Irish Singer Jimmy Buckley
Irish Singer Jimmy Buckley interview with Jerry Byrne. it's Irish radio now since uh the onset of the lockdowns with covid and lack of live music and performances have been speaking to many of the great and the good of entertainment now my next guest is certainly no exception a gentleman who has an an astounding career as a one of Ireland's top country entertainers one of the top bands and top singers in Ireland and has been and sustained that for many many years also touring is one part of the the Three Amigos once a year and astounding performer a gentleman an incredible voice who he hails from County Limerick and I'm delighted to say hello to the one and only Jimmy Buckley.
Jimmy how are you, hello Jerry and great to talk to you how are you not too bad at all not too bad it's strange times we're in Jimmy awesome very strange times were in indeed Jerry. I mean this time last year I was preparing to go on my tour to Spain where we had a huge hugely successful week out there and it was due to to happen this time between the 12th and the 19th of October and you know just as well reminiscent about last year and then we had the Amigos tour and then I toured with Claudia my daughter and we had a great we had a wonderful year and then just in in since March in with with the with the pandemic and all everything stopped you know and what a year it's been you know.
I mean so many you know it's the first thing you have to do is to think of all the poor people who who've you know lost loved ones and and you know people who who are in danger with this terrible virus and that which is it seems to be sort of you know taking over the world and such but hopefully they're getting a vaccine you know up and running pretty soon for it and and you know it'll make the vulnerable safe and that so when you look at it from that point of view you know at least at some stage we'll get back to doing what we're best at and you know but hopefully just in in a safe environment and that all our friends and their families can be safe and well. That's the most important thing of all you know indeed it is yes indeed. It is because uh you know at the end of the day this is no joke and we've got to take it seriously and I think possibly in the bigger picture Jimmy of it all in a you know in a lifetime of entertainment this I think overall will be will only a short blip out.
Well I suppose you know, it will I suppose initially you present yourself when it when it happened in March. Well you know we've been touring so many years extensively and very busy and you know I thought, well you know maybe I'll just take the time out you know I have some Greyhounds and I love, you know breeding and wearing my own grounds and and and now I'm doing it all now in the way of training them as well and things and I'm glad to have them because it they're welcome sort of uh diversion if you like and it you know it's good mentally as well and that type of thing but you know it's, we thought initially you know got it just think we won't be back on the road until the end of April and then we thought maybe the end of May and now it's all for the summer and it's October and not looking like any time in the foreseeable future
Anyway you know so it's it's a big shock to the system and and very much a change to the way of life that we were you know used to you know run and racing and schedules and interviews and actually pulling off terry this interview with yourself is I think maybe only the second or they've possibly thought interview I've done since March it's just that. I just kind of if you like dropped out from the whole lot of it for a while to just see how things go and you know give people breathing space to to take in what's happening if you like you know so it's nice to get talking to to yourself on the radio and and talk about old times and look forward to to hopefully new times in whatever will be the new norm. You know indeed indeed so Jimmy but you know you've had an astounding career.
I mean you've remained up there you know at the top with the you know in the in the with a band and an incredibly successful band you've been you've been on the top for literally years. Yeah we you know I've been very fortunate to you know to be having a very very good career in the last couple years have been wonderful you know I mean, I suppose as a solo performer with my own band touring you know in Ireland and England and we take our our we take our our um Scotland as well of course. And which has become very good for us as well and we we take our tour to Spain or cracking the cost of the last couple of years that's something that has been building up you know massively and really successfully.
And then the amigos of course. The Three Amigos was a huge success, and you know touring with my daughter Claudia's also an added bonus as well. And you know I suppose you know I've been very fortunate Jerry and I have a lot of very loyal fans that have stuck with me over the years and um you know very fortunate very lucky but I certainly in front of my miss meeting the people and meeting all our friends and our friends and you know for instance just this week we'll say Donegal going on on lockdown there and that and my thoughts you know go to all those people because of fantastic people I love the county going on and I love that you know the enthusiasm they have for for their music is unbelievable and they're great great people so I just hope that they that everything can get back to normal for them soon you know indeed indeed and of course you you jimmy right throughout each year you were playing in all of the top dancing destinations including the likes of the allium arms in Bundoran in Donegal.
