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12
Sep

accordo.net INTERVIEW

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accordo.net INTERVIEW

Hey guys so the good people of ACCORDO>NET in Italy asked me to do an interview for them, you can go on their page and have a read but its all in Italian... here is the interview in ENGLISH. I also done a small video for them that you can see on their site...

 

 

 

ENJOY

 

J

 

- In your bio you mention Don Henley, Glen Campbell, Tom Waits, Neil Young & Van Morrison as your main influences. How did you get in touch with the music of these classic masters?

 

Growing up in Ireland one is constantly surrounded by music.  It is deep in our heritage, its in our genetics. Every type of music is everywhere in Ireland.  My Dad was a guitar player and played the music scene up until he had a family.  I’d give all the credit to

my parents and their tastes.  What can I say? They had good taste in music.  If Dad wasn’t playing the guitar, the record player was on in the corner playing a classic.  Like right now as I type I’m listening to an old Glen Campbell record.  The old stuff is hard to beat.  Sadly, I feel a lot of the newer material these days just doesn’t do it for me.

 

- An Irish character is clearly recognizable in your playing and in your voice, but often mixed with a significant dose of American feel. Tell us something about your evolution as a musician: as a kid did you begin with Celtic music than added the American flavor or vice versa?

 

As I was saying previously we are surrounded with all forms of music in Ireland, the traditional Irish music is in every Irish musician weather they like it or not.  I grew up from the age of 11 playing in the traditional sessions at home in local pubs, in Ireland they are known as “Trad Sessions.”  I feel that American Music at the time of Don Henley, Glen Campbell, The Band or Joni Michell to name but a few was at its peak.  That era of music was so honest and real.  Its hard as a lover of music not to see, hear or feel this when you listen to it. I was engrossed in all these flavors all the time.  Also a lot of the Americana music was heavily influenced by Irish settlers back in the day.

 

- You posted on You Tube some really great covers. It's clear that you like playing them. Gentle On My Mind is at the same time modern while respectful of the original flavor song and The Sound Of Silence gives the same feeling. How do you approach and arrange the covers to be played onstage? Do you try to be as faithful to the original as possible, or you intentionally add something that's yours?

 

When I do a cover song, I don’t try and copy the song.  Though in saying that I don’t try and make the song sound different either.  I like to loosely know the songs structure and melody.  Then go off and fool around with it a bit on the guitar.  If it feels like a natural song style that I would write myself then I go with it.  If it comes out different it's not because I’m trying to do so.  Its just how my ears hear it.

 

 

 

 

- How did you feel while performing the American National Anthem in Boston? And in front of President Obama?

 

The National Anthem in Boston was a blast.  It was on St. Paddies day infront of 17,000 people… no pressure.  I remember that weekend I had soo many shows in such a small space of time amongst a million and one other press and promo gigs.  Sleep hours were low.  But wow, it was such a buzz when everyone in the stadium started singing along at the end.

 The White House was crazy.  Never in a million years did I think I would end up there.  Its funny where life leads you.  We met Obama and his whole family and got to hang in the White House and have a few beers.  The whole time I was there I kept saying to the guys… "What are we doing here and laughing to myself?"

 

- It's clear that the tragic and unexpected loss of George Donaldson has been an extreme pain for you all. But it is also an enormous artistic loss. Do you think that Celtic Thunder can survive this loss?

 

Celtic thunder undoubtedly will never fill Georges shoes.  He was such a character both on and off the stage.  I miss him loads when on the road.  Celtic Thunder have to keep on rolling though.  As the saying goes the show must go on.  A song on my new album "On Mercy Street"  is all about that.  It's titled "KEEP ON ROLLING."

 

- Let's talk guitars. You are mainly an acoustic guitar player, both flatpicker and fingerpicker, on 6 and 12 strings instruments. You association with McPherson guitars looks really solid and genuine. How and when did he get in touch with Matt McPherson?

 

Matt conatacted me way back at the start when I 1st started touring the states.  I remember getting a guitar sent to my hotel room in Chicago on a promo trip and been completely taken back by it's beauty.  I collect guitars.  I adore guitars.  But I’ve yet to find anything as reliable and that sounds as solid as a McPherson guitar.  They are all so different. Just a classy piece of gear.  Anyone who plays one will know exactly what I mean.

 

- What do you look for in an acoustic guitar? You can afford any guitar you like, what are the quality of the McPherson guitars that keep you faithful to the brand?

 

The reasons why I am faithful to McPherson is that not only are the guitars genuinely the best there are but also the company believe in me and have backed every idea I have given them since the start.  Either it be a competition I wanna run or play a show at their factory they have always been cool.  Loyalty is sadly hard to find these days in the music buisness.

 

- Tell us something about your guitar setup. Action, strings, tunings, amplification, etcetera.

 

Im a sucker for old stuff.. I like different amps for different axes.  I have a few old Vox’s and a few old Fender amps.  They are my go-to.  My favorite electric is my gibson 1975 ES125.  Love that little thing.

