Ceol Anocht

Ceol Anocht: Interview : Jack Keeshan : 12/6/2021

I’ve long been an admirer of Jack Keeshan, his music and his general attitude to his work. He reads and listens widely, and is always challenging himself across genres, always focused on being his best self. If that sounds like a self help guide, it certainly is not meant to be, but it is to suggest that he is not afraid to put in the work to understand, reflect and produce music and poetry he can be proud of. He is always searching, questioning and his latest EP will be another example of his moving forward.

Jack and I have had many’s the chat and it was great to sit down with him and his collaborator, Lauren Beth.

As he’s said himself:

While writing this E.P I found myself craving connection and hearing others sing about similar things in towns across the world and the people that surround them. Luke Kelly, Damien Dempsey, Bob Marley  Mick Flannery, Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits are who I’ve been listening to a lot lately, with a nice bit of 90s hip hop like Tupac and Biggie Smalls.

The people I’ve surrounded myself with during this last year has really affected my writing. Lauren Beth, on backing vocals and James McKelvey on backing guitar and vocals are absolutely amazing people. Lauren is signed with Beardfire Records and has a track called “11 Years” that I’d recommend, about climate change. Nathan Nolan was my one of my best pals in 5th and 6th year but after school we fell in and out of touch and having him design the cover and going to outdoor gigs again has been great. James is also in the midst of putting his own EP together. Having my brother, Ciarán, on bass and Edel (Pender) in the studio with me just makes me stronger and more sure of this project. Conor Fahy (Dawna) and Emma Conroy have also been working through the Internet sending me their parts. I said it before to you that this is the very first time I’ve been able to stand ‘in front’ of the desk, listen back and be 100 percent proud of what is being created.

The EP deals with a lot of social issues or at least how I see things, but, if there is a theme, it’s about love. Love is something that I’ve thought a lot about over the last few months and how at times we can kinda be afraid of it. I’ve yet to put my finger on exactly why that it is. We feel it but find it hard to express sometimes. I know iI have throughout my life. I can still remember telling the lads” I love ya” and I’ll never forget the reaction. It was confusion, as to why I said it followed by “ah sure I love ya too kid” .

I have done everything I can to capture a sense of community and friendship on “Internal Dialogue” and I feel it will come through when it comes out.