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Kevin sends 'Telegraph' to the world 30.07.10

by Caoimhinn Barr, Inishowen Independent

LIFE is good in the world of Kevin Doherty. Fresh from the release of another stunning new album, the local musician has just returned to the capital after a storming set with the Pyros during a visit home for the Buncrana Music Festival.
Doherty’s memorable music exists in a sublime space, manned by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
His latest offering - Telegraph - Doherty’s third solo record, achieved no less than five stars in the Irish Times, who dubbed it ‘one of the year’s best albums’. It is a beautiful haunting piece of work, of which its creator is rightly proud.
A prolific talent, Doherty has recorded a total of ten albums; six with former band, Four Men And a Dog, one with the Pyros, added to three solo releases.
Now in his early forties, Doherty continues to play and create music at a furious pace.
“I spend quite a bit of time travelling, touring and gigging, however I write everyday. I try to sit down at a desk at some point every day but failing that I am writing in my head with almost every waking moment; making connections, joining the dots and discovering new continents. So if I look distracted as I go for the milk, there is a reason!” he said.
Born in 1967, the son of Michael and Veronica Doherty, Kevin grew up with siblings, Jim, Mary and Patricia on St. Mary’s Road, Buncrana. He developed an early interest in Irish traditional music while constantly penning new songs and ideas.
“I started writing before playing and the music came about as a means of self expression. I was lucky because at that time there was a fantastically healthy trad scene in Buncrana, with a mixture of home-grown and visiting musicians. In this environment my music developed leading me to join Four Men and a Dog,” he said.
Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, as they often do, played a crucial role in the burgeoning career of the young Buncrana musician.
“In music my first hero was Bob Dylan. In the early eighties no one seemed to listen to him much so I felt that I was discovering something new. The voice that spoke clearest and most directly to me was Leonard Cohen. He still does,” Doherty said.
“There are a whole host of others that make up the picture, The Band, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Henry McCullough, James Delaney, Bill Evans, Lonnie Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Hoagy Carmichael, Ray Charles, Bobby Bland, Van Morrison, Tommy Peoples, Gustav Mahler, Robert Schumann, Paul Brady, Hank Williams . . . I could go on!”
A former pupil of Scoil Mhuire, Doherty has spent much of the last two decades in Dublin city centre.
“I always loved Dublin; from childhood holidays to Ulysses,” he said.
Kevin Doherty, Buncrana.
Buncrana is home though.
“I get back to see the folks as much as I can. The Swilly-side is where I come from and the 'place' stays with you. It's good to get back and recharge the batteries, fill up the depleted soul a little.”
A highlight of Doherty’s musical journey took him along the east coast of America with Rick Danko, of The Band fame.
An admirer of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and actor George Clooney, Doherty has no time for politicians, who, he said, are all hopelessly lost or ‘hurlers on the ditch’. The Buncrana song man did confess to a liking for Columbo and Clint Eastwood though.
When asked about his plans for the future, Doherty said:
“To keep working and keep working at the work. The only hope I think anyone can have is to keep going, be successful, prosper and pay the rent.”
Kevin Doherty’s latest offering is now available in all good record shops and newsagents and online at www.telegraph.ie .
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