“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a psychedelically timeless multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, hair stylist and retro-vintage fashion aficionado, whose recent tunes on the peerless Dimple Discs label have been turning the world dayglo. Ger (pronounced Jair as in Gerard) Eaton cuts a fine figure, and prior to his solo excursions had been known to tinkle the ivories and slide the frets for Dublin indie types The Pale.
In fact he’s been omnipresent in the scene for a good while playing with the likes of Premonition, Las Vegas Basement, Les Marionettes, Pugwash, The Carnival Brothers also touring with the likes of Mundy and Fionn Regan and appearing on Jools Holland and at Glastonbury (you may have heard of it). If you haven’t yet heard of him, allow this to be the phoenix moment, and please welcome to VS the fine notes, threads and thoughts of Ger Eaton!
As well as “Phoenix” with its revitalised sounds of the descant recorder in homage to sixties pop, DD has also proudly pressed Ger Eaton’s “Time It Takes To Fall” ep, with it’s chamber pop and classic songwriting chops both reminiscent of Scott Walker and The Waterboys and yet acidically lurid like its very own trip through the technicolour forests and glades.
There is something magical and other-wordly about Ger, his music deceptively simple yet instantly classic. But with a fine ear and an easy musicality, what have been his musical touchpoints? Without further ado, it’s over to Ger with an insightful and sonically delightful “song for ewe”…
“My story starts around 1991. I was in my early twenties and still listening to 2-Tone, along with the likes of Elvis Costello, Julian Cope, and The Smiths.
It was then that I got left a vinyl collection from my older sister’s Ex, who’d moved away. It was made up of artists such as Steely Dan, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Al Di Meola (her Ex used to play in the parish folk group and a progressive jazz band at weekends!)
I initially thought this collection was ‘not my bag’ but it turned out to be one of those collections that I dipped into every so often and made new discoveries that would broaden my musical horizons.
Yet there was one album that I always flicked past.
I think it was the front cover that did it (I know – never judge a book!). It looked low budget to my younger eyes. Just a one-colour image on the front, and their name, suggesting ‘diddly-eye’ music (as we say here in Ireland to describe ‘old-style trad music’!).
Tír na nÓg
This was a place we learned about in school, a place in Irish mythology where Irish heroes lived and nobody grew old. Surely not the name for a band! But many years later, while once again flicking, I decided to stop this time.
And so onto the turntable went Tír na nÓg’s self titled debut from 1971. And what a beautifully pure piece of progressive folk awaited me. Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly’s wonderfully crafted songs shine, with them both playing such instruments as tablas, dulcimer and Moroccan pottery drums!
And so to my choice: the Sonny Condell penned – ‘Time is Like a Promise’. Simple chords are taken somewhere extraordinarily joyous, with a weaving syncopated melody of pure beauty. This is my kind of folk, and I will be forever grateful to my sister’s ex!”
THANKS TO GER AND TO NICK CLIFT AT DEFINITIVE GAZE PR
Check out Ger’s impeccable work for Dimple Discs on the links below…
Also, I played “Phoenix (Reborn)” and Ger’s “song for ewe” pick on a recent edition of Velvet Sheep radio please have a listen here: