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Sunday 18 August 2019

Pierce still rising as latest album connects with fans

Pierce Turner
Pierce Turner

Simon Bourke

'Imagine if Roxy Music did Irish folk songs.' That's how Wexford's Pierce Turner describes his next album, a work which will see him 'take the great Irish folk songs' of his youth and mould them into his own.

Entitled 'And Still I Rise' this will be Pierce's fourteenth solo album having previously released a series of critically-acclaimed works with fellow Wexfordian Larry Kirwan during the 1970s.

However, despite all his success, Pierce is still pushing the envelope in a musical sense, and has set himself some unique challenges for this forthcoming work.

'I'm using a black rhythm section for this album, two guys from Jamaica, who are really superb. They've never even heard Irish folk songs before so they'll bring something different to the project.'

Keen to point out that he's not 'another white guy making a reggae album', Pierce says he intentionally sought out Carribean musicians because of the historical ties between Ireland and that part of the world.

'Cromwell sent thousands of Irish people to Jamaica in the 1600s, Jamaicans are 25% Irish in origin. That was where this concept began. I don't want to make a reggae record, but I want the sensibility of their rhythm behind these songs. It's going to be a very summery album, people are going to drive their cars to it.'

Still in the production stage, Pierce has placed the future of the album entirely in the hands of his fans. Requiring $10,000 to complete, 'And Still I Rise' is to be a crowdfunded work, a process which involves patrons donating money for production costs in exchange for special rewards. These will range from having your name in the liner notes of the album to Pierce giving a private parlour performance in your home or venue of choice.

'To me the crowdfunding is attractive because it allows interaction with fans and for them to come along the journey with me,' Pierce explains. 'I could go to a producer and get the money, but when you do it this way everybody is on board as you go along. You don't get that experience when you have a serious record deal; when you have a major record deal you're dealing with the A and R people of a record company and their fickle moods, one miunute they love something, the next they don't. The general public are a much more reliable.'

With €1,000 donated on the first day, 'And Still I Rise' is already well on its way to becoming a reality, but where did the name come from? 'One of the songs im doing is called 'The Parting Glass', and there's a line in it which says 'if i should rise and you should not', I felt that was indicative of the size of this project, it's a big project, quite grandiose.'

Wexford People

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