Damien O’Kane is a musician of many talents.
He’s a singer. A very good one, too, with a relaxed, assured vocal style that exudes a natural warmth and empathy with the colourful characters who occupy his songs.
He’s also a brilliant banjo player. And a fine guitarist. And an ingenious arranger. Not to mention an accomplished tunemaker, researcher, bandleader and accompanist of rich imagination and fearless vision.
Steeped in music, Damien grew up in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, with a deep respect and understanding of the folk tradition, yet which also forged a healthy appetite to explore its broadest borders and test its boundaries. All of which has culminated in his brilliant 2015 solo album ‘Areas Of High Traffic’
which, apart from proving he scrubs up well for a cover photo, takes some of the greatest songs in the folk canon – ‘The Blacksmith’, ‘The Banks Of The Bann’, ‘I Am A Youth’ and ‘The Green Fields Of America’ included – and reinvents them in refreshingly original ways. www.damienokane.co.uk