Brendan Shine was busy working on his farm near Taughmaconnell when I called him on Wednesday morning having just returned from Spain where he had been performing for two weeks.
When he got back to me a few minutes later, the 72-year-old was in good spirits and looking forward to his second appearance at the Midsummer’s Day with the Stars event this Sunday.
“I just got back from Spain last night. I was out there working for the last two weeks. Before that I was in Alaska working on a cruise. I’m still enjoying it, you can never give up…just like the Rossies: never-say-die!
“I’ve seen a lot of weather in the past few weeks and I’m hoping it settles down for this Sunday.
“Last Sunday, the Rossies were celebrating of course and this Sunday we’ll have our own celebration – it’ll be a celebration of country music,” he said.
Brendan will be 48 years married to wife Kathleen next March and the couple have two daughters, Emily and Phillipa. He first began performing in the early 1960s.
“I started out as a ballad singer with my father and then with Ciaran Kelly’s Ceili Band. I was influenced I suppose by singers like Perry Como, George Jones and Hank Williams as well as some of the great Irish ballad singers at the time like Paddy Beades from Roscommon and Connie Foley,” he said.
Brendan has a grá for all types of music and daughter Emily – who will once again join him on stage this Sunday – performs a U2 track on his new album, which is called ‘Let it Shine, Shine, Shine’ and will be available in all good record shops from next week on.
The Athlone native isn’t looking beyond Sunday’s big outdoor concert at Roscommon Racecourse however.
“Last year the sun was splitting the stones, the crowd was electric and there were loads of families out. That’s what I remember from last year: it was a great family day out and I got to see people I hadn’t seen in years. I’m looking forward to that again this Sunday,” he concluded.
Brendan Shine will be among a number of top acts on show this Sunday at Roscommon Racecourse as part of the annual Midsummer’s Day with the Stars’ open-air country music concert. Gates open at midday and the show begins at 2 pm.