Irish Mythen named Music P.E.I.’s Songwriter of the Year

& WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for May 22, 2016

Irish Mythen fits the old cliche of being being a “20 year overnight success.” The passionate singer-songwriter has been impressing audiences in the United States over the past couple of years following showcase performances at a Folk Alliance International Conference and at the regional North East Regional Folk Alliance Conference in 2014.  Last year, she had the honor of closing the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Her reputation is growing, and this year she embarked on her first solo U.S. tour.

Irish received some good news from her adopted home during the U.S. tour. On May 17th, it was announced that she won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award for her song “Gypsy Dancer.” Irish sang the song on my radio show just two days before. I’m not saying that her appearance on my show had anything to do with her win, but it couldn’t have hurt!!!  I was honored that she performed “Gypsy Dancer” as her first song during her appearance (Hear the complete interview/performance at the link below)

Irish Mythen at WFDU

Irish Mythen at WFDU

The Songwriter of the Year Award was part of the Music P.E.I. Awards that were handed out at the May Run Music Festival that took place in various venues throughout Canada’s Prince Edward Island. The festival and the award presentations are part of Music P.E.I. week, a cultural event celebrating the island’s musical and media offerings.

Music P.E.I., originally founded in 2001 as the Prince Edward Island Music Awards Association, is a non-profit member services organization that works to advance the careers of Prince Edward Island musicians and to promote the great music to be found in the region. The Music PEI awards are announced at May Run Music Festival which brings national artists as well as provincial artists to the stages of the event that leads up to Canada’s Victoria Day. The SOCAN Songwriter of the Year was the first award handed out this year and the other nominees included Tim Chaisson, Nathan Wiley, Coyote and Sorrey.

The song that won the award for Irish, “Gypsy Dancer,” appears on her self-titled CD “Irish Mythen,” a recording that has received extremely positive critical acclaim and has paved the way for Irish here in the United States.

Born in County Wexford, Ireland, Irish emigrated to Canada after falling in love with the country.  Her left arm bears a tattoo of Roman numerals for the date of June 6, 2006 – the day she first came to Canada to perform at the Stan Rogers Festival. The opportunities to perform and record in Canada have lead her to her most current acclaim.

The youngest of three children, Irish fell in love with music at an early age, absorbing the music (sometimes unwillingly!) that her parents enjoyed – Makem & Clancy, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other folk standards. As a teenager, she taught herself to play the guitar and discovered her voice. Her love of sports was guiding her to a career involving athletics, but a motorcycle accident sidetracked those ambitions. She began to learn the music business and realized where her passions were leading her.

Irish Mythen

Irish Mythen

On stage, Irish delivers a passionate and energetic performance. Her voice and gift for sharing stories can move an audience to tears or laughter. She remarked that she feeds off the audience and creates an intimate experience for everyone in the room, always give 100% to each performance.

In recent years, Irish has toured the globe, finding herself billed at major festivals and opening for artists such as Rod Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, and Lucinda Williams. Earlier this year she was asked by Melissa Etheridge to open for her on a tour of Australia.

The SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award will fit nicely in Irish’s trophy case – in 2015 her CD “Irish Mythen” was named the Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year at the Canadian East Coast Music Awards. I’m predicting that there will be many more such honors and accolades for this talented artist in the years to come.

Click on the link below to hear Irish Mythen with Ron Olesko on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS
Originally broadcast on May 15, 2016

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About Ron Olesko

For over 40 years, Ron has been a radio programmer with WFDU-FM in Teaneck, New Jersey. He created WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS in 1980, a show that he continues to host and produce every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6pm Eastern Time. He's the president of and booker for the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and is a regular contributor to Sing Out! as well as the host of the Folk Music Notebook blog on this site. Ron can also be found emceeing concerts and festivals around the NYC/NJ area. A lifelong Mets fan and a rabid soccer geek, Ron is a Red Bull season ticket holder since their inception and will most likely be in his seat when not in the studio.

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