And all the other you know the top dancing venues throughout the country as well as all the the concerts and all the other all the other touring you did as well. Yeah I mean like all the great vineyards like I mean the ellingham and even the avid hotel there all another fantastic venue and you know the up in Tyrone and you know you know the newly and you know all over the north and that Bellymina and you know like some brilliant dance venues all over the country you know and it's so destroying to see you know the like adventures like that and for instance you know people like it like the you know for instance dearlingham and you know Peter Mack they're a fantastic man and his wife Elizabeth you know built that hotel you know to be one of the most you know popular country music venues in Ireland.
As it will be again when it returns. But you know, it's very hard under all those hotels and on and on you know their staff and people who've been very loyal to country music so it's not just I suppose the singers and the bands and the musicians it's all those people in the venues as well that and you know it makes yourself Jerry and and all your colleagues in that but look there's no I look I suppose I don't want to be sounding like doom and gloom eater and you know does he's got the future is bright and and um you know I suppose you just have to say to yourself how long more will it be before you know to develop a vaccine that people will be comfortable with and that people will have the the if you like the confidence to venture out again you know and I hope you know it's come soon.
Like the the Irish people are great resolving that and the people who follow country music you know but in England and Scotland and that's it you know they're all people who just love a good night out, love a good dance a little concert and you know we missed the entertaining. I was talking to Claudia about the other day with two guitars out and we were just singing and playing away to ourselves and you just missed the buzz of entertaining people you know that's the real buzz of it you know. Indeed so, yes and you know Claudia in speaking to Claudia you know she will she spoke of the influence that you had been on her and uh uh you know all of the things and you know I sort of thought she definitely kind of had a little bit of a head start by being you know by me being around with you seeing your performance traveling with you, You know, and all of all of that is a fantastic start for somebody in a music career.
Well you know I'll tell you it was great that I could give her the opportunities and and I suppose maybe show her some of the pitfalls and that that that you know as I call them the potholes that maybe I fell into and maybe I could have Covoid if you would for Claudia but you know she's a great girl she just loves country music she loves meeting people and you know. She loves the old traditional country and she mixes it with some of the modern stuff as well. And you know she was just really getting into performing when when when this happened you know this you know and but like myself you know she's there and she's just waiting and learning to go when whenever we get to the green light again Jerry and you know if we it could come back as good as ever and probably better.
Because people would be fed up of not being able to get out to see shows that it could give a probably a very much needed shot in the air myself you know. Indeed, so no doubt about that one thing Jimmy that you're renowned for is you you have an absolutely always have a top class band you know big sound you know and under some fantastic musicians in your band you know. I am very fortunate all right to have some great musicians over the years and I've always tried to make a point of keeping the standard of the musicians and the standard of the band and the show as high as you can because it's like it's like a game of hauling a football or anything like that it's supposed you're really only as good as your last show and you know the way I would look at this you know people people deserve that and they expect it nowadays you know. To for you to have a good show and a good band and a good band just you know when you when it gels together and the singer out front it all looks like a it's all like a wheel and there's so many cogs in the way.
But they all have to be turning at the same time and you know I have, I've had great musicians and still have them because when we come back there I mean they're all ready to go and I feel for the lads. I feel for all the musicians all the hard work and musicians and my colleagues and singers and that you know who you know applied their trade you know willingly up and down the roads of Ireland you know and and further afield over the years and so much talented people bringing so much entertainment to many people and now you know if you like their their someone you know some of them are you know are struggling very much and my heart goes out to them because they're great people and such talented people so you know this was the pandemic has really hit our industry in a bad way.
