Musician, songwriter, company director, and project executive are all words which aptly describe Linda Welby. However on meeting this artist in person there is even more to learn about this extraordinary woman who is now attracting the attention of media broadcasters up and down the country.
A native of Loughrea, Linda, a young mother of eight children, now resides in Roscahill, Co Galway. Her new album A Story to Tell is a collection of contemporary songs and music all written and composed by herself. Linda Welby has a very defined vision of where she is going and what is important to her in life.
As a composer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist, and singer, music has always been at the forefront for Linda. Linda’s grandfather Paddy Doorhy was an accomplished fiddle player and played with the first Ballinakill ceili band. Linda’s Dad, also Paddy Doorhy, played drums and toured extensively with many bands and noted musicians. Linda gets her musical inspiration from her dad, whom she regards as her hero, and has no hesitation in linking all her achievements back to this musical heritage.
Linda’s career is driven by her passion for adventurous meaningful compositions and in pursuing this passion her musicianship and mastery of arrangement are broadly appreciated in the music industry. Linda has always kept her head and her heart despite her consistent rise and has no need for elaborate vocal embellishments to get her message across. Linda’s cool, clear, soulful voice has always worn its emotions in the open. Writing is also something that Linda has been doing for years “I was always a poetry writer and always loved words, even from a young age. So writing my own album came naturally,” she says.
Linda’s other business interests include being an active board member of a well known private tourism company as well as being a qualified transport operator with a full CPC licence. Also as a project manager of a Connemara Holiday Cottages Operation Linda is actively involved in many tourism related activities including driving busloads of tourists in her luxury tourist coach. Linda, for many years, has had the uncanny ability of being able to very successfully manage raising a family, co-ordinating several work projects as well as dedicating time to continued education. It has to be asked, with eight children ranging in ages from 20 to seven, a day and night job and the launching of a CD, just how does Linda find the time? “When I had three kids I wondered how I would ever cope, I was absolutely run off my feet, but it seemed to get easier as time went on. That’s how it seemed to me anyway. I don’t think I’m that busy,” she laughs.
Linda’s pure interest in people is clearly evident in her very approachable and friendly manner. “I sing and play because I love it and I do feel that any success that I have had has not changed me as a person. I like to keep things as normal as possible in my life because that is just the way I am”. Sheer simplicity is what keeps this fun-loving and very independent free spirit happiest. “My songs tell a story of real people in real times, stories that can be true for a lot of people not just me, I believe that is why people of all ages connect with them.”
The phenominal success of her single release The Galway Fiddler has surpassed all expectations with regular airplays on Irish radio stations throughout the country, north and south, as well as BBC Wales, BBC Oxford, BBC Manchester, and also some radio stations in Canada, the USA, and Germany. For Linda it is a dream coming true, culminating in the nationwide release of her first solo CD last September.
To radio listeners across the country as well as her legions of new fans, Linda Welby is fast becoming a superstar while at home in Roscahill she has never changed from being the down-to-earth affable and hardworking wife and mother. She has achieved the longest run by any artist of forty two continuous weeks, as well as remaining at number one for eighteen weeks, in a major radio station record charts where listener requests dictate the content of the charts. Probably her crowning achievement so far is her recent visit to the USA to host a television show in a major Nashville television station which was recently
shown live on the internet worldwide, as well as radio interviews and three very successful live concerts. This coupled with her acceptance of an invitation to meet her life-long idol Pat Boone in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles really made this trip a memorable occasion.
In recent times, Linda has performed at concerts across the country and has recently been nominated for the Horizon award as the best newcomer to the Irish Country Music scene. She has had numerous successes with interviews on 32 Irish Radio Stations, five in Northern Ireland including two with the renowned Gerry Anderson on Radio Foyle and six in mainland UK, extensive Radio airplay on most Irish radio stations including RTE 1, Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle in Northern Ireland and many stations in the UK, Canada and the USA. She recently featured on RTE Nationwide Television and won the award for Best Female Artist of 2008 on West Limerick Radio. Linda is a multi-instrumentalist playing Fiddle, Whistles, Accordion, Keyboards, Banjo and Drums.