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Music has been stirring in the veins of Mayo-man Dennis McCalmont since he was a lad, but it began to course faster as soon as he heard Paul Kossoff's fiery guitar solo on Free's 'All Right Now'.
As Dennis himself puts it, “That raw sound and emotion blasting out of an old radio had a great impact on me even as a child. I was immediately struck by the music bug, and for years I sang in school choirs. In my teens I played drums in a band, until I learned a few guitar chords and became the singer/guitarist in the band!”
Since then, Dennis has been pouring his seemingly limitless creative
energies into his music, writing songs, playing his trusty Canadian
S & P 12- string guitar, singing, recording singles and albums, doing solo gigs and performing with his band. To a broad range of original songs that cross musical boundaries from mainstream rock into funk, soul, folk, country and blues, he applies his sturdy and sensitive vocals to attract an ever-increasing number of fans both in Ireland and abroad.
'Wishes' has also been playlisted in the France & UK, while ‘Missing Person’ proves that McCalmont can take a serious subject and give it the sensitivity it demands. But then this is the man whose 'Time For Truth' was a reflective response to the infamous Invasion of Iraq. It helped win McCalmont the coveted “Pick of the Fortnight” accolade in Hot Press magazine from Jackie Hayden, the man who signed U2 to their first record contract.
As well as the New Album #SoulRecall Listeners can engage with McCalmont’s 2011 all-original 14-track Acoustic Solo Album 'Nature of Life', also available to download at iTunes and including a bonus track 'Silent Friend'. Reviewing that album, Danny McElhinney, Irish Mail On Sunday, remarked that “McCalmont knows how to deliver a heart-felt song without any histrionics...'One Day In Spring' and 'The Circle Never Ends' would remind one of Crowded House's Neil
Finn, while there is a nice Bono-esque falsetto on 'Carousel'... Any Music Publisher worth his salt should be seeking the man out.' In their review of the album, Hot Press described ‘Lost’ as “a slower atmospheric song with a melody and a vocal approach that evokes Elton John. McCalmont’s harmonies are spot-on too.”
The album also attracted references to Fleet Foxes, and included 'Carousel (Sun is Shining Down)’, which was short-listed for the final of the Irish Daily Mail competition for unsigned artists.
Apart from regular live solo and band appearances around his native
part of Ireland, McCalmont has also dipped into his bottomless pit of energy to work as a facilitator with several youth-orientated organisations, his engaging approach to music giving him an instant link with the participating youths. He has co-written songs for a local musical production On A Wing And A Prayer at The Royal
Theatre in Castlebar, raising much needed funding for 'Hospice', and he even penned a number about the Titanic tragedy, before Bob Dylan did likewise on his 2012 album Tempest.
The tightness of his band comes from 10 years of loyal friendship and musical explorations with seasoned musical campaigners Michael Buckton (electric guitar), Craig Donaldson (bass) and Donald Hoban (drums).
To the influences of Van Morrison, Neil Young, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen and Sting, McCalmont and his band of troupers add their own exquisite personal touches, as can be heard in their exuberant live performances, and on McCalmont’s most recent recordings of his stunning compositions as 'Speeding Train', 'Wishes' and 'Missing Person'. Those recordings feature on the soul/funksters’ New Album #SoulRecall, which has been mastered by Ciaran Byrne, whose impressive studio CV
includes Sinead O’Connor, U2, Van Morrison and Metallica.
These guys are on the right track is demonstrated by the reaction to the songs at home with Legendary Radio Broadcaster and Champion of Irish Artists Jon Richards Play-Listing 'Missing Person' on Galway Bay FM and from way beyond the shores of Ireland. 'Let The Spirit' was picked up by renowned Soul Music Radio Show 'Modern Soul Sauce' in May and has been playlisted on 10 Radio Stations across the Globe 'Speeding Train' has been playlisted in France, USA and UK, besides invading the Top 5 of the Reverbnation Irish National Singer/Songwriter Chart.
It also attracted the attention and admiration of noted musician and producer Gavin Ralston, further proof of how top music industry practitioners gravitate towards McCalmont’s prodigious talent. 'You'll Make It Through' with its homage to Soul Singer Randy Crawford's 'You Might Need Somebody' has been heard and very positively approved by Legendary Songwriter 'Tom Snow' the
Award-Winning Writer of the Randy Crawford Hit.