.
Between session #1 (1-3 June 2017) and session #2 (24-27 Aug 2017), we finished 8 songs in total. Five of these songs will be released as an EP shortly.
As for the sessions, while I returned to Dublin in June, the producer roped in drummer Dave Ruffy who is best known for having toured and recorded with such artists as Kirsty MacColl, The Waterboys, Sinead O’ Connor and his own band The Ruts. I cannot thank Dave enough for playing on my songs.
Needless to say, the Drums changed everything and was the pivotal turning point in the way the sessions ended up sounding. Initially, my idea was to record an acoustic record as all of the songs were written on an acoustic guitar to begin with but sometimes you just gotta go where the song takes you. I have ended up with an acoustic guitar based sound but with much more than just one guy and a guitar. In short, this sounds like the record I have always wanted to make with Mandolin, Bass, Drums and Keyboards included.
Before we commenced the second session in August, the producer (Boz Boorer) collected me at FARO airport in his silver hatchback and we stopped off at a cafe on the way to the studio. As all good producers will do, he asked me if there was anything else I wanted to do on the recordings and I said I thought it was almost finished apart from a few vocal overdubs but I did get an idea that one of the songs should have a fiddle playing over it. That song started out with working title of ‘folksong’ but became known as ‘Black Irish Dogs’.
As luck would have it, Boz said he knew a local guy who could play fiddle, apparently known as ‘the bearded angel’ for his life saving skills. He sounded ideal and I gave a thumbs up to send out a search party for the infamous fiddle player. By the time I returned from the cash desk, ‘the bearded angel’ had been located and booked in for the next session. Little did we know it at the time but this would be one of many small but significant ideas in achieving the sound produced.
Although the sessions were great fun and an experience I will never forget, they were not without their problems which lead to delays. Without going into details, a number of challenging events took place throughout the sessions which added unexpected pressure to those involved. My thanks to Boz for sticking with it and for putting so much of his craft and energy into these recordings. You can really hear it in the songs.
1. Just Like The Beatles (Dwyer/Murphy)
2. No One Ever Told Me (Dwyer)
3. The Highway (Dwyer)
4. Black Irish Dogs (Dwyer)
5. Country Mountain (Dwyer)
Produced by Boz Boorer
Mixed by Bead
Recorded at Serra Vista, Monchique, Portugal and Dublin.
Mastered by Tim Young @ Metropolis Studios, London
Bead – Voice, Guitars, Keys, Loops
Boz – Guitars, Bass, Keys, Mandolin, Backing vocals, Percussion, Loops
Dave Ruffy – The Drums
Stuart Wilcock – The Fiddle on ‘Country Mountain’ & ‘Black Irish Dogs’
Clare Murphy – Backing vocals on ‘Just Like The Beatles’
1st June 2017 – Day 1 – of recording session with Boz Boorer, Serra Vista Studio, Portugal.
I landed in Faro airport (Algarve) in the afternoon after getting a morning flight from Dublin, for another epic session with Boz Boorer. Got a lift to the mountain (Monchique) by his lovely wife Lyn and drove past some flying storks on the drive up. Man, I have never seen anything like it. The site of a stork flying across your windscreen, was like something out of a Jurassic park movie. These guys are huge. I arrived at the studio late afternoon to find the Boz man in the studio but looking unusually distracted. It turns out he was looking for songs on his back up drives. Im not sure if I was much help but a few minutes later, the songs were located.
Once found, we got started on a couple of my songs. The first song (working title ‘folksong’ [later renamed ‘Black Irish Dogs’]) was easy, being a mainly acoustic affair so I started the session with this.
Boz had a new acoustic guitar, an Alvarez and asked if I would like to play it. I gave it a few strums and agreed I would. The last time I was here was in 2010, recording my ‘Battle Stations’ album and I had used a really old Epiphone acoustic which I was really fond of and looking forward to playing but there was no sign of it about and I did’t feel like asking for fear of putting him to the trouble of looking for it. Boz is a very generous and obliging fellow and I was sure if I asked, he would have gone out of his way to accommodate me.
I was very tired as I started to play (10pm) but was really determined to make a good start on the session as I knew I would only have a couple of days in the studio with Boz. He planned to fly to Rome to work with Morrissey on his new album. Turns out the songs on his back up drives were ones he wrote for the forthcoming Morrissey album “Low In High School’.
The next song we worked on was another acoustic track called ‘Country Mountain’. This one was written in Portugal the last time I was here (September, 2010) influenced by my experience with Boz and my friends. On writing this, I had decided that if I was lucky enough to ever get the chance to work with Boz again, it would be here, in Serra Vista Studio that I would record this song. It turned out amazing with Boz adding a mandolin (strung by me) over the acoustic guitars. Beautiful…
As day one came to a close, from the control room, we listened back for a while and marvelled at the work we had achieved. It wasn’t finished at this point but we could tell this had potential to be something really special.
I started singing along as we listened but not words.. just a weird harmony whoop that came to mind. Boz threw me look. “What the **** was that? Will you remember to sing that in the morning?” he enquired.
I was too tired to do anymore for now so I promised him I would do my best to remember the weird harmony. As I went off to find my bed for the night, I hummed the harmony to myself hoping to ingrain it in my tired brain for recall the next day.