Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Janet Dowd: News

NEW SONG! - October 25, 2015


The fabulous Mr Tom Leary (fiddle player with Lindisfarne and Feast of Fiddles) putting some AMAZING fiddle down on my new song, 'The Band Played Sweet Marie' by our friend Reg Meuross. It's a truly beautiful song which tells the story of the fiddle player Wallace Hartley who lost his life on the Titanics fateful journey.


Tom with Frank McKernan from Tyrone School of Music where I am a Vocal all you budding singers out there, come on in for a lesson! Frank is the the big chief of the school, a fab musician and recording engineer! (hoping for a pay rise after that compliment!)

MATT MOLLOYS - October 21, 2015

Back again in Matt Molloy's, Westport town, to perform at the annual memorial concert for local legend and friend Mick Lavelle.


This year joined by some fab musicians...Colin Henry on Dobro & Banjo, Lindisfarne's very own fiddle player, Mr Tom Leary who flew over especially for the gig & local Westport fella, John Scahill on lucky am I????


And of course the obligatory selfie outside Matt's....


It was a totally fab night of great music, song and craic...also did a TV interview about the song I wrote for Mick Lavelle...wasn't expecting that I can tell you! 

But, that wasn't the biggest shock of the night...oh no, this lady in the pic below, Lin May who I got to know from playing at the New Forest Folk Festival in Hampshire arrived at the gig...she had flown from the south of England to Knock airport, then a taxi to Westport for ONE NIGHT just to hear us sing a few songs...totally nuts but very much appreciated.


Then to round the night off nicely...a few songs and tunes by the roaring fire...sheer bliss.


Johnny & Tom giving it some welly...


Jimmy Molloy treating us to a beautiful song...

Hope we did you proud Mick! x



Fab night in our wee village of Loughgall and such a pleasure to share the stage with the legend Crawford Bell...proper showman!.....and of course, a night of side splitting craic with my neighbours and fellow Bramley Ramblers, Jim Smart, Mervyn Dowd, Mervyn Walker & Trevor Sharpe. 

ALFIES 1st BIRTHDAY! - February 18, 2015


Our wee man is 1 today...what a fab pic by our mate Nurse Ratched. It was taken at the annual Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival. Alfie just loves his music...I guess he hasn't much choice!

Happy Birthday wee Alfie!!! x

NEW YEAR / NEW JOB!!! - January 1, 2015


I have a new job...though I couldn't call it work as I am soooo going to enjoy it.

I am the new vocal tutor with Tyrone School of Music in Dungannon!  So if there are any budding singers out there who would like to work on their vocal technique, please give me a shout.

2015 is gonna be a good one!

BLACK BOX BASH - December 14, 2014


Fabulous afternoon at the Black Box in Belfast...this time joined by the AMAZING Tennessee Hennesseys who helped us raise money for MacMillan Cancer Care. We played to a packed house of friends, family and lots of new faces.


Thanks to all for being so generous and to my old workmates for the rude jokes!


SCARVA TEA ROOMS - November 30, 2014

Back at the wonderful Scarva Tea Rooms for an afternoon packed with fab music, craic, tea and cakes...sure what else would you rather do on a Sunday afternoon??

Thanks to all who came along to spur us on and help make it the best afternoon EVER!!!


Mick Lavelle Tribute Night at Matt Molloys - November 12, 2014


Wonderful night at Matt Molloys to celebrate the life of the legend Mick Lavelle.


We were treated to some fabulous music and song and of course it wouldn't be a night about Mick without the odd story or song to give us all a great laugh. Thoroughly enjoyed the night and was wonderful to have the fabulous Colin Henry and John Scahill accompanying my warbling! Colin played Dobro until his fingers bled (there's a song in there somewhere) he is with Jimmy Molloy on guitar.


The highlight of the evening has got to be the girls singing some of Micks songs...including my favourite..the parody of the Green Fields of France...classic!

And of course the music continued into the wee small hours....great memories of a great man.


Willie Collins Radio Show - November 3, 2014


Huge thanks to Willie Collins for inviting me on to his fab radio show for a chat about our music...

Also, it was lovely to speak to him about our mutual friend and fellow musician Dan Fleming who sadly passed away.


Dan was a great supporter of our music and went out of his way to promote us. In fact, it was Dan who arranged the interview with Willie, so that made it all the more special. Was lovely also to speak to his daughter after the interview...I'd say we may have to take a wee trip to Fermoy in Co.Cork to sing a song or two at the local session!


FOREST FOLK CLUB - October 20, 2014


Absolutely fabulous time at Forest Folk...and what an honour to have the legend, Tom Leary play fiddle with Brendan and I. Huge thanks to Charles Gale for inviting us over...what a great folk club they have! We were treated like royalty, picked up from the airport, fed and watered by the lovely Janet and best of all, performed to a full house of fab people. What more could you want??? I go back some day!

Here's me giving it some welly..


And the wonderful Mr Tom Leary making the fiddle sing...


Thank you Keith Curtis for the excellent pics! Great memories from a great night.


NEW FOREST FOLK FESTIVAL 2014 - August 28, 2014

After a bit of a delay with cancelled ferries etc...we're on our way for the 3rd time to the New Forest Folk Festival...Yeeeehaaaa!!!



Where do I start!!! What a weekend...every year it just gets better and better..

So after a long 16 hour journey, there was only one thing to do, hit the bar and join the singsong..


Next day and it's time to do our thing...


Fantastic music, venue, people, food, drinkies and I haven't laughed as much in a very long time...please, please, please visit this wonderful'll definitely not regret it! 

Here's a lovely shot of Brendan the piano maestro (...pic by Graham Quick) 


and lil ole me  (pic by Graham Quick)


One of the highlights of the weekend was that we had the absolute honour of being joined by two of the best fiddle players in the universe...

The legend, Chris Leslie (Fairport Convention) joined us on the song 'John Condon'....(pic Graham Quick)


and then the amazing Tom Leary (Lindisfarne) on 'Both Sides the Tweed'...(pic Graham Quick)


How lucky are we!!! Totally blown away....

And as if that wasn't enough, during our set we had a fly past from a Vulcan Bomber...I saw it coming towards the stage and everyone had their backs to it...I thought, oh my, surely my singing isn't that bad...thing was, I was the only one to see it coming as everyone else was facing the other the only thing to do was keep singing and point nervously to the sky!! Not too many can claim to be photo 'bombed' by a Vulcan...


You'd think that would be all the drama during our set, but you'd be wrong...a few songs later, this happened..


Yes..I couldn't believe it either...the Red Arrows flew over the stage!!  Quite an afternoon!!

Our friends at the New Forest Folk Festival went out of their way to make us feel at home as you can see..


Richard O'Digance


Tom McLeary


Tracey O'Hollis

So thoughtful of them...

Huge thanks to Nick & Helen Curtis for opening their home to us...mad eeejits and to Keith Curtis and everyone involved in making it all happen.

Particular thanks to Paul Smith....the best sound engineer EVER!!!

And of course all of you wonderful people who cheered us on and made the weekend truly special...

Check out the rest of the pics in the photo gallery...

See you all again next year!


MATT MOLLOYS 2014 - July 14, 2014


Another wonderful night of song and great craic in Matt Molloys...we were delighted to be back and played to a full house of amazing people who sang their hearts out!

Wee Alfie slept through the whole gig upside down at the side of the stage...clearly my biggest fan!

Huge thanks again to Matt and all the staff for looking after us so well...always a cracking night.




Fabulous weekend at the Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival and our wee Alfies first ever festival...incidentally, when this pic was taken, he was chewing the loose string ends on Mervs'd think he'd never seen a bite!

He also met a few friends...


And sampled the local tipple!


Like father, like son!


WEE ALFIE - May 23, 2014


Here's the reason why no work has been done, no website updates etc....

our new arrival, wee Alfie Dowd..

He came all the way from Wexford and is the love of our lives already..


He's already been to band rehearsals, gigs and festivals and is now thoroughly inducted into the music world...he mainly sleeps through everything, especially when I'm rude!! 





Fab night at the Sunflower Folk Club in Belfast...great audience...great music and great craic...sure what more could you want???


Only problem was that I had to pick the night that the gorgeous singer Andrea Begley sang a few songs before our gig...what a voice to follow...AMAZING!!! What a lovely person she is and a very shrewd business woman...she was going to charge me £2000 for this photo!


Worth every penny!!

And we also had the pleasure of listening to the hilarious Steve Amos..


So, my advice is ....get yourselves down to the Sunflower for a taste of some fab local folk singers and won't regret it!!


POPPLETON LIVE - May 11, 2014


Still can't quite believe that Fairport Conventions very own Chris Leslie and Ric Sanders joined us on stage to perform John Condon...what a huge honour and a delight for Brendan and I! It was truly wonderful and a moment I won't forget in a we are during the soundcheck..


