Why come back to America now?
The first thing that struck me is that I missed America. I missed the friends I had around the country. People in America would write and ask if I was ever coming back to America. It felt time to return.
I’m too busy being me to analyze why I do things beyond what I’ve just said – I am just busy being me. For the first time in years, I find myself singing songs in my sets that I associate with my time in Greenwich Village, where I got my start in the States. That’s a sign for me to return.
Tell us about your new record.
It’s a record I never intended to be a record. I’m very slow to start writing again. I need to put down my roots and give myself space and time to do that.
I wanted to immerse myself in raw, beautiful music in the west of Ireland. I just wanted to sing other people’s great songs, just to get myself back into creating again.
“My Wild Irish Rose” – Keith Jarret has played it. I was aware of it but really stumbled on it. I used to sing “Danny Boy” in the seventies.
I am very selective about the Bob Dylan songs that I do. “Every Grain of Sand” that can very easily run away from you.
You mentioned you moved to Clare. Why move at this time of your life?
It’s primarily about music. Clare has been a spiritual home for about 40 years. You run the risk of killing the romance by moving somewhere as opposed to admiring it from a distance, yet I wanted to live here for many years.
It happened very quickly. There aren’t too many places where there’s a normalcy with being a musician. If you live in an urban place, it’s still a bit unusual to be a musician.
There are so many people playing here, you are just one in a community. You can feel like being in the fringes of society in the urban areas, which is not always a bad thing.
I also like the ruggedness of Clare. The light here is incredible. Life is very different. It’s quiet. The days are longer. I still feel very much connected to the land here. It’s very raw.
Any inspiration for new songs coming from the coast of Clare?
I deliberately stopped writing songs. I find it important to get into other areas of life. It’s important to grow and change.
My idea of hell is to write two albums back-to-back that sound the same. So, I have no idea what’s next.
I am a little bit older. I’m in a new part of the world. I don’t know what I want to say, I don’t know if there is anything to say. Stay tuned!