The Acoustic Yard is opening up its doors for you

Duke Special and Ulaid will headline the Acoustic Yard festival in Westport.

Duke Special and Ulaid will headline the Acoustic Yard festival in Westport.

Tickets are now on sale for the IMRO sponsored Acoustic Yard singer/songwriter festival in Westport which will take place from Friday, May 5, to Sunday, May 7. Headlining this year will be Duke Special and Ulaid with special guest Jack O’Rourke on Saturday, May 6, at the Town Hall Theatre.

When contemporary songwriting and traditional music meet, the results can be something to be treasured. Such is the case with the collaboration between folk supergroup, Ulaid, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Duke Special. The project called The Belfast Suite draws on Duke Special’s songwriting skills, from pre-rock’n’roll to modern acoustic pop. He injects drama and theatricality, bringing storytelling to the fore with meditative twists and turns amid the melodic architecture. Ulaid’s mixture of skills in arrangement, interpretation, composition and performance lend a peculiarly folk-but-modern, urban-but-pastoral air to the whole. A collaboration that may have seemed unlikely in theory, proves itself thoroughly in practice; when heard, it somehow seems inevitable.

The lone figure of Jack O’Rourke seated at a piano is one that Irish gig goers are becoming more accustomed to seeing. Whether performing startlingly honest ballads solo or driving 'Spectorish' rock with his versatile band, Jack’s plaintive baritone and piano are core.

Also at the Town Hall there will be a special concert celebrating 250 years anniversary of Westport called 250 years of Westport Song on Friday May 5. The concert celebrate some of the great songs and songwriters to grace the bars, cafes, and stages of Westport over the years. Artists include John Hoban, Tony Reidy, Johnny Fadgin, Connie Cullen, Brian Duffy, Finn Upbeat Costello, and Rosa May Kinsella. These celebrated artists have helped to create and continue the town’s musical heritage. There will be stories and visual footage to enjoy as we look back through the years of Westport’s songs….and musical history.

There will be a host of other concerts throughout the weekend with artists like Nick Kelly (ex-Fat Lady Sings front-man ) Cormac O’Caoimh, Paul McDonnell, Kate O’Callaghan, Pa Curran, Davie Furey, and a special concert in Mocha Beans Cafe with a Mexican/Irish twist that features Sheila Ríos and Brian Duffy on Sunday, May 7. Tickets www.westporttheatre.com or www.theacousticyard.com or call the box office on (098 ) 28459.

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