Duke Special is one of the most talented singer-songwriters performing in Ireland today – and, this spring, the Belfast man will be blazing a trail to Castlederg to perform his music to an intimate and homely crowd.
Taking place at The Townhouse Venue on Saturday, May 13, the show is part of the masterful songwriter’s ‘Song Book’ tour – a special and nostalgic tour in celebration of Duke Special’s career, which has now spanned more than 20 years.
To-date, the critically-acclaimed performer has released 14 albums and EPs, and toured all over the world; including supporting huge world-famous acts, such as Tom Waits, Snow Patrol and Foy Vance.
Along with substantial tours, he has played some of Europe’s largest music festivals including, ‘Latitude’, ‘Glastonbury’, ‘Oxegen’, ‘T in the Park’ and ‘Forest Fest’.
Duke Special is also a frequent collaborator with Neil Hannon, the frontman of The Divine Comedy.
The dynamic duo often tour together, and they have released a number of duets, including Duke Special’s second-most streamed song, ‘Our Love Goes Deeper Than This’.
The duo further collaborated on a TV special together for RTÉ, where they played some of their biggest hits, while facing each other on matching grand pianos.
Duke Special’s music sounds like it comes from a bygone era, much more suited to a 1920s music hall, rather than a local bar or theatre.
This is, in part, because the multi instrumentalist’s biggest influences come from the jazz, vaudeville, blues and gospel sounds from the beginning of the 20th century.
Music aficionados will also be able to hear elements and inspiration in Duke Special’s tunes by artists such as Big Momma Thornton, Mahailia Jackson, and triumphant jazz acts, like the Benny Goodman Big Band, and his favourite musicians of all time, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.
Duke Special’s Castlederg concert is certain to be a show that ages both young and old will be able to enjoy, while granting a unique opportunity for Tyrone audiences to see a lauded singer songwriter in a smaller venue than he is more usually known for.
Twinkling piano players, too, can enjoy a share of the musical spoils. Recently, and staying true to the name of the tour, the songwriter has recently assembled his works into a trio of song books so that that keys players can enjoy playing some of his biggest hits from the comfort of their own home.
l Duke Special will play The Townhouse, Castlederg, on Saturday, May 13. Tickets are available on ‘www.eventbrite.co.uk’.