J.J. Thompson, 36, has made a name from himself in Ireland. A construction worker by trade, Thompson, makes a nice side living playing music.
He recently told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he never pursued his music full time because "I want the favorite thing in my life to remain that way. I don't want to muddy the waters with cash."
Always wanting to follow his dream, Thompson sent a recording of his music to the Carnival Cruise Lines 15 years ago. This act landed him and his reggae-playing band a 10 month gig hoping around the Caribbean as Captain Steuben and the Key Lime Guys,"
He may not have made much of a name for himself in the U.S. but if you ask anyone in Ireland who J.J. Thompson is they know.
He was recently surrounded by fans when he attended a Pink concert in Dublin a few weeks ago. In Ireland he is a celebrity.
"Maybe nobody knows him in Pittsburgh, but he's huge over here," said Brian O'Donohoe, the commercial director for Imagine in Dublin.
"We tortured the poor man for a whole day in a TV studio and he came up with the goods."
After making friends with some Irish students in 1998 he was invited to Dublin that winter where he fell in love with the country and it's music.
It was during this trip to Ireland that Thompson came into contact with musician Ciaran Doyle and together the pair made music. They started off playing gigs in pubs in Ireland only getting paid with free drink and a few laughs.
After years of gigging together, Thompson got called to meet with the CEO of Imagine in Ireland and they liked him immediately.
After stepping off a plane from the US Thompson got straight into recording.
The people of Ireland loved his work and sales of his recording shot through the roof. Over night the builder from Pittsburgh became famous in Ireland.
Thompson said: "It's amazing how you make a left instead of a right and your world can change."
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned