Bob Eborall from The Stage

Catching the Singing Bug

Irish folk singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist J. Eoin from Limerick found the millennium bug scare a good luck charm.  On millennium bug night on September 9, 1999, he was promoting his new single ‘Eve of Solution’ when something very unexpected happened. “Someone in the audience said they really liked what I was doing and I explained that the reason I had done the single was as a stop gap as I did not have enough money to make an album. He said he could put up private money. I had spent a number of years trying to get to record labels and then a complete stranger comes up and says ‘I think I can afford to help you'”

J. Eoin is proud of his new album consisting of 12 songs with titles that include Mother Tongue and I’m No Angel. He says: “I put together the musicians, played all the guitar parts and produced it.” A familiar figure on the folk and acoustic circuit, J. Eoin began as a solo artist then moved to New York where he was influenced by the thriving folk scene there. He then returned to Europe and is now based in London where he is a regular performer at many of the capital’s venues including The 12 Bar Club in the West End.

Summing up, J. Eoin says: “ I see myself as a folk musician – and folk is people. I love to sit down and play with local people anywhere and music is a universal language.”

Malcolm Rogers from The Irish Post

A live review of the original showcase at The 12 Bar Club in London’s West End

On the evening of the ninth of the ninth of 1999 J. Eoin took to the stage at 9 o’clock to present his Eve of Solution and Millennium Bug song. As many of you are aware September 9 was the first day when it was feared that the Millennium Bug, or worse, might strike. Well, if you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet everything passed off safely, not least that I didn’t get trapped on London Underground – something that did happen to me a few years ago when I was trapped on the down escalator for over an hour at Walthamstow Station. I am glad to report, however, that J. Eoin’s gig proved to be Y2K Compliant – although I did see someone wearing a ‘Y2K complaint T-shirt’ which may have been a subtle joke, or perhaps the first evidence that there is something in this Millennium Bug thing after all.

At any rate J. Eoin’s concert at the 12 Bar Club went without a hitch or glitch and the man from Limerick entranced a packed venue with an hour of his self-penned numbers: Sean One Shoe, an anthem for the London Irish if ever there was one, Mother Tongue, a moving song about a Nigerian poet hanged by the corrupt authorities and The Deluge, a translation of a 17th century Irish poem about the clearance of trees from the land – even four centuries ago people were worried about the environment. J. is a fluent Irish speaker and uses a fair bit of our mother tongue in his songs to wonderful artistic effect.

This great lyrical dexterity is an integral part of the material – J. Eoin’s previous songs have included Claws written after his father’s death from cancer. Could there be a better evocation of this dreadful disease than the single word ‘Claws’? Similarly his summing up of the Famine talks of ‘Ribbonmen’ – a chilling image of that time.   J. Eoin is a powerful singer, a fine guitarist and a truly gifted songwriter. His background of growing up in the west of Ireland with a native Irish-speaking mother combined with spending the last 15 years or so in London has given him a wide range of experiences to draw on for his thoughtful material, a task he has set to with imagination and flair. J. will be doing a series of gigs round the country in the coming months leading up to the Millennium, and all being well, in the first few months of the Millennium. If you get a chance, treat yourself to an evening of this man’s music – music for the mind as well as the soul.

Dominic Wills from The Guardian

Comments on the single release ‘Eve of Solution’

Clearly steeped in Irish history and mythology, J Eoin somehow conjures otherworldly menace from weaving acoustic guitars and double bass. Gratifyingly sincere, as is the delicate and genuinely romantic back-up track Call Me Down.

A review of ‘Exiles’ in Musician Magazine

London-based Irish singer songwriter J.  Owen has a strong and traditional voice that he wraps around his own totally modern and enchanting songs to great effect.  Gergeous acoustic arpeggios and sumptuous strings flavour tales of urban experience. Very highly recommended.

Read the story behind the song ‘Sean One Shoe’

features as part of a permanent exhibition in Wood Green Library.

I remember it was the end of the Eighty’s and the beginning of the Ninety’s. 29,000 building labourers went home that Christmas on one-way tickets. Some said it was closer to 35,000. I met a few of them in the pubs around the Holloway Road when, after a gig, I’d go in search of a late pint and a bit of the craic. There was many an interesting character in those places and some great conversations about life and all that goes with it. One night I overheard a man say “it’s like waking up in the morning with one shoe on and one shoe off and wondering if you’re getting up or going to bed!” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Marietta V. Donovan from The Orpheus Magazine

The album, ‘Exiles’, is reviewed  in Volume 1 Number 7

On this album J. Eoin delivers a fantastic collection of his own songs – sentimental and timeless, with a compelling voice which is filled with sincere pathos. His songwriting shows great craftmanship expressed best of all through the songs ‘Mother Tongue’, ‘Drunken Jesus’, and ‘The Deluge’.

I ask myself, where has this man been all these years? You might like to know that he began his career in Ireland during the early 1980’s touring as a solo artist with Clannad and Scullion. After spending a few years in New York he then returned to Ireland and is now based in London.

If you ever get the chance to see J. Eoin ‘live’, do so! I have been told he is magic.

From Marie Bergeaas in Sweden

THANK YOU for doing and sending me lovely music. I listen every day on your CD and really hope for more to come…I really hope that you are continuing to write songs. My favorites so far are Sean One Shoe, The Deluge and Mother Tongue. The other are also my favorites…:-) Keep on picking.

From John Fitzgerald in Norway

Hi J, got your wonderful album yesterday in the post. Have only listened to it twice and am already entralled! All the best.

From Joe Kreimborg in The United States

J, I’ve been enjoying your CD very much. With your voice and guitar skills, you’d be a big hit here in Texas. Hope to see you on one of my next trips. The Best!

From Shane Phelan in London

Listening to your CD and I’m loving it. Just finished listening to ‘Rictus’, what a tune, besides ‘Drunken Jesus’. Anyway gonna listen to it again. Enjoyed big time.