But you know, I suppose it is probably in every industry you know in one way or another and you know but look there's those brighter days. Indeed that's the thing Jimmy, interesting thing actually, you're saying about the band is many of your band members actually uh are uh you know as you know are session musicians and they're you know they're taking my studios to do backing and all that thing I think which is a testament to the you know the sheer talent of those guys. That you've got in the band and you've always the banter oh your band has always been absolutely top class, and top class sound and and show well thank you thank you they have indeed and you know recently actually my old fiddle player friend and colleague of mine for over 19 years Charlie wonderful Charlie Arkins, all the way from from at boy and of course we've with the Cotton Mill Boys for years and with one opportunity next to the couple boys and with John Hogan for a long time as well and he spent a long spell with me and what a tour gentleman and a brilliant brilliant musician and Charlie recently retired from from the band you know it's just he's I suppose he got the taste of being at home for a while and Mary probably persuaded him up the boot for hang up the ball.
If you like but we'll miss Charlie Arkins, he was a wonderful fiddle player wonderful character and so well loved and liked by everybody but you know he retired recently and I wish him all the very best what a brilliant guy you know and I we had some brilliant laughs together by God we had some great times you know yes indeed I've seen that all right and Charlie really was you know I'll have to say he he was one of those guys who was larger than life uh on stage and a fantastic musician very you know really wonderful charisma about him Jerry he just you know he just had that that God-given talent and and the charisma to carry it off and always a smile for everyone and just a brilliant player and a good real authentic country traditionally country fiddle player and and brilliant harmonica player as well.
You know what I mean, so just really terrific guy you know. Indeed, so you know it's amazing but to this day it's a just it's a regular occurrence for me to get requests for Your Wedding Day Song continually after all these years also what a song what a song that was written by Henry McMahon for me and you know it's one of those songs that you know I will have to sing at any show I do until, until I hang up my boots, anywhere and I'm forever grateful to Henry McMahon for writing me that brilliant song you know and you know funny enough it just reminds me of you know being at the dance is over in England as well and that you know and against more and I want to say a big hello to my great friend Stephen keller Jerry I know you know Stephen well he's a great friend and a huge follower of the bands for years and we know Steve, Steven's a little bit poorly at the minute and I wish him all the very best because he's come to Ireland you could meet Stephen anywhere and he'd be in at all the venues in England that's such a lovely chap and all's wishing all the bands all the very best and I saw, I want to give a huge big shout out to Stephen and thank him indeed for all his brilliant support for the years. Indeed,
So wishing Stephen all the best Jimmy you haven't done you've kind of taken that you're saying there's sort of a back seat and you've concentrated on on your dogs and all that since the start you haven't really sort of done any live streaming or anything like that since the lockdown. No not really I suppose you know the live streaming thing I'm kind of maybe I'm more of a more of a live person in front of people you know what I mean and that and you know I mean we put up the ad posts and that but you know sometimes it can be maybe overdone I think you know um too much of it and there may be better off to dip in and out of times and give people a chance to you know see other things in that but um no I mean I just love performing to people I love you know for performing in front of people and getting their reactions and that's what really buzzes me and that's the thing i miss most is to you know perform you know have have um a lot of songs ready to go and singles ready to go and that type of thing Jerry but you know I suppose I'm waiting for the time to you know to release a song or two you know.
If you have a big hit at the moment I suppose it could be in one since it's great and then another since you wouldn't really have the chance to tour it if it was very successful for you you know so it's a kind of a it's a kind of a do our order type of scenario you know yes yes you know what i totally understand that it's one of those situations that for an artist is very hard to call and you know that is the truth of it. And the one ironic thing as we were saying about is that everybody involved in the in the arts and the performing arts right across the world has been affected this includes you know the theaters the shows on Broadway or the west end every single thing right across the world every single thing from you know from the biggest touring actor you know to the the people who do their one-man shows or you know are you know the musicians you know even the bus goes down to down to everyone who can sing or entertain or act or you know the actors that you know wonderfully talented people in the acts that you know just we just can't do anything unfortunately you know at the moment.
But look, I suppose when we do get back we appreciate it all the more that's the way you know and you know it's I suppose you don't you don't miss it until you're not doing it for a while maybe but you know all those entertainers are so willing to get back at us anytime soon hopefully. You know but hopefully people can get through the winter okay and I know that you have an awful lot of Irish people over there that we listen to as well and people from back home and I can only wish them all the very best in their families and and we're thinking of them and that they'll all they're safe and healthy and well.
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