A Year in Music – Patrick M Barrett (The Hedge Schools) – Questions by Killian Laher
What music stood out for you in 2017?
I’d be biased when it comes to this, but Joe Chester’s Easter Vigil was a stunning, thought-provoking work. Songs like Valley of Tears and Not a Christian Anymore are some of the finest he’s ever penned. I know the craft and time he put into this record, it deserves the shouts.
The Lost Horizons record is marvelous, the Seamus Fogarty record will also feature quite highly in my end of year round-up.
Any discoveries that had passed you by previously that made sense this year?
Nothing really that springs to mind. Maybe seeing the sublime Yorkston Thorne Khan live for the first time was magic. The first record had passed me last year but I saw them in Cleere’s in Kilkenny earlier in the year. I bought the two records after a mesmerising gig, a very special night. Sometimes music takes you places you’ve never expected. That night was one of those.
Are you still buying music? Any recommendations as to where?
I buy only vinyl these days and mostly all of that comes from Rollercoaster in Kilkenny, if they’ve not got it they’ll get it. Like the Pony Express, always deliver.
Sometimes it seems there are as many rereleases as new albums. Are you interested in reissued albums?
I bought just the one this year: Ryan Adams’ reissue of Heartbreaker. Often I will take a look and just see what extras there are. I’d only tend to buy iconic records – this one I had to have.
How are things going yourself? Any plans for 2018?
Things are busying themselves. Lots to tie up with a new release coming. Magnificent Birds, the third Hedge Schools long player will be out early 2018. Pressing to vinyl for the first time, so that’s exciting and to CD also. It’s a record myself and Joe (Chester) are really proud of. Recorded in his studio in Nice in France, we are happy with the space we’ve left it occupying. Really looking forward to letting the world hear it.