John and Jacinta for Gatehouse CD launch
Gatehouse musicians John and Jacinta McEvoy live in Navan in Co. Meath, not too far from where they first laid eyes on each other at a Comhaltas festival in Gormanstown College.
John and his sister Catherine, whose mother and father hail from Strokestown and Kilmore respectively, were over visiting from the family home in Birmingham when they met the McGorman siblings, Tom and Jacinta. It was to prove a very fruitful trip for both families!
“Our eyes met across a crowded session,” says Jacinta “and to cut a very long story short, I married John and my brother Tom married John’s sister Catherine”.
John and Jacinta have three children, two of whom, Paddy and Conor, will be performing at the launch of Gatehouse’s new CD ‘Heather Down The Moor’ at Roscommon Arts Centre this Friday night.
The McEvoys’ involvement with the popular Roscommon musical group was the result of a natural evolution.
“The two Johns did a lot of gigging and I’d play the guitar with them and I was also a good critical ear!” Jacinta said (referring now to fellow band member John Wynne).
“We were looking for a guitarist and so it kind of evolved,” added John.
“We were playing fairly straight trad but we wanted to develop it and we were interested in the singing side of it so then Rachel (Garvey) came on board too,” John said.
The group, which has enjoyed tours of the UK and Denmark, will perform as part of the launch this Friday night.
‘Heather Down The Moor’ follows ‘Tús Nua’, which received favourable reviews including a five-star rating in the Irish Times, and the McEvoys are excited about Gatehouse’s latest offering.
“We thought it would be nice to launch the CD in Roscommon. We really enjoy playing together and not taking it too seriously. We want audiences to be entertained and to have fun at the gigs,” John said.
“We interact with the audience and we try to keep a good balance between the singing and the music,” said Jacinta.
John concluded by highlighting the integral part traditional music plays in Irish culture.
“We want to broaden the appeal of traditional music and to spread it to new listeners. After all it’s an important part of our heritage”.
Co-produced by Donal O’Connor, ‘Heather Down The Moor’, is the band’s second album. Band members John and Jacinta McEvoy, Rachel Garvey and John Wynne will be performing alongside some talented guest musicians this Friday evening.
‘Heather Down The Moor’ features new tune compositions from the band’s fiddler John McEvoy, which were created especially for this record. Gatehouse have also assembled some of Ireland’s finest musicians to perform on the album including John Joe Kelly, Alan Kelly, Michael McCague and Conor and Paddy McEvoy.
Gatehouse will launch ‘Heather Down The Moor’ and perform this Friday (21st) at 8 pm in Roscommon Arts Centre. Tickets are €15/€12 and are on sale now from the box office on 090-6625824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie