|Frances Black, Donie Carroll and Shay Black (Photo: Frank Rudiger)|
While the talent and entertainment options abounded around the Norwegian Epic all week, some soirees really will stay in my mind’s eye as emblematic of what a friendly gathering it was.
Once again Gabriel Donahue played a crucial role in helping Donie Carroll navigate the seaboard launch of his newly pressed CD Divil of a Noise that arrived just in time to make the ship’s departure from Miami. Since he worked closely with Donie on this album from his state of the art studio in Center City Philadelphia and also Donie’s maiden effort a few years ago, Gabe was well clued in on how to let it play out on ship and steered a steady course.
While the Clare chanteuse Maura O’Connell played the premier late-night gig a deck below in the Manhattan Dining Room with Bill Shanley (Cork), Donie held an audience enraptured in Cagney’s Pub for a couple of hours singing most of the 11 songs on the new CD plus many other songs that are in his repertoire.
To say that much of this colorful and at times classic material has been left unsung for decades does them an injustice, but to see them given voice in a homespun and genuine manner by the Cork native who captivated those assembled was a treat.
The album sold very well aboard the EPIC, so that tells you a great deal of the kind of impression Carroll made all week while he also enjoyed a relaxing time with his son Donnacha and grandchildren.
The new CD has sentimentality and history going for it, and a wonderful cast of musicians who welcome the opportunity to work and play with Donie, one of the more popular musicians in New York City from his own pub work over the years as well as the more recent escapades with the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra and the resurrected Murphy Pub sessions in Sunnyside, his home base.
Coming up this Friday night is the first New York launch for Divil of a Noise at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City beginning with a cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m. and a concert to follow with finish that would be unpredictable even on the night.
Donie has a load of musical friends coming along to celebrate his latest achievement, including some who were on the CD like Donahue, Marian Makins, Caitlin Warbelow, Martin Daly, Johnny Jackpot, Dan Neely and “Tuba” Joe Exley and perhaps a few more surprise guests.
Contact the New York Irish Center at www.nyirish.org or 718-482-0909.