This mad eeejit, John Watterson is the wonderful bloke who invited us to perform...we met John AKA 'Fake Thackary' at the New Forest Folk Festival and the craic was we're friends for life...wether he likes it or not! That's his lovely wife Carol who made us a delicious breakfast..mmmmm. x


Mr Ric Sanders getting a big ole squeeze...


The wonderful Mr Chris Leslie with Brendan & you can see, Merv won't set his pint down for anyone!


Some after show shenanigans with the legend Dave Pegg!


Heading home after a fabulous time at Poppleton Live...huge thanks to John Watterson and everyone involved in organising this wonderful new festival..also to our great hosts Mark & Moira for opening their beautiful home to us.

Special thanks to the legendary Fairport Convention and in particular, Ric Sanders & Chris Leslie, who played a stunning accompaniment to 'John Condon' with us on the night...what an honour!


SCARVA TEA ROOMS - March 14, 2014


Great afternoons craic at the Scarva Tea Rooms last Sunday...we sang some songs to a full house, told the odd yarn and finished off with a bit of an oul singsong. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  Huge thanks to Barbara and Colin for asking us and the good news is that we'll be back in the Tea Rooms on Sunday 6th April for another go at it!

Can't wait!


Number 4! - March 1, 2014



Sailing Away is still in the Top 10 albums in the March edition of Irish Music Magazine. It's currently at Number 4 after being in the Number 1 position since December! Huge thanks again to all involved, especially Jonny Toman....absolutely thrilled....

Anyone notice the typo???

Yes, the once Blue Cow is now a Red Cow...must have been to Benidorm for a wee break lol!


BIG NEWS!!! - February 13, 2014


Well...I can't quite believe this is happening to little old me...yes, you read it correctly...Brendan, the piano maestro and I will be opening for the legendary Fairport Convention at Poppelton Live in York on 11th May just before they perform their evening show!

What an honour...I'm pinching myself...cannot wait.  Huge thanks to the organiser and friend John Watterson for arranging this incredible opportunity....we'll definitely have to buy you a pint or two when we see you.

Roll on nerves are wrecked! I'll be buying the Immodium in bulk for this one lol!

J x


What a weekend! First time at the Shannonside Winter Music Festival and we're totally hooked!



Huge thanks first of all to our good friend Tim O'Shea for telling us about the festival and for playing with us over the weekend.  I have to say, the people of Bunratty and Sixmilebridge couldn't have been more welcoming and as for the music...totally blown away!  


Here's new best friend who helped me eat my breakfast at Bunratty Heights B&B...




Fiona & Mark from Inverness with the fabulous Tim O'Shea treated us to some beautiful music & singing...



Even the local geese had their own disco...



And as a special treat Merv & I thought we would take our twins out for the night...




A wonderful weekend, highly recommended to chill, relax and have FUN!!! ...and as the sign proves, they take it easy round these parts!


Review in FATEA Magazine - January 14, 2014

Huge thanks to Neil King for this lovely review of 'Sailing Away'...



Janet Dowd Album: Sailing Away

Label: Blue Cow

Tracks: 11


One of the things I like about the comparatively quiet to the start of the year is that it gives me the opportunity to play catch up with releases that seemed to escape the review pile at the time. Just such a release is "Sailing Away" the latest from Janet Dowd, her follow up to her solo debut "300 Miles".

Like it's predecessor, "Sailing Away" is a celebration of folksongs and styles from both sides of the Atlantic. Similarly, the supporting musicians share that mix of culture, including amongst their number Nashville fiddle player, Eamonn McLoughlin and Beoga's Sean Og Graham.

One of the key themes of the album is migration and movement, predominantly through story songs, which personalise those journeys, both physical and emotional, but without a doubt, it's a song that calls many home, "Danny Boy" and Dowd's interpretation of it, that is the real star of the album.

That said, "Sailing Away" isn't just a celebration of old songs, Dowd pens a number of songs for the album and they sit well alongside the more familiar. I can see "Leaving The Blasket" rapidly becoming absorbed into other people's sets as a traditional song. The song itself describing the final journey of the last residents of Great Blasket Island.

I may be a tad late with the review, but this album certainly hasn't escaped airplay on my radio show and "Sailing Away" is an album that I can easily recommend that you take time to check out.


