Dundalk singer-songwriter David Keenan had a nice welcome surprise upon his return to Ireland after spending much of the last year living in Spain.
e received a platinum record by IMRO on Wednesday in recognition of their debut album ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Bravery’ reaching number one on the independent album charts.
“It’s a beautiful thing to have accomplished,” he said. “It was my first album and it took a lifetime to get there.”
He is happy to be home, having moved to Spain last fall, shortly after the release of “Alchemy & Prose: A Concert Film” which was shot during his sold-out concert at the theater. Olympia Dublin in January 2020.
“It’s good to see family,” he said, taking the opportunity to spend time at home, before finally heading back on tour in the fall.
He also rehearses with his new band, which consists of violinist Gareth Quinn Redmond, bassist Conor Cunningham and drummer Dylan Lynch of Little Red Cars, and is preparing for the release of his new album ‘What Then?’ release scheduled for October 15. A few singles have already been released from the album.
In the meantime, however, he can’t wait to perform in front of an audience, first at the Wild Roots Festival in Sligo in mid-August, then touring the United States with guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.
âStarting September 1, we’ll be touring the West Coast of America. It’s surreal to think of getting back on the road. It’s been such a long wait and I hope I can do some shows in New York. ‘
After that, he will return home for a European tour which will coincide with the release of ‘What Then?’
“The new album was written all last year, during the chaos of last year.”
This period of enforced immobility gave him “the clarity necessary to reflect on who I am, where I came from and where I am going”.
The pandemic restrictions that put an end to the performing arts scene have been difficult for all musicians, especially those like David looking to connect with their audiences.
He missed the live concerts and said that “the only thing that kept me going was a self-published book of poetry.”
âI was in Spain, licking stamps and displaying them. It was a creative endeavor for me.
He hopes people will have a better appreciation of the arts after a year of empty stages.
âIf you take the arts out of your life, what sort of colorless anxiety do you have left? “
While her Spirit Store concert in December is sold out, tickets remain for other Irish venues on this tour, and keep an eye on her social media for further announcements, restrictions permitting.