We know what you think when you look first clock our line-up. How come, three fairly old and one fairly young, white, Irish fellas end up playing Blues Music ? A more interesting question would be, why such music made by poor, uneducated, black slave sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta in the early nineteen hundreds, came to have a huge influence on an affluent, educated middle class white population world wide ?.
Growing up we got a taste of the Blues through Eric Clapton, Cream and the Doors. Those big album cover sleeves were scrutinized for the small print, searching for clues to where these guys got their influence. Names like Chester Arthur Burnett, meant nothing to any of us, but when you see Clapton give him recording credit for some tunes you dig deeper to find that “ ‘ole Chester ”was in fact that larger than life, literally, the most famous blues power-house himself …. Howlin’ Wolf, well you then begin a long journey down a very interesting road !!!
And so began our fascination with this call and response musical genre. Second-Hand record stores on line have been hounded for our blues and roots material, which we have been slowly building up over the last few years. While most of our friends, back then continued playing the Eagles or the Ramones and easy listening middle of the road music, we took the nod from the devil and went down a route towards the “Devils Music”, a name given to the blues by early Christian preachers, who saw it as ungodly . We now find ourselves with a deeper appreciation and find we got to continue the legacy of the blues. We can’t help but not to be fascinated by the hard life stories of those early pioneers and how their music survived against all the odds. A strange reflection of music survival and even our homeless society today ? yeah that’s what we thought as well… hence our quest to explore this genre more deeply.
And so, to answer the above question, cultural, historical and social settings all conspire to influence and shape a certain sound that will capture a particular mood of a particular time. The Freight Train Preachers feel that time is right around anytime now.
While currently, at least here in Ireland anyway, country music holds sway, we have been busy pushing our blues fare, to anyone will to listen to something that is rooted in an alternative sermon. These past few months, playing hard hitting tunes and slow blues in a tight setting in Cheers Bar in Fermoy on the second Thursday of the month proved an ideal venue.
We are back there, on the main stage, no less, in full flight on the Sunday of the October Bank Holiday October 27th and due on at 6pm.
We won’t say the Angelus when the clock strikes 6pm,but instead crank up with a Stevie Ray Vaughan number, Pride and Joy, or maybe Robert Johnson’s Dust my Broom,who cares, it’s the Bank Holiday Weekend and it’s Blues in Cheers Bar, Fermoy, the best music venue outside the city !