Guests
Guests - Week 19  

buy the book and dvd

 

John Spillane
John Spillane was born in Cork. He graduated from University College Cork with a degree in Irish and English. John spent two summers playing bass guitar with Johnny Crowley’s group, a job which enabled him to earn money from music for the first time. This suited him better than the job he had in the bank in Limerick after the Leaving Cert, a period in his life which was the inspiration for the witty ‘Bank of Ireland Sean-nós Blues’.

John spent seven years singing with the Stargazers, a group which performed American songs by singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. In the early Nineties the Stargazers split up, and John subsequently sang and played bass guitar with the highly-popular traditional group Nomos. He left that group in early 1998, however, to pursue a solo career.

John has been writing songs, both in English and Irish, with his old friend Louis de Paor now for many years (he calls their partnership ‘The Gaelic Hit Factory’!) They have won Raidió na Gaeltachta’s song contest Réalta on two occasions. John performs their winning entry in 2001, ‘Ag an gCóisir’, during his appearance in ‘Turas Teanga’.

John has released two solo albums to date, The Wells of the World (1997) and Will We Be Brilliant Or What (2002). That latter album was his first with the major EMI label and it made the Top 20 in Ireland. He won a Meteor Music Award in the the Best Folk/Traditional Act category in 2003, ahead of popular artistes such as Altan, The Chieftains, Kíla, Christy Moore and Sinéad O'Connor.

John has been presenting a weekly music programme called ‘Rogha John Spillane’ on Raidió na Gaeltachta since September 2003. The programme can be heard each Sunday evening between 9.30 and 10.30 p.m.

He is married and lives in Cork. He has one daughter, for whom he wrote the song ‘All the Ways You Wander’.


Rugadh John Spillane i gCorcaigh. Bhain sé céim amach i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh sa Ghaeilge agus sa Bhéarla. Chaith John dhá shamhradh ag seinm an dordghiotáir le grúpa Jimmy Crowley, post a chuir ar a chumas airgead a shaothrú ón gceol den chéad uair. Bhí sé seo ina phost níos oiriúnaí ná an ceann a bhí aige i mbanc i Luimneach tar éis na hArdteiste, tréimhse dá shaol a spreag an t-amhrán greannmhar ‘Bank of Ireland Sean-nós Blues’.

Chaith John seacht mbliana ag canadh leis an ngrúpa The Stargazers, grúpa a chan amhráin Mheiriceánacha a chualathas ar dtús ag leithéidí Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael agus Johnny Mercer. Tháinig deireadh le The Stargazers ag tús na nóchaidí, agus ina dhiaidh sin chaith John tréimhse ag canadh agus ag seinm an dordghiotáir leis an ngrúpa traidisiúnta Nomos. D’fhág sé an grúpa sin go luath i 1998, áfach, mar gur theastaigh uaidh a bheith ag seinm ina aonar.

The John ag scríobh amhrán, i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla, lena sheanchara Louis de Paor anois le roinnt mhaith blianta (‘The Gaelic Hit Factory’ a thugann sé ar a bpáirtnéireacht!) Tá comórtas amhrán Raidió na Gaeltachta, Réalta, buaite acu faoi dhó go dtí seo. Déanann John an t-amhrán a bhuaigh an comórtas in 2001, ‘Ag an gCóisir’, a chanadh ar ‘Turas Teanga’.

Tá dhá albam aonair eisithe ag John go dtí seo, The Wells of the World (1997) agus Will We Be Brilliant Or What (2002). Ba é an dara halbam sin an chéad cheann a d’eisigh sé ar an lipéad mór EMI agus d’éirigh leis an Top 20 a bhaint amach in Éirinn. Bhuaigh John Gradam Ceoil Meteor sa rannóg ‘Best Folk/Traditional Act’ in 2003, in ainneoin ceoltóirí mar Altan, The Chieftains, Kíla, Christy Moore agus Sinéad O'Connor a bheith san iomaíocht leis.

Tá sé ag cur i láthair cláir ceoil, ‘Rogha John Spillane’, gach seachtain ar Raidió na Gaeltachta ó bhí Meán Fómhair 2003 ann. Bíonn an clár le cloisteáil gach Domhnach idir 9.30 agus 10.30 p.m.

Tá John Spillane pósta agus tá cónaí air i gCorcaigh. Tá iníon amháin aige, agus is dise a scríobh sé an t-amhrán ‘All the Ways You Wander’.