Walk around Damien Dempsey’s patch of Dublin’s northside and the places and people are like ancient dolmens round his lyrics. For Dempsey, people and place are King. His voice is Dublin yet wholly distinctive. He is part of a rich bloodline of Irish singers from Luke Kelly to Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore to Andy Irvine. Their kin outside Ireland are Springsteen and Guthrie, Dylan and Marley.
How do you describe Damien Dempsey’s music to someone who hasn’t yet been exposed to it? Take some reggae, fuse it with traditional Irish music, add in rock and folk and put it all through a grounded working class worldly aware yet caring consciousness, and you’re some bit of the way there.
Since his first live outings in the mid-1990s, Damien’s gigs have seen him wow audiences across the globe, and his performances have taken on a spiritual and soulful quality. Damien Dempsey is quite simply and unequivocally himself: Damo.