The long awaited for ‘Opry le Daniel’, the highest rated country music show on TG4 television, will be aired from Tuesday, September 18 at the prime viewing time of 8.30pm.
Now in it’s seventh year and hosted by Donegal’s most famous entertainer, Daniel O’ Donnell, this year’s weekly series will run for no less than 16 weeks, with the biggest stars of American and Irish Country Music taking their rightful place on stage at the Millennium Forum, Derry.
America’s ‘King of Country’ Charlie Pride, making his one and only appearance in Ireland in 2018, leads the star studded series which also includes the ‘Princess of American Country Music’ Georgette Jones, daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette who performs with Ireland’s favourite adopted son Robert Mizzell and Athenry’s Jimmy Buckley in a tribute show to George Jones.
One of the biggest female stars of country music, spanning four decades, Rita Coolidge will also make the trip as well as Tayla Tayla Lynn, granddaughter of Loretta Lynn and Leona Williams, another well-known recording artist. Combining with fan’s favourite Niamh Lynn and Louise Morrissey, they all take the stage for a celebration of Loretta’s songs and music.
A brand new format coming from Opry le Daniel this year and indeed, new to any music series, is the ‘Country Music Family’ show which introduces those musical family members who have never previously appeared on stage together for Television!
Here they introduce Brendan Quinn with his sons James and Stephen, Dominic Kirwan and sons Barry and Colm and Derek Ryan with his father Pat and brother Adrian.Truly a surreal occasion for all of these family members.
Not forgetting those artists who kept the Irish country music scene alive during the disco era and to whom today’s generation of ‘jivers’ and ‘hoe-downers’ owe a massive thank-you, Opry le Daniel are bringing you ‘Classic Country’ artists John Hogan, Kathy Durkin, Shawn Cuddy and the inimitable Gloria!
Following on from classic to ‘Contemporary’, three artists who have, with their own brand of ‘country-folk’, taken the music scene by storm with concert appearances, airplays and youtube recordings, Niamh Mc Glinchey, Jacqui Sharkey and Donna Taggart, have built up a large individual following throughout the island and again, a first for Opry.
Tribute shows and concerts are always a favourite in any musical genre and, with the right artist, can make a fan imagine that they are in their star’s presence and none more so than Al Grant, famous throughout the world for his interpretation of easy listening country love songs by the one and only Gentleman Jim Reeves.
Accompanying Al on stage will be Tony Kerr, Patrick Feeney and Matt Leavy.
The most recognised star of stage and screen was the iconic ‘man in black’ Johnny Cash who brought a whole new meaning to the word ‘sombre’ with his many hit records which includes the one song that he wrote when he toured Ireland in 1974, ‘Forty Shades of Green’.
Leading this tribute will be Sandy Kelly who sang on stage with Cash and later joined him, at his request, on a tour of the United States!
In Nashville, they recorded the all time classic hit ‘Woodcarver’ which attained chart success worldwide and a few years later recorded the immortal ‘Ring of Fire’. Also paying tribute to the great man is Declan Nerney who needs no introduction to television and latest newcomer to the Irish scene, Jordan Mogey. This opening spectacular is a show not to be missed on Tuesday, September 18.
From the easily recognised generation to the new and, as yet, somewhat unfamiliar faces of country music artists and once again Opry le Daniel and TG4 is to the fore in providing a platform for the ‘Young Country’ entertainers and with Stuart Moyles, Olivia Douglas, Brandon Mc Phee, Caitlin and Keelan Arbuckle, whose recent record release ‘When Big Tom Sang Gentle Mother’ has taken the charts by storm, you can be assured that the future of Country Music in Ireland and further afield is in good hands.
Of course, there are the special guest concerts and none as special as two of the foremost female artists of our time with the Irish ‘Princess of Country Music’ Lisa Mc Hugh from Donegal and the world famous Isla Grant from the Scottish borders, an entertainer who’s country and folk-tinged singing has brought her a worldwide audience.
As for Lisa, what more can be said about an entertainer who, having now gained thousands of fans, has won many awards to date including ‘Female Vocalist of The Year’ five years running and ‘Outstanding Achievement on the World Stage’ in 2012 when she appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, the home of country music, as a guest of the legendary Gene Watson.