For over 50 years, Derry man Roy Arbuckle has been making music in his hometown, around Ireland and all over the globe.
Now, this much-loved local musician will take to the Playhouse stage on Saturday, October 26, for ‘Now and Then’, a retrospective of songs composed over the past 30 years and now performed for sheer enjoyment among friends.
They say music travels, well, none more than Roy’s. As one of Ireland’s finest storytellers he has performed in Canada, America, Japan, even taking his talents as far as the White House in Washington DC, where his band Different Drums played for President Clinton in 1999.
Even from his early showband days in the 1960s, playing with the Swingtones, Signetts, Fendermen, Woodchoppers and Flingels, to his latest CD ‘Songs for the Soul’ - recorded with Anne Tracey and released late last year - Roy has been continually re-inventing himself musically.
Over the past 30 years, this mild-mannered musician has written more than 60 songs, many of them finding their way on to albums with his bands Calgach, the aforementioned Different Drums of Ireland and more recently onto his solo albums, ‘Songs from the Fountain’ and ‘Songs for the Soul’.
It was perhaps inevitable then that Roy might capture some of the limelight during this fantastic UK City of Culture year. Next Saturday sees Roy at the Playhouse where, during ‘Then and Now’, he will take his bow, centre-stage in an evening’s entertainment with a supporting ‘cast of thousands’.
Says Roy of the forthcoming gig: “There comes a moment when maybe you have to say to yourself, let me take a risk here,” And speaking about next week’s concert he added: “Let me get together some of the fine musicians and singers I have worked with over the years and create a show based around the songs I’ve written.”
“The musicians and singers I have approached have been more than generous in offering their support and their support has galvanised me,” Roy went on. “As has the energy of Jammhouse John Ross for this project.”
So who has Roy recruited for his show ‘Now and Then’? Well - the stellar line-up of guests include Phillip Wallace, Johnny Nutt, Pete O’Hanlon, Anne Tracey, Ursula McHugh, Different Drums of Ireland, The Henry Girls, Tom Newman, Paul French Paddy Nash, Diane Greer and maybe more!
For fans of Roy, keep your eyes peeled for a special limited edition EP which will be on sale at next week’s gig.
“An ideal little stocking filler,” says Roy of his latest offering... “Is it Christmas already?”
Book a table at the Playhouse Box Office on: 71 268027 or via: www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.