Cahal Dunne (ka-Hal Dunn), the ever-popular Irish songwriter, musician, and entertainer admired by his peers and audiences alike, has now added "author" to his long list of accomplishments.
In his new book, he tracks the progress of a young man from Cork City: choir director, music teacher, and showband musician, to seminal Celtic rocker, Eurovision-acclaimed songwriter, and US-based solo performer since 1983. It's a salty tale of a young man struggling to make it in recessionary Ireland, and the "troubles" in Northern Ireland. It was a hell of a time to go for it, but that's exactly what he does.
The musicians and girlfriends, love affairs and relationships, and broken hearts and mended hearts, are all described as only an Irishman passionate about his chosen career can do.
He does this through a series of interwoven vignettes, some hilarious and some heart wrenching, but all vastly entertaining. The natural flow of his Cork brogue shines through in all his stories, as he tells about various band mates and their piccadillos, and some shady managers and agents (some decent and some not so decent.)
Cahal spins wonderful yarns about the band's travels through Ireland and Europe in a beat-up old van which carried through their equipment from one booking to the next, and about their adventures and misadventures en route.
Spoiler alert: there's a great tale of a Corkman's revenge on a reprehensible German club owner.
Anybody who has ever played in or danced to the beat of an Irish showband has to listen to this book. Apart from that, however, it is a great listen in its own right and should appeal to anyone who likes a story of a young man's musical dreams and struggles. It's a universal tale, beautifully chronicled.