George Murphy announces tour dates for 2022, and it includes Cork

Following up the success of his 2019 tour George Murphy and his band The Rising Sons have announced a 2022 tour
George Murphy announces tour dates for 2022, and it includes Cork

George Murphy & The Rising Sons: Tour gets underway early in 2022.

Dublin ballad singer George Murphy sprung to national attention as a teenager in 2003 when he appeared on RTÉ’s ‘You’re A Star’ singing competition — Phil Coulter described George as “the most exciting vocal find in Ireland” — with his astounding version of ‘Raglan Road’.

And nearly 20 years on he’s followed his own road in the music world, having released several solo albums and touring worldwide under his own name. He also joined The High Kings as a replacement for Martin Furey in 2015, replacing someone with such an Irish Folk Music heritage showing how admired he had become as an interpreter of Irish ballad music.

Along the way he has also developed his own songwriting abilities which had fed into the latest chapter of his career, his band The Rising Sons.

George was left with a certain musical itch while touring with The High Kings, from which his new band developed.

“I certainly learned a lot touring with The High Kings and I definitely realised that I don’t need to carry all the weight in terms of vocals. The problem for me was the fact that it was more of a show than a gig. I sang the same four songs every night, in the same order and it just lacked the rawness and creativity for me which is why I decided to start a session in a local pub back in Dublin.

“I put the word around that if anyone wanted to join me once a week to sing a song or play an instrument that all were welcome. It began like any typical session of guitars, whistles, banjos and fiddles but when lads arrived with bass and electric guitars I was admittedly a bit skeptical, mainly because that’s not really Irish Folk music and I worried it would upset our sound.

George Murphy & The Rising Sons: “I would describe our sound as Irish Folk music meets Rock’n’roll."
George Murphy & The Rising Sons: “I would describe our sound as Irish Folk music meets Rock’n’roll."

“However I was blown away by the racket we made collectively and knew I was part of creating something special. I never would have thought that the session could become what it has become but it has and I’m loving it. There is a real camaraderie with us.”

Part of the appeal to the band for George is the harmony. “First and foremost, we are neighbours, friends and family and the enjoyment I have had with these people makes it the most musically rewarding thing I have done in my career to date. The line-up consists of people from all walks of life, all ages and all different musical backgrounds. Our session still runs once a week — when we’re allowed — and there are about 15 people involved including my father, who has been a professional singer for over 50 years. There’s lots of other singers/guitarists but every member has a day job or had a day job. Our bass player is a retired school teacher. There are two other teachers, an electrician, a carpenter, a painter/decorator etc.

“I zoned in on the key elements of our sound and took the show on the road. I was told by management that I was mad! It wasn’t feasible, there’s too many. They laughed when I said that the eight-piece was only half the band!”

I would describe our sound as Irish Folk music meets Rock’n’roll

The sound of the band is a bit different to the acoustic ballad singer people might be used to, but George is adamant it is a successful blend, he continued.

“I would describe our sound as Irish Folk music meets Rock’n’roll. It’s a sound that we found kind of accidentally.”

George also puts his musical development down to The Rising Sons. “My writing style has definitely changed but it’s not just my songwriting, it’s also the playing and collaborating in general. We are a huge band. There’s so much going on that I set it up like a football team in a 3-4-1 formation. My back line of defenders is percussion, bass and electric. My midfield is all melody players, some of whom can double and triple up on several instruments. Whistles, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, harmonicas, guitars, and then I guess I’m the striker up front!

“What I love about us as a group though is that — like a football team — we can chop and change and substitute. All the lads can take a turn up front. They can all sing, they can all write and I enjoy sharing the songs around and showing off as much of the lads talents as I can and they certainly help me to show mine off. The difficult thing for us at times is learning not to overplay. Not every song requires all that instrumentation. Some songs require very little so finding a balance between a full on eight-piece sound and a stripped back one instrument sound is all about the dynamic of a great show. In all honesty we are still learning.”

George is chomping at the bit to get The Rising Sons back out gigging.

“Our very first tour as a band had only just ended when all this madness took hold of the world, we were looking forward to what the future had in store but we didn’t know what was around the corner. The 2022 tour will be about taking all our newly written songs, as well as all the arrangements we’ve come up with of classics, and finally getting it to a live audience. We are still only on the tip of that iceberg and if we can get this virus to feck off I look forward to seeing what can be achieved… Self praise is no praise but we put on a hell of a show!”

George Murphy And The Rising Sons will be playing Sea Church in Ballycotton on March 18, 2022, as part of his 11 date Irish tour. Tickets available at www.seachurch.ie

Tour dates

  • February 19 - Civic Theatre, Tallaght (full band)
  • March 12 - Mick Lally Theatre, Galway (intimate show)
  • March 18 - Sea Church, Ballycotton (full band)
  • April 1 - Axis, Ballymun (full band)
  • April 2 - Dolan’s Upstairs, Limerick (intimate show)
  • April 16 - Glór, Ennis (full band)
  • April 22 - Tullamore Court Hotel (full band)
  • April 23 – The Imperial, Cavan (full band)
  • April 29 - Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy (intimate show)
  • April 30 - Royal Theatre, Castlebar (intimate show)
  • May 14 - Liberty Hall, Dublin (full band)

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