MICHAEL DARCY | PASSING THRU
ENTRY BY JEREMY/HI54LOFI: January 2019
On February 9th, 2019, Toronto-based Irish singer-songer Michael Darcy will be passing thru the Highway 95eh area for a salty Saltwater Session session at Centre 64. “But who exactly is passing thru? And why? And how about some pictures and words? And would it be too much to ask for some music to sample?” Good questions. Scroll downwards for all to be answered and more.
HELLO! HOW ARE YOU (WHEREVER YOU ARE)?
Hey! I'm great, no complaints here! Chilling in my apartment in downtown Toronto right now. Just back with a few days from a lovely trip home to Ireland for Christmas.
ALSO (FOR THE FOLKS AT HOME THAT DIDN'T DO THEIR PRE- Q&A HOMEWORK)... WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Michael Darcy, I'm an Irish singer-songwriter/performer living in Toronto since 2010 and working full-time as a musician. I initially came over for a few months but was having such a good time, I couldn't find the airport again! I just released my debut full-length record 'Simple Drop of Rain' in December 2018 featuring all original songs.
FOR REASONS UNKNOWN (OK, MAYBE THE REASONS ARE OUR OUT-OF-THE-WAY LOCATION & SMALLER POPULATION), THESE NECK OF THE WOODS DON'T ALWAYS END UP ON EVERYBODY'S TOUR POSTER. SO HOW DID WE GET SO LUCKY TO END UP ON YOUR ITINERARY?
Well I feel very lucky to have been invited to perform as part of the Saltwater Sessions on Saturday Feb 9th at The Kimberley Arts Council - Centre 64! A lovely couple named Chantel & Lennan Delaney organize these shows 3 or 4 times a year on average and I think it's a brilliant idea and a great way to get authentic Irish/Celtic/East Coast musicians and bands to come to your lovely town and perform. A win/win situation! It's also my first time heading west in Canada so I can't wait to see The Rocky Mountains and experience all that your town has to offer.
IF YOU COULD ONLY USE 5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE A Michael Darcy SHOW (AND FOR THE SAKE OF THIS QUESTION, LET'S ASSUME YOU CAN ONLY USE 5 WORDS) WHAT WOULD THOSE WORDS BE?
Sincere, Passionate, Fun, Inclusive, Exciting.
ACTUALLY, SINCE IT'S THE INTERNET AND WE CAN EMBED THINGS, HOW ABOUT YOU SHARE THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS TO PERFORM AND THAT WILL GIVE FOLKS A MORE TANGIBLE IDEA OF THE KIND OF MUSICAL GOODNESS THAT AWAITS THEM AT YOUR SHOW?
Song 1: Simple Drop of Rain | This is the title track and 1st single of my debut record 'Simple Drop of Rain'.
It's a song I wrote a few years ago about my adventures in leaving Ireland and moving to Canada, the challenges I faced but also the excitement of the unknown. So it has that bittersweet element to it because I feel no matter where you go in the world, you should never forget your home and how important your roots are.
Song 2: The Raggle-Taggle Gypsy-O | This is an old folk song called 'The Raggle-Taggle Gypsy-O' that dates back to the 1700's.
It's about an unhappily married woman who runs away from her wealth and status, turns her back on society to run off with a gypsy on the back of his horse! She flees from her landlord husband and the big house they lived in comfortably with all her servants and fine clothes etc. and rides off into the sunset.
A beautiful, powerful song that it still exciting and relevant in today's material world!
Song 3: I'll Take That Dusty Road | This is another original song called 'I'll Take That Dusty Road' that features on my new debut album! I remember I hadn't written a song in a few months up to this point and I was a little bit worried that the musical well might have run a bit dry!
So I was watching a documentary trailer on the great Texan songwriter Guy Clark called 'Without Getting Killed or Caught'. The trailer was only about 8 minutes long but it featured clips from Guy along with so many of my songwriting heroes and they told stories and sang songs about their lives and some of the crazy experiences they went through. So I was inspired to write this song from my own point of view about breaking away from the comfortable path that sometimes can be laid out before you. Robert Frost's poem 'The Road Not Taken' that I studied in school came back to me also at this point and I wrote this song in about 10 or 15 mins. Was a great relief! Still waiting for the full documentary to be released!
OK, NOW THAT WE'VE ALL GOT A DECENT IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT ON STAGE... WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
There are so many great 2nd-hand book stores in Toronto that I love to visit where you can walk away with 3 or 4 books for a great price! Frank McCourt, John Steinbeck and William Kennedy are some of my fav's! I also became addicted to coffee since I moved here even though I never drank it back home. So a cozy coffee shop and a good book is a nice way I like to relax on a Sunday morning after a sometimes wild wkd of gigs.
And although I haven't really played so much over here in Toronto for some reason, I enjoy a good game of pool. Must get back into that.
AND—EVEN THOUGH WE'VE ONLY KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR 6 QUESTIONS—WHAT'S SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT WOULD TOTALLY SURPRISE US?
I once performed a gig in the very first Irish bar in Haiti and also drank the first pint of Guinness ever served in that country! That's my claim to fame anyways haha! It was The 'Irish Embassy' in Port-Au-Prince!
I have a red-green colour-blind deficiency which isn't really that crazy but it can lead to funny scenarios, especially for example when Ireland are playing Wales in a rugby match. I'm all over the place shouting for the wrong team sometimes!
FINALLY... PLEASE LEAVE US ALL WITH YOUR BEST PIECE OF LIFE ADVICE THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / LISTENING / EATING / THINKING / QUITTING / READING / ETC-ING TO MAYBE MAKE THEIR LIFE A LITTLE BIT BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.
I really like a quote from the late, great Liam Clancy (legendary Irish folksinger with The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem), who was good friends with Bob Dylan in Grenwich Village in the 60's. According to Dylan's DVD 'No Direction Home', he once turned to him and said, "Remember Bob...no fear, no envy, no meanness." You can't go too far wrong with that advice I think.