Monday, 27 February 2017 10:30

Blackbird and Crow

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Blackbird and Crow comprises Maighread Grace and Stephen Doohan.

Maighread was exposed to a lot of American Country music in her childhood with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride and Kenny Rogers being amongst her favourite artists during that time. Maighread also recalls her first attempt at writing music at the age of about 13. At this time Maighread was discovering Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Aretha Franklin and other artists that really inspired her. Throughout her teens Maighread found herself listening to music that was rooted in blues, rock and soul, developing a love for authentic art.

In more recent years Maighread has worked with blues band, The Beekeepers who are also based in Donegal. It was during this time that Maighread really honed her craft as a frontperson. The Beekeepers are a five piece blues band playing a mix of blues, rock, funk and soul whose influences are as diverse as Stevie Ray Vaughan to Big Moma Thornton, Muddy Waters and John Mayall, The band is widely recognised as one of the best blues outfits across the North West.

Stephen listened to American country and Irish folk in his early childhood. Artists such as Johnny cash, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson. Luke Kelly, the Dubliners, Jim McCann, Paul Brady, The Furys all featured in his early childhood. In his teens Stephen was heavily influenced by the Brit pop scene and bands such as Oasis and the Stone Roses. It was in his late teens that Stephen discovered Rory Gallagher, his biggest influence, both as a musician and as a person. Listening to Rory and Hendrix, he of course began exploring the blues, discovering artists such as B.B king, Albert king, Freddie King, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. And then from there he naturally started listening to jazz, especially artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.

Stephen was 15 when he first picked up the guitar and he has been a most dedicated and hard working musician ever since, working with various bands and writing original material. In more recent years Stephen studied Music with North Western Regional College and has worked with some of Northern Ireland's most well established bands such as Portabello and The Soul Seekers

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