The Meeting-Place Midleton

Midleton is a town twelve miles east of Cork city. Like any town, when you live in it , go to work, school, watch your kids grow up, you cope with the ups and downs. Time moves fast. Months, Years blend into each other. Maybe those who leave the area for a long time get to really appreciate the qualities the rest of us take for granted. It could be simple things like following a sports event, enjoying Keohanes chips on a Friday, the buzz in your favorite bar on a week-end.

Or, if you are into live music, as most of us are, the one thing our area is noted for, is, the very high standard of musicians, bands, singers and songwriters living and performing in Midleton and the villages within a ten mile radius of the town.

From the day the Meeting Place opened, in the summer of 1985, I have seen at first hand the talent, the dedication, the progress of many superb musicians. One such example is James McGrath. Starting out as a solo performer at our acoustic gigs, James soon formed a band. From 1994 onwards, The McGraths,The Tempted,The Crazy-Janes, Boathouse, James McGrath Band and now James McGrath.Com appear in my gigs diary, at frequent intervals. James and band are not only established in our area, but in the past six months have built up a fan base in West Cork and into County Waterford.

James uses his distinctive voice to sing a well planned mix of his own material and great covers. Add in his smooth acoustic guitar backing and experianced muscians behind him.

It all comes together. The gigs are enjoyed by both the punters and the band. Thats why the graph will continue to rise for this band. James released his debut album in August, 1995, called Time Will Tell. This release was part of a week's activities to raise funds for Rehab. He organised busking, sponsored silence, batchelor competion, football and a host of gigs at the Meeting Place.

He drew in his friends to play, some we knew very well and some new acts. One of these was the brilliant band Tres Hombres, who, two years later, opened our Rory Gallagher Bar, marking a new chapter in the life of the pub. James is also a superb sound engineer. He also hopes to have a studio up and running in the near future. Every year, since 1988, The Meeting Place makes an award to a local musician for outstanding merit.

The names of past winners include: Sean Gill, Pat McCarthy, Padraig Parker, Bobby Lee, Jean Michell Cavallo, Cormac Brenock, Des McLoughlin, Herman Baily, Wayne McSweeny ,Billy Cusack, Paul Casey, John Nyhan. Another name on this list is James McGrath. A very worthy addition. To James and his excellent band, I wish you continued success.

Tony Moore, Proprietor, The Meeting Place-Rory Gallagher Bar 14-4-2002.

The Anchor-Bar Dungarvan

This is to confirm that James McGrath and his band were the resident musicians at the Anchor bar in Dungarvan on Thursday nights for a period of 4 years.These sessions became very popular and they built a huge following from the locality and further afield.The set usually contained a wide range of music, from the 60's right up to the present day and this coupled with their exellent live sound gave the band popularity with audiences of all ages. Add to this, plenty of audience participation and you had a mix that always made people smile.

Always included in the gigs would be a selection of Jame's original songs and these always drew a great reaction and grew stonger with each performance. James himself is a very likeable person and it was a pleasure to do business with himover the years.I wish him all the sucess he deserves in his career and if you get the chance to catch a live gig then don't miss it. KEEP MUSIC LIVE !!! .

Regards Liam Shanley, The Anchor Bar, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.