Damien Dempsey was praised after saving two young men from drowning -- all with the aid of a sheet. 

He explained to the Irish Independent how he and his crew had just pulled up to their concert venue a couple of Sundays ago when they saw two men in the river. 

“One of them was bobbing up and down and trying to come up for air. He was obviously struggling to keep afloat and his friend couldn’t keep him up for long,” Dempsey said. 

“I wasn’t going to go in as people often get pulled down by the person they are saving and get into trouble themselves. I do a lot of sea swimming and have a good few friends who are lifeguards who say the last thing you ever do is dive into the water if you can help it. You need a connection with the land.”

With the aid of a sheet from the tour bus, Dempsey was able to pull the men to safety. Good on ya, Damo!  

In case you didn’t catch it, he did heroic things on his last album, Almighty Love. And he will be returning to the U.S. this month for a series of shows that include the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan on Saturday, July 12. 

It is almost clichéd to say it, but Dempsey is part of a rich bloodline of Irish singers from Luke Kelly to Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore to Andy Irvine. I liken him more like Bob Marley or Bruce Springsteen in the way he paints a picture of his native land and it’s people with such a laser eye to the details. 

My favorite track on the new disc is “Canadian Geese.”  Large migratory birds whose flight path took them past Dempsey's boyhood window become a metaphor for the migration of Ireland’s best and brightest as they flee a broken economy.  On “Moneyman,” he rails against the banking bureaucrats who mortgaged entire nations for decades to come.  

Dempsey’s shows are not just heavy political affairs. They are also full of good old-fashioned Irish sing-alongs, witty onstage banter and above all, passionate singing from one of the greatest singers of our age. 

He will make stops at the Brighton Music Hall in Boston on July 9, Hanafin’s Pub in New London, Connecticut on the 10th, and the Cleveland Irish Festival on the 19th and 20th. Visit www.damiendempsey.com for a full list of dates.