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Damien Dempsey has been lauded as a modern day seanachaí, delivering his starkly beautiful songs based on real life experience. In 1997, on the release of his track 'Dublin Town', Damien was praised for his gritty realism and an ability to use social commentary to express both the negative and positive aspects of Ireland's development at that time. From there he has, to date, released seven studio albums which consistently deliver his matter-of-fact style.
Partly in response to the Ireland he found himself often restrained by, Damien travelled to New York for the first time on the invitation of Chris Byrne. Having heard him play in Dublin, Chris asked him to his midtown Manhattan bar as a guest and performer. Inspired by his surroundings, much like at home, Damien added to the story of the Irish artist in New York, writing 'Apple Of My Eye' from a cramped Brooklyn apartment, and acknowledging the subsequent creative influence the city had on his writing and music.
Chris Byrne is a former member of Black 47, the Celtic hip hop/rock collective active in New York for 25 years, and recognised as the premier Irish-American rock group who created an environment where bands such as Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly have been able to flourish. Byrne left his career as a New York police officer to join the band, and having signed with the label of The Pogues manager Frank Murray they subsequently signed with EMI, releasing 5 albums along the way, and playing up to 150 live shows a year. Since leaving Black 47, Chris performs with Seanachaí and the Unity Squad, and continues to regularly perform a combination of modern and traditional Irish music in Brooklyn.
I.NY brings together Damien Dempsey and Chris Byrne, who will appear in conversation and performance at Dolans Warehouse, Sunday October 15 at 9pm.