Clare Island boasts a rich cultural heritage and a raft of craftspeople, artists musicians and dancers- and Westival is once again reaching across the water to embrace this creative spirit.
This year, our very own Graham Sweeney will be performing an intimate gig in the lighthouse, followed by a collaborative music experience with the local musicians.
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.
The history and dramatic landscape of Achill Island has also had a strong impact on Graham, informing his work both poetically and visually.
"Achill has definitely shaped all of the tracks on the album. The landscape and surroundings have had a huge part to play in my music and lyrics. There are many great songs about the streets of famous cities and towns, for me, it’s more about space,” says Graham Sweeney. “The ocean, the mountains, wind, sun and rain shaped these songs”.
His birthplace combines his three passions; music, surfing and vintage VW’s which he has been restoring since the age of 12: these elements are the cornerstones of his music career.
Graham featured in Hot Press’ ‘Hot for 2020’ list and was chosen to perform at the annual TradFest / Culture Ireland Emerging Talent Showcase live at Tradfest 2020 and performed at The Teelings/Totally Irish event on Feb 20th, 2020. He appeared on the Music Trail at Other Voices, Ballina. He was also featured on TG4's Sli na mBeaglaoich Mayo special in May 2020.
Graham has toured and performed extensively, appearing at festivals including Electric Picnic, Another Love Story, Vantastival and many more.
He has also supported some of Ireland’s great artists, including Lisa Hannigan, Damien Dempsey, John Sheehan, Mick Flannery and Declan O’Rourke.
Declan is a huge fan of Graham’s work, describing him as:
“A very talented, original young songwriter with all the trademarks of a great career ahead”.
His first single, 'The Quiet Man' was released in January 2020, second single, ‘I Am’ was released in May 2020 followed by Go n-Éirí an Bóthar Leat on September 11th 2020 with AMS Records.
"Best new guitar player I've heard for years."