A night of nostalgia with Johnny McEvoy in Leitrim

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

A night of nostalgia with Johnny McEvoy in Leitrim

Johnny McEvoy

Irish Folk artist, songwriter and balladeer Johnny McEvoy comes to Landmark Live this Thursday, February 6 at 8pm, for a nostalgic evening of story and song.


Johnny’s career spans over 50 years. Born down the Shannon in Banagher, his family moved to Dublin when Johnny was six years old.
His family was not musical, so Johnny’s first introduction to the beauty of folk music came instead through listening to a folk music show on Radio Luxembourg, and soaking in the influence of artists such as The Weavers and Hank Williams.
In the early 60’s he formed the folk duo Ramblers Two, which played venues across Ireland and the UK.
After the group split, Johnny decided to go solo and the rest is history.


He played support to The Rolling Stones when they came to Dublin’s Adelphi in 1965.
His real big break came in 1966 though, when he recorded a version of traditional west of Ireland ballad Mursheen Durkin.
It topped the Irish charts and a star was born. By the following year, he was touring the USA, a highlight of which was a prestigious show at New York’s Carnegie Hall.


A string of number ones followed, including The Boston Burglar and Nora (his famous version of Maggie from O’Casey’s ‘Plough and the Stars’).
By the mid 1970s Johnny began to write his own material. His first original composition Long Before Your Time was written in 1975.
Johnny recalls: “The inspiration came to me on a golden August afternoon while sitting on a stone in the sun outside Kennedy’s pub in Doocastle, Co. Mayo.
“As I sat watching the doe-eyed cows grazing on the grass in the field, a feeling of deep melancholy came over me, and a rather sad and tragic story started to formulate itself in my head.”
That song too went to number one, and Johnny would go on to write many more, many which have been recorded by other artists including Long Before Your Time, Michael, and Going To California.
In 2010, a documentary on Johnny’s life and times, For the Poor and for the Gentry, was televised.
For the occasion McEvoy re-recorded his first number one Mursheen Durkin, in collaboration with Sharon Shannon and her Big Band.


In 2017 he celebrated 50 years in music with the release of his album The Story so Far, alongside a memoir My Songs, My Stories, My Life In Music, in which he reflects on his life, loves and passions over his long career.
This show features beautifully delivered versions of Johnny’s best-loved songs as well as masterful storytelling and recollections of an extraordinary musical life.
Johnny McEvoy will play the Landmark Live, Thursday February 6 at 8pm.
Hear him bring your favourite songs to life.


Tickets €30 from Landmark Hotel reception and on (071) 9622 222.

Also read: Archive picture of the week: First communion in Gortletteragh 1989