Thirty years ago – towards the end of 1990, to be precise – Mayo musician, piano teacher, studio owner and music writer David Dwane recorded his first EP of original songs.
The four-track EP included Gentle Moy, a song which became a firm favourite in Ballina and beyond at the time, garnering cassette sales and regular radio plays.
30 years on and you can view the video and listen to the song here:
A former Entertainment Writer with the Western People for thirty years, David has been involved in the music business across five decades.
He has played in music venues around the west, first as a member of various local bands, then as a solo artist. He opened his own recording studio in Ballina in 2001.
The Mayoman continues to write a regular entertainment news blog on his website http://www.daviddwane.ie/blog/
David’s inspiration for Gentle Moy was to celebrate Mayo’s largest and most beautiful river, the River Moy, as it meanders on its way through Ballina to the Atlantic Ocean.
David is a native of Ballyhaunis, where he was choirmaster and organist with the Abbey Choir as a teenager.
In 1976, shortly after arriving in Ballina to work, David was Chairman of the very first Ballina Music Festival, an event which attracted entertainment acts from Frank Patterson and the RTE Light Orchestra to Linda Martin and The Bothy Band to perform concerts in Ballina Town Hall.
He has lived at Quay Village, Ballina since 1984, a riverside haven where the River Moy estuary begins.
In the 2000’s David promoted emerging music talent through a series of Band Showcase gigs which ran in various venues across Ballina for a number of years, giving dozens of young music acts a chance to perform live in an organised public setting.
He also organised the annual Premier Band Challenge, a national competition for bands which attracted entries from as far away as Wexford, Dublin and Donegal. The heats and finals took place in Ballina and included Steve Wall (The Stunning), Jackie Hayden (Hot Press) and Cormac Battle (2FM) as adjudicators.
Gentle Moy is available to download from:
The EP, called Gentle Songs, was recorded in late 1990 at Philharmonic Studios, Crossmolina, owned by Phil Munnelly. Ballina man Rory Kilcullen engineered and mixed the EP, with vocals and keyboards from David, who also produced the songs.
Other musicians who featured on the EP included Joe Ryan (guitar), David Duffy (fiddle), Martin O’Donnell (bass), Michael John Kennedy (drums), John Browne (trumpet) and John Duffy (accordion).
Gabrielle Gardiner provided harmonies, while Stephen Lennon, Pamela Lacken and Lavinia Heneghan, pupils of Quay National School, Ballina, provided backing vocals on Gentle Moy.