Neil King

DRIVE 105 Top Album Tracks of 2013 - January 13, 2014

Huge thanks to Dessie Fisher from Drive 105 for making my new album 'Sailing Away' one of his albums of choice for 2013 on his show 'For Folk Sake'. I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of this collection of amazing artists...can't quite believe it! So here's the lineup in no particular order.....




Rodney Crowell / Emmylou Harris: Open Season On My Heart (Old Yellow Moon)

Thea Hopkins: Might've Stayed in Memphis Too long (Lilac Sky)

The High Bar Gang: Sinners You Better Get Ready (Lost & Undone, a Gospel Bluegrass Companion)

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbours: Another Man's Shoes (Good Light)

Sam Baker: Isn't love Great (Say Grace)

Roy Arbuckle/Anne Tracey: How's Your Broken Heart These Days (Songs For the Soul)

The Tillers: Old Westside (Hand on the Plow)

Mary Dillon: The Banks of Claudy (North)

The Mountain Firework Company: Low (The Lonesome Losing Blues)

The Ronnie Greer Band: Baby Won't You Please Come Home (A Lifetime With The Blues)

Slaid Cleaves: God's Own Yodeler (Still Fighting the War)

Janet Dowd: A Friend to Me (Sailing Away).....yeeehaaaa!!!!!

Stephen Fearing: Early Morning Rain (Between Hurricanes)

Ultan Conlon: Dance to "Paper Roses" (Songs of Love So Cruel)

Ruth Moody: These Wilder Things (These Wilder Things)

Chip Taylor: Block Out the Sirens of this Lonely World (Block out the Sirens of this Lonely World)

April Verch: Broken (Bright Like Gold)

Kimmie Rhodes: Don't Think Twice (Covers)

Rod Picott: I Might Be Broken Now (Hang your Hopes on a Crooked Nail)

Mike Donaghy & Border Crossing: Peace Begins With Me (Mike Donaghy & Border Crossing)



Charlie McGettigan @ The Red Room - January 10, 2014

A wonderful nights entertainment at The Red Room with the legend Charlie McGettigan, Janet & Colin Henry.


Haven't laughed as much in ages...Charlie has a wonderful repertoire of stories and of course fabulous songs. We were also treated to the beautiful voice of Janet Henry accompanied by the maestro Colin Henry on Dobro....who of course in case you didn't know, also plays in the Janet Dowd lucky are we!!!  In fact, so good was Colins playing that after the gig he was treated to a Janet sandwich!


And as usual, we ended the night with a bit of an oul hooley...I think this gentleman was enjoying one of my songs when this photo was taken lol!


Boxing Day @ The Dufferin - December 26, 2013

What a way to spend Boxing Day...full of great music and song.....needless to say, the craic was mighty!

No session in the Dufferin would be the same without our Charlie leading the absolute legend! And fiddling away (cough cough) beside Charlie is the magnificent Cairan...


And of course, the sickeningly talented Michael Steenson who is THE most amazing guitar player who occasionally loses his way and plays the odd banjo tune...well nobody's perfect lol!


And last but definitely not least.....the other half on show without punch as they say!!


So, whilst we were enjoying lifting the rafters, outside the weather was taking a turn for the worse...I have to say, it was the scariest drive home ever. Trees falling down around us, flooding and driving rain...and Merv slept through most of it. Last time I'll offer to drive! Takes a lot out of you, playing the guitar, so I'm told!

ALBUM LAUNCH @ THE RED ROOM - December 6, 2013


What an incredible night we had at the Red Room in Cookstown to celebrate the launch of the new album.  The wonderful audience spurred us on with their FANTASTIC singing...I think they're after my job!  Once again Sharon & Arnie created a night to remember with their fabulous hospitality (well the start of the night anyway....didn't get home until 5am, so some of it's a bit of a blur!).

Here's the fabulous Jonny Toman who's responsible for recording, producing, mixing and playing everything but the kitchen sink on 'Sailing Away'....wouldn't he just sicken ye???


And the party continued into the wee small hours...what a treat to hear the legendary fiddle player Brendan Hendry with Jonny and Colin!!


And a wee song or two from the wonderful Mr Brian Crawford....


And last but definitely not's my oul mate Aisling with Jonny and the very talented singer/songwriter, Baz McSherry. I have to say a great big thank you to Aisling and her husband Dermott for all their help with the flogging of the cd's, doing the door at our gigs and generally having to put up with me!!! And all this Aisling, with a badly broken arm...what a star!!! x


So, thanks to you all for making this a really special night!

J x

<< Previous Page    Next Page >>

RSS feed