John Christopher Treacy
A native of Tallow, Co. Waterford, resident in Cork for over forty years. My music career began when I started to learn guitar at around the age of nineteen. I had just given up playing hurling and football having won, I think, six underage county medals. So I headed off in a new direction in my life.
I joined my first band when I really had little guitar proficiency, but I always loved singing. It was a three piece band, two girls, Catherine and Margaret White and I. Catherine the drummer, Margaret on accordion player/singer and me playing guitar and singing, they were both very good musicians. We were playing and singing all the chart music out at that time, it was brilliant, I was hooked, as a matter of fact I am still singing some of those songs, some of which are on the new album.
I think I am happiest in my life, when I am on stage singing and playing music, it is like I was born to be a singer / entertainer.
I really had no idea where all this music was going to lead me. I got a real good piece of advice about playing music from a well seasoned musician. He said, “You will have a great “Craic” but you will never have any money,” Well I have had a great Craic and traveled around to various parts of the globe and met some amazing people and some not so amazing people as well. I have earned some money as well and enjoyed the journey, that is what it is all about.
I have many talents and work in various forms of the Arts, Graphic / Webdesign, Digital Art, and I own a greeting card business called Irish Cards, stocking shops with greeting cards from my own designs. I think this may have been the only thing that kept me sane as I looked at my Guitar gathering dust, like most musicians during Covid-19 lockdowns.
I can’t remember how many different bands I played in over the years. From an early age I loved country music and singing country songs. I also like singing songs when I am playing live from singer songwriters like: Adele, Ed Sheeran, Oasis, Snow Patrol and so on, creating a large repertoire, I could probably sing for about five hours and not repeat one song.
I must mention a band I played with in London, a band called “Beggars Bush” an Irish balled group. This band was something else as we traveled all over London playing in the Irish pubs and clubs, packed with Irish People. It was quite scary at times as well as it was during the troubles in Northern Ireland as we traveled around late at night coming home from gigs. There is an amazing feeling to play Irish music to Irish people living abroad, it is something I have cherished ever since, something very special. What an experience?
It was the first time ever playing music, that I had money coming out my ears. I lived beside Walthamstow Market in the East end of London, and if you know this it is just non stop market stalls, from clothes to everything else. I had nothing to do all day only trawl up and down it buying clothes. The guy who ran the band told me I was the best dressed musician he ever had in the band.
It took me many years into my playing career to get into playing Irish Trad Music. I got a phone call one evening to go and do a gig in Reardons Bar in Washington Street, Cork with an amazing singer, banjo and mandolin player called Paddy Fox. I had never played music with him before and had never played any trad tunes. So I arrived at the gig and I must tell you, not long into the gig I was starting to feel really embarrassed as I could not get my head around the speed of these Irish rhythms. I couldn’t believe I lived in my own country so long and had never got an appreciation for this beautiful music.
We kinda scraped through the gig with me singing a few Irish songs I knew and he played a few simple tunes and singing some lovely trad Irish songs. I suppose from experience of many gigs we managed to not get thrown out. We decided that we would embark on some serious practice and we both played in a band we formed called “The Mariners” for many years. We played in Reardons for many nights afterwards. Paddy was also a very funny guy on stage, but is now sadly gone to the big gig in the sky and I miss him and think about him often.
I get an amazing feeling to Irish music, like no other music I have ever played, it is so uplifting, I suppose that is why it is so popular worldwide. It influences all my live gigs now.
I suppose I should write a book but like most musicians there are some things that happen on the road that are better not spoken about. No one would believe us anyway.
I have recorded several Albums and many original songs. One of my first recording was an EP called Misty Nights, in June 1992. I have a rather interesting story about the cover of this EP. One of the four original songs on the EP is called “Crosshaven”. I was searching for something a little different for the cover. So I called to a brilliant artist living in Carrigaline Co. Cork, called Philip Gray and asked him “would he be interested in drawing an Image for the cover”.
As I stood there describing what the song was, he was just painting away, I though he wasn’t taking too much notice of what I was saying and in just a few minutes, He Said “What about that” and to my amazement a beautiful image of an Irish cottage and a lovely Irish scene he had drawn. (to be inserted) So that is what the cover of the EP turned out to be. These four songs on the EP were so good I am going back into the studio to re-record them in a recording studio in Blarney over the next few weeks to bring the songs into the digital age. Tuesday April 12th – two songs recorded.
I recorded quite a bit over the years.
To Be Continued