On acoustics I like to use 13 gauge.  I am constantly changing tuning on every song.  Some of my favorites are DADGAD, GADF#AD.

 

- Do you use different models, maybe with different woods for different tones and volume, or you stick with one model that suits best your requirements?

 

On acoustic I like to stick to red Spruce.  With smaller parlor sized guitars I like the sound of mahogany.  I don’t know why, but it just seems to suit smaller guitars more.  Every guitar is completely different.  There is no perfect science to it.  If there was then there would be no competition amongst guitar builders.  Normally I listen to the builders in McPherson.

 

- Do you take care of your guitar yourself or you rely on  guitar techs?

 

I like to do what I can to my guitars.  I set up all my own gear and I’m very hands on when I am at home.  When I am on the road I have the tech do it all.  Its too busy when you are one the road, sadly just don’t have the time.

 

- Last but not least, tell us something about your upcoming album.

 

On Mercy Street, a twelve track collection of original compositions. The album’s 1st single “On Mercy Street,” is a modern day musicians plea to the music industry. It is also the title track and album name.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family that drowned me in great music since I was born. Glen Campbell, Neil Young or Tom Waits have always been part of my daily diet. They say you are what you eat so here’s hoping. On Mercy Street is the piece of work I am most proud of in my life to date.

 

The tracks on the album bring you on a lyrical journey of the hardships and the love in my life. Although I'm just 29, I've an old soul and I’ve traveled the world, this comes across in my songs. “Take Me Down” is one’s pursuit for happiness in life and “My Love Goes On” is a heart yearning ballad which brings out every ounce of oxygen in my lungs and love in my heart when I sings it. There is no greater feeling. The Band is a London group of musicians called The Lindas.  My bassist is from Rome himself.. So there is plenty of Italian influence in there. ;)

 

 

We recorded the album, completely live in the studio.  No click all in one room.  Just the way it was done years ago.  It comes across in the record it feels so real & is real.

Have a look at my online travel store www.harkinheadquarters.com and my site www.keithharkin.com for the release of the Album and all my other excursions in life.

 

 

 

That's all. Thank you for your time. I hope that this interview will bring many Italian musicians to appreciate your music.

 

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Comments

  • Guest
    Suanna Crew Saturday, 12 September 2015

    Great interview, Keith. I enjoyed it so much. A lot of this I already knew about you from following for so long. But a good bit was new, and I learned a lot from you. Keep up the good work, stay safe, and take care of yourself. Thanks for the interview.

  • Guest
    chris mahoney hagen Sunday, 13 September 2015

    yes thank u Keith for the awesome interview, I have listened to many of your interviews but this told us a lot about u we really never knew, it was educating and made us love u even more than we already did, very interesting cant wait for OnMercy Street

  • Guest
    Pam Kelley Saturday, 12 September 2015

    I am fortunate to have followed Keith's music from Celtic Thunder through his solo shows. He is such a versatile singer, guitarist with a voice that impels me to listen to him almost daily via CD, DVD or live performance: honest, compelling lyrics and melodies and that unique Keith Harkin voice I want to be listening to always: specual talent.

  • Guest
    Angela Terwilliger Saturday, 12 September 2015

    Welcome Home, Keith!
    I'm not surprised...back to work so quickly!
    This was an awesome interview! The article answered so many 'wonders' about you! Your upbringing & Musical Irish roots, have shaped you into the musician we see today! Your life experiences have precisely honed your album into the embodiment of your soul... Of course "WE" knew you were an old soul...
    I Absolutely loved the snippet of "Take Me Down" which simply whets our appetite for #OnMercyStreet Album & Tour!!
    Sufficeth to say, "You are what you eat!" is an interesting metaphor in this instance! I'm looking forward to all that you have to offer...beginning with... #OnMercyStreet
    --Angela Terwilliger--

  • Guest
    Rachel Dershem Saturday, 12 September 2015

    :)Awesome interview Keith Harkin, I just love how you keep your fans involved and up-to-date with everything you do. Thank you so much we all really appreciate all you do for us. Just cannot wait for your new album to come out. "On Mercy Street" is going to be so wonderful. I hope it comes out soon, just cannot wait. The waiting is almost unbearable. Lol. Keep up all the great work you do and please keep us all up-dated to what you are doing. I have so much respect for you and your work, you have a great work ethic and attitude. Keep 'er lit. May God bless you and keep you safe and strong, always.
    ;)

  • Guest
    allene quina Saturday, 12 September 2015

    Thanks for translating the interview. It is interesting the different questions that are asked in different places.

  • Guest
    Treena Leman Saka Saturday, 12 September 2015

    Great job on the interview Keith! Thanks for putting the english translation here for us. Take me down is one of your new songs I'm loving more and more each time I hear it! Looking forward to getting On Mercy Street in October. Hope it will be available on iTunes. Not sure if you or Kelsey read these comments, but since I live just under two hours from Houston, I'm hoping the tour will come to Houston. Thanks for all you do for us! Also looking forward to next years CT tour.

