Let’s start with breaking news. Your new country-influenced single, “On the Eighth Day” is a bit of a departure for you. What was your inspiration?

This is a song I started writing back in the mid 1990s while I was writing in Nashville. Believe it or not this is not a departure for me. I have always been a huge fan of country music. I have been going to Nashville for over 20 years either as an artist and a writer.

It can take 30 minutes to write a song or 20 years. I always thought it was a great idea for a song. Special thanks to the two other writers I collaborated with, Jimmy Kelly and John Alexander.

Are you planning to spend some time in Nashville?

Yes I am. Nashville is an electric town. I can't get enough of it!

You scored a triumph last year, with a sold-out show at with Phil Coulter at Carnegie Hall. Any plans to do more shows with him?

Yes, it was an incredible year and the night at Carnegie will stay with me forever. Phil and I have a friendship going back over 20 years. It all started back in the early 1990s when I was playing with Paddy Noonan at a fundraiser and I performed Phil’s "Town I Loved So Well" and Phil happened to be in the audience. He gave me a great compliment and later that year we collaborated in the recording studio.

I am delighted and honored to tell you that Phil and I will tour again together in March 2016, taking in dates at NYCB Theater at Westbury in Long Island on March 13, the Berklee Academy of Music on March 12 and the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center in the Philadelphia area on March 19. There will be many other dates as well.

Aside from your normal performance schedule with the Andy Cooney Band, you are also part of the New York Tenors. How do you find the time?

I love working with different entertainers from all different backgrounds. I really have to step up my game when I sing with the New York Tenors. I love to challenge myself, and when you sing with world class tenors like Daniel Rodriguez and Christopher Macchio you can't hide. You really have to bring it. Please save the date of December 10, 2015. We will be at Carnegie Hall with The Magic of Christmas.

What are your cruises like?

I like to sum it up like this: "Instead of it being like one long week it's like one long night that never ends!"

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you on one of your cruises?

I have to say it was over 20 years ago with Paddy Noonan. We just did our performance and a lovely elderly lady walked up the steps to the stage to give me flowers and she lost her balance and went to grab my keyboard. The keyboard flipped off the stand and bounced about eight steps down. The poor thing. She had all good intentions.

Believe it or not the keyboard survived and we were able to get through the cruise.

What would your fans be surprised to know about you?

I'm color blind!

Irish tenor Andy Cooney.Google Images