Only last week, Derry musician, Declan McLaughlin, posted two copies of his new album to Mississippi in the USA.
The album, which is titled ‘The Hi-Flats’, is a massive hit with music social networking site Bandcamp.com and this week Declan moved a few steps closer to taking the coveted number one slot.
“I am delighted with the way the album has turned out. We’ve only cut a select number of copies but we will be launching the album officially at the end of next month in Derry,” said Declan.
It’s no secret that Declan has been described by revered Irish singer-songwriter, Damien Dempsey, as the “Derry Bruce Springsteen” and when you listen to songs like ‘The Bars Along the Quay’ and ‘Factory Queen’ it’s easy to see why.
Recorded in his bedroom on the Lone Moor Road, Declan and friend Dougal McPartland are responsible for every aspect of the album’s development and production.
“We’ve done this completely on our own - with no help or funding,” said Declan proudly.
One of the most striking qualities of ‘The Hi-Flats’ is the sound quality. Although it’s the music and the lyrics that fundamentally make this record superb, it sounds absolutely terrific.
The album cannot be easily pigeon holed. It deals with stories of lust driven murder, fleeing bank robbers, the experience of watching loved ones disappear with age or illness and the rising cost of our addictions in our communities.
“I’ve just completed a tour of the East coast of America and I got a really good reception. I’ve played the East coast many times but I really enjoyed this time around - it was nice listening to what people thought of the album and of the new material,” he smiled.
Since completing the tour of America, Declan has provided support for Damien Dempsey at recent concerts in Derry and Donegal and is hoping to accompany the Dublin born singer/songwriter on a full tour of Ireland next year.
“The tour was great but the only concerts I will be doing between now and the New Year is at the Christmas Party in the House in the Wells where I work full-time,” joked Declan.
“I love performing in bars but there’s something amazing about backing up a musician of Damien Dempsey’s talent.
“I first met Damien when he was bouncer at an Irish bar called Rocky Sullivan’s in Brooklyn.
“I never knew he was a singer until he got up on stage and started singing. We have been friends ever since.
“Damien has listened to the album a few times and I am over the moon with the feedback he has given me - he really likes it,” said Declan happily.
Soon after releasing the album via Bandcamp.com, Declan was contacted by music lovers from all over the world looking for a hard copy.
“The album is available to download for £5 via Bandcamp.com but for £6 customers can buy an actual copy of the album that they can hold. I’ve sent off copies to Germany, Australia, San Francisco, New York, England and all over Ireland,” he said.
“The thing that has impressed me the most is that I have never met the vast majority of the people who are buying the album. They are not buying it because they know me - they must be buying it because they like the music,” he laughed.
Once ‘The Hi-Flats’ is officially released at the end of January it is hoped that Declan will join Damien Dempsey on a full Irish tour before touring the East coast of America in July.