Sean Mathews in the place of his birth, Ballsgrove.
Everyone is living through their own version of the Covid-19 restrictions nightmare. For musicians it means no public performances apart from the online space.
For local folk singer Sean Mathews the urge to make music never fades so he is busy at the moment putting the finishing touches to his latest single called “Welcome to Ballsgrove” which, along with the accompanying video, is due for release on 23rd October.
Sean, who is second generation Ballsgrove, collaborated on the new song with another well-known local musician, Breifne Holohan, and local filmmaker Conor McGuinness shot the video.
In the Halloween-themed song Sean remembers as a young lad watching the Ballsgrove bonfire, collecting the pallets and tyres and other associated delinquency but also touches on much deeper themes.
Advertisement - continue reading below
Growing up before recycling and health and safety laws, Sean was aware of how Halloween could provide a healthy way for a young man to find a sense of purpose in a working-class housing estate.
But there is a sense that many of the rituals of Halloween have been lost with the smoke of bonfires past, with game consoles and social media consuming more and more of young people’s time.
Sean’s songs, a true blend of old and new, have always explored the proximity between rural and urban life in Drogheda, “the country was only two fields away” he says.
Armed with his trusty 12 string guitar duelling with Breifne Holohan on Mandolin, “Welcome to Ballsgrove” weaves both instruments with orchestral parts and percussion and will also feature on his debut album Dreaming is Allowed.
He takes influence from artists like Dick Gaughan, Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey and local folk hero Jonathan Kelly (aka Jon Ledingham) as well as Sean-nós singers like Geordie Hanna and Paddy Tunney.
“Welcome to Ballsgrove” will be featured on Sean’s forthcoming second album of the same name (due early 2021). The single is out on all major streaming and download platforms from October 23rd.
There was to be a launch in McHughs but who knows whether or not that will happen.
Behind the scenes of Welcome to Ballsgrove video shoot with Conor Mcguinness in Gerrards Church.
Drogheda Life has brought you the local news every day since February 2012 with a special emphasis on the achievements of local individuals, community organisations and businesses.
If you appreciate what we are doing perhaps you would consider making a financial contribution to help us continue publishing?
We are reaching out to Drogheda Life’s readers to seek their financial support so that we can continue delivering the local news every day and providing a platform for discussion of local topics.
As a Drogheda Life subscriber you will be supporting our efforts to bring you the local news on a daily basis and to provide a platform for discussion on local topics and issues of the day
Drogheda Life is here to support the people of the Drogheda area and to publicise their efforts within the community. Please fill in the form now. Thank you.