Graham Sweeney is a singer-songwriter from Achill Island, Co. Mayo. His distinctive sound arises from a blend of traditional guitar playing, percussive finger-tapping and rhythmic vocal melodies.
He is influenced by many different styles of music and his inspiration comes from a wide range of sources, from English literature and poetry to the characters he comes across in daily life. Over the past few years Graham has toured with Declan O’Rourke, supported Mick Flannery and Damien Dempsey, and played hundreds of solo gigs at venues all over the country. He also recorded and released his first album, Closing Time.
He was nominated for Best Male Solo Act in the Pure M Awards 2015, and played at several festivals including Electric Picnic for two years running, Body and Soul, Vantastival, Spirit of Folk, Ballinamore Free Fringe, The Secret Village Festival and Battle for the Lake.
Performing on stage is Graham’s true passion in life, and last year he was delighted to be given the opportunity to support Damien Dempsey on Inis Oirr alongside Declan O’Rourke and John Sheahan of The Dubliners. He is no stranger to Irish radio, having performed on several stations including Today FM on The Last Word with Matt Cooper and The Phil Cawley Show, and recently his music has been getting international airplay as far afield as the U.S.A.
Graham spent the first few months of 2016 travelling around America, meeting people and working on new material. In San Francisco he teamed up with John Michael Berry, founder of Million Dollars Music, and the two of them worked closely together for several weeks. Two very different styles came together as Graham and John bounced off each other, sharing ideas and influences, and working with one common goal in mind: making quality music. After an eventful summer back in Ireland, with some truly inspiring gigs and very well received festival performances, Graham is now turning his attention back to the studio. Eager to harness the energy of a bigger sound and very keen to record some of his new tracks in a more collaborative vein, Graham aims to create an album that captures some of the magic experienced over the last few months. “I have been lucky enough to surround myself with some amazing musicians that really get what I’m trying to achieve. Thankfully they reckon that the notion of giving my music some time in the studio is worth exploring, so I’d be mad not to!” Graham quips. That may be so, but perhaps 2017 and this upcoming album might just be the catalyst to exposing an unsuspecting world to the talent that is Graham Sweeney.
The new record will be produced by John Michael Berry and will include the latest tracks recorded in San Francisco.
“A very talented, original young songwriter with all the trademarks of a great career ahead.” Declan O’Rourke.
“Best new guitar player I’ve heard for years.” Luka Bloom