  • Guest
    Sherry Wright Sunday, 13 September 2015

    I enjoyed the interview, and what I liked particularly is the depth of what , at first, appear to be superficial questions. Keith can easily give the impression of blowing questions and people off, and there was a genuineness in his answers here that shows a true depth to Keith's thoughts and feelings about his music. I'm not a particular fan of Keith ' first album, but both he and his music have matured greatly since it's release, and I'm looking forward to the release of ON MERCY STREET. I'm convinced that Keith's continued presence in Celtic Thunder is keeping his style flexible and reminding him what it means to take creative direction from someone else. Great interview, Keith!!

  • Guest
    Vicki McDonald Sunday, 13 September 2015

    This was a wonderful interview. The questions were asked very well thought out. The way you answered them, many in depth, showed a soul far older than 29! You showed a relaxed level of maturity. You didn't seem to be rushed, more like comfortable. Thank you for sharing another part of your busy life.

  • Guest
    Karen Caprio Flynn Sunday, 13 September 2015

    As always, thanks for your hard work and dedication. Seems I always learn something new about your interests. Loved reading about the guitars. Good luck with the new album and upcoming tour. Your Jersey fan...Karen Caprio Flynn

  • Guest
    Anne McKee Sunday, 13 September 2015

    Hi Keith,

    Thank you for sharing the interview. Exciting to think that very soon new and old fans alike will be on another musical journey with the release of "On Mercy Street," CD and tour! Wishing you enormous success, safe travels and a world of thanks for continuing to give us music that impacts one's heart and soul!!

  • Guest
    Linda Sunday, 13 September 2015

    you continue to enlighten and impress me ...even your thought process carries a life melody. Amazing!

  • Guest
    Norma McBrayer Sunday, 13 September 2015

    Awesome to see some new and unique questions and answers! Good interview! Looking forward to the release of 'On Mercy Street'. Fair winds and following seas Keith.

  • Guest
    Donna Stockwell Monday, 14 September 2015

    You always give us your true self in your music and your interviews are so very much of who you truly are deep within and it is beautiful.... Thank you for who you are.... Yourself.....:)

  • Guest
    jackie duckworth Tuesday, 15 September 2015

    I love this song.. I love this video.... I bet you have really tough fingertips by now.. haha - makes mine hurt just watching you... I also noticed that right after that guy walked by behind you with your surfboard.....you cut the song short. I'm sure you chased him down & got it back.. keep on rollin

  • Guest
    Theresa Saturday, 19 September 2015

    Keith,
    Thank you for sharing your interview, while you were performing in Italy. You're such a unique, wonderful, kind, thoughtful, gracious, humble, brilliant, talented human being who has chosen to share your talent, as a musician to the world. Thank you for making this world a better place in which to live. I see on your left hand, fourth finger, your promise to Kelsey, congratulations to the both of you. Now your life has more meaning with forever love. I am reading & sadly not finding your name on Celtic Thunder's 2016 Tour information. Hopefully it's because you need a rest & a little time to enjoy your new life's wonders in marriage. I learned about you, from my husband who was dying of brain & lung cancer @ the age of 59. He was watching you on PBS channel one night. The next morning, he told me about Celtic Thunder & you, especially you & how talented you were. He asked me to buy the CD & bring it home to him. I did & he listened to "The Show" until the afternoon, he died. Thank you for bringing comfort to him. It's my most cherished CD. Please continue to share your talent after you've rested. May God bless the both of you & share your love with each other forever. Nothing else matters in this lifetime. Sincerely, Theresa

  • Guest
    Mary shirley Monday, 21 September 2015

    Hi just would like to know if you are still singing with Celtic Thunder. I noticed in the newsletter this month that you were not listed with the other singers. I hope you have not left them as some of the others.

  • Guest
    Dawn Goldsby Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Keith, I have a name for your band if you like it, I put it on your fb page also.
    SOULFULL It reminds me of your music, lyrics and how they affect my soul - your music fills my soul with much happiness. I just purchased 2 vip tickets to see you at Birdys in Indianapolis, In on Nov.17th. I'm so excited! See you soon - stay inspired and safe travels!

  • Guest
    Jim Spiers Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Keith!! Late congrats to you and Kelsey! Enjoyed Damian and Neal in Kansas City. Too much BBQ and beer... Was gonna head for Oklahoma and spend my birthday at CT concert but didn't see you listed so gonna wait. Thanks for being a voice of hope in today's music.

  • Guest
    Jim Spiers Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Keith!! Late congrats to you and Kelsey! Enjoyed Damian and Neal in Kansas City. Too much BBQ and beer... Was gonna head for Oklahoma and spend my birthday at CT concert but didn't see you listed so gonna wait. Thanks for being a voice of hope in today's music.

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