I was very excited to have been invited to play Schottenfest in Vienna – getting there proved a little difficult however! I had booked a flight with Air Berlin from the island of Sylt for the morning of the 2nd December – and a week before that I got a message from Shane in Vienna asking me if Air Berlin had provided me with an alternative flight, as they had gone bankrupt and would not be flying me!! 

After a lot of calls, emails and internet searching – I settled on taking a train after the gig on Friday night to Husum, there I would be collected by a lovely couple, Sabine and Sterni, who gave me a bed and brought me back to the airport at 5am (even though I had never met them before!), getting a train to Hamburg and catching my new flight to Vienna! Thanks to Mel and Ulf for helping me get sorted! 

Arriving in Vienna, I was met at the airport by Michael, who was raving about the previous night’s gig – making me very jealous I couldn’t arrive earlier!  He dropped to my hotel (The RubyMarie) so I could get a little nap before the gig later, and try catch up on some lost sleep!  I was collected later by Dave who I kept missing in dance of lifts, lobbies and receptions, and we headed to the venue where I soundchecked and met more of the Schottenfest team – a nicer bunch of people you could not wish to meet! 

The gig started with a gorgeous set from Doug Andrew – a US native but Vienna dwelling singer songwriter.  I was up next to a room of incredible listeners, which was scary in the dark – but more so when they brought the lights up!  Dave Arcari closed out the night with an absolutely rocking and stomping blues set! 

Sunday was closing day – with an open session in the Ruby Lissi hotel and so much talent from the festival participants to festival volunteers and Vienna Songwriting circle members.  We played for a few hours and then the closing party was another massive sing song that started at 8pm and finished at 2am. We had the greatest night of music and friendship! 

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Gráinne Hunt is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter, raised in Monaghan and based in Kildare, Ireland. With consistently on-point, captivating vocals and well-honed, insightful songs, Grainne has shared stages with Glen Hansard and U2, has opened for Gladys Knight, Eagle Eye Cherry and the Bay City Rollers, and has been compared to vocal icons Tracy Chapman and Nathalie Merchant.

Her ‘gorgeous new album’ (Mathieu Norry RTE Radio 1), This Secret, was released in September 2019. ‘[A] seamlessly gentle fusion of Irish folk and Nashville backing, together with Gráinne’s gorgeous, slightly throaty vocal delivery’ (FolkRadio.co.uk), it was recorded with Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Maura O’Connell) and features the skills of Mark Fain (Ry Cooder) on bass and Lynn Williams (John Hiatt) on drums.  

2019 also saw the release of an Irish folk album, Songs from Ireland, recorded with award winning guitarist Brendan Walsh. Recorded last year in Soundville Studios Luzern, it includes songs Buachaill on Eirne and Raglan Road. 

Despite 2020 cancellations, over the various lockdown periods Gráinne performed for the #IrelandPerforms initiative, joined Axis Ballymun for Cruinniú na nÓg & #SummerSessions, founded songwritercircle.club, created the first #AdventCalendarofSong (solo recordings of 24 Christmas songs released on social media every day in December) which included a collaboration with German choir Cantus Domus on a beautiