by Danielle Holian & James Fleming
On a cold dark evening in December, DeBurgo’s hosted its regular Friday night Folk Club.
Crowded close to the stage were the faithful who had ventured out on this Baltic night to witness a single launch by the man himself; Echo Harte.
About thirty people were spread out across the room under DeBurgo’s low stone ceiling. A platform about eight inches high held the drum kit. Amplifiers and microphones were on the floor in front.
Outside, a group of youths passed with sneers on their faces, laughing at the mere mention of the bar’s name.
Sonny Casey’s set started the night off on a rather subdued note, just herself and the guitar. Her breathy voice drifted through the venue leaving no distinct impression. Her singing and fingerpicking were nice enough, but not enough to stand out from the crowd of aspiring singer-songwriters flocking to Galway City.
Jack Lee raised the bar higher. Pre-show, he nervously told anyone and everyone that he hadn’t played music in a few months. He needn’t have been nervous.
Playing a mix of covers and his own material, Jack got the crowd going with his engaging onstage banter and the aura of enjoyment he exuded.
While enjoyable, his entirely solo set lacked some of the fire and harmonies of his previous work with Them Again, his former band. With the addition of a bassist and a percussionist, his show would improve immensely upon an already impressive performance.
“It’s gonna get loud in here,” Echo Harte himself declared as he took to the stage in a pair of shoes worthy of Keith Richards. Armed with a Gibson Explorer and a set of originals/covers, Harte and his backing band consisting of Keith Whyte of D-Day fame and Charlie McCarthy of Crude, tore into the first number and proceeded to raise the proverbial roof.
Playing hits from such icons as U2 and a surprise rendition of Bo Burnham’s Repeat Stuff Echo put his own signature twist on the songs and made then his own.
Original songs of the night included past works from his former band Blu Loves Milo and his new single Separate Ways during the acoustic set.
Halfway through the show, the band left the stage and left Echo all by his lonesome to perform acoustically. Just the man and his guitar.
And once that ended, an intermission ensued. Which, admittedly, killed the set just a bit. However, Echo mingled with everyone in the crowd and made sure they were all having a good night before being rejoined by the band onstage for more storming renditions of his own and other people’s songs.
The people filed out after the show, smiles on their faces and a ringing in their ears. The single is available now. Get it while it’s hot.