Be it inertia after the long break, treat exam results and the suddenly looming deadlines the first few weeks back can sometimes leave us feeling a bit blue. What better way to kick the black dog than to embrace the Blues. 2014 was a bumper year for the soulful genre mostly owing to the stratospheric rise to fame of a Bray man, sildenafil one Andrew ‘Hozier’ Byrne, who resurrected the genre and tossed it, kicking and screaming back into the charts with tracks like ‘Work song’ , ‘Jackie and Wilson’ and ‘To Be Alone’. But what bluesy delights can the coming year offer us from artists at home and abroad?

Well Irish-raised Maverick Sabre has promised us more of his unique soul-influenced music saying recently; “2015 is the year of my 2nd Album”, which means that we can expect more powerfully eerie vocals and rhythmic, hypnotic guitar tracks to come. If you can’t wait that long and need to remind yourself of this young rapper’s talent then ‘I Need’ and ‘No One’ are great songs to start with. British Singer, songwriter and Brit Award winner, James Bay, is also planning on expanding his repertoire with a planned first album set for release this march. The soulful Jack White lookalike is making a name for himself with his gritty mournful vocals and equally entrancing riffs on his Gibson guitar and 2014 really was his year following a successful tour supporting Hozier and seeing his EP ‘Let it Go’ debut on the iTunes top 10 albums chart. Expectations are high for his coming album, ‘Chaos and the Calm’, given that it was recorded in Nashville, the home of Rock n’ Roll.

If you haven’t already discovered the underrated Irishman Mick Flannery then you’re in for a treat. Appraised by the legendary growler Tom Waits for his meaningful and heart-breaking lyrics at the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, Mick offers  comfort for the soul in each and every song. The shy, gravel-voiced Stonemason has just released his fourth album By The Rule, and it stays true to his deep and troubled style of songwriting. If you’re having a bad day and need to hear something that complements your mood then rest assured, Mick will be there for you.

But if you just want to jump right into the deep end of traditional rock n’ roll blues and have your socks knocked off at the same time then you had better take a look at Eric Gales. The young and dedicated guitarist who grew up to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King in his ears is wowing audiences across the Atlantic with his incredible blues influenced guitar styles the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. Gales is re-igniting the genre in the most electrifying of ways, he simply has to be seen to be believed.

So whether you’re feeling down or want to listen to something a little different be sure not to neglect the musical wonders that this ancient well  can offer. However, with the growing talent of blues and soul musicians entering the ‘mainstream’ in Ireland it’s becoming very hard to ignore.


Kevin O’Rielly