Reading of The Stars Are Underground 2016 gig in the Grand Social Dublin on December 29th reminded yours truly of a John Kelly ‘Eclectic Ballroom’ show in 1998 where Gary and Oona of The Great Western Squares dropped in to the TodayFM studio for a chat and to play a few records.
From Dublin, The Great Western Squares were Gary Fitzpatrick (vocals, acoustic guitars, piano, melodica, harmonica), Oona White (vocals, jews harp, melodica), Gary O’Growney (mandolin, bass), Stan Erraught (electric, lead and slide guitars, lap dulcimer), Tim Rogers (fiddle, mandolin), Alan Murphy (drums) and Pat McGauley (bass).
..formed during the summer of 1996 – originally a one-off, impromptu project assembled by Gary Fitzpatrick (formerly of the noise band Pincher Martin) to play a “Johnny Cash Appreciation Society” showcase in Dublin, Ireland, the group’s debut performance went over so well that it soon became an ongoing concern. By October, the Squares were playing on a weekly basis, covering classics by everyone from Hank Williams to Gram Parsons to Jimmy Webb, and in early 1997 they recorded the covers album Judas Steer. A collection of originals, Almost Sober, followed a year later.
The recording isn’t great for the first 10 min but is fine thereafter. Now we’re off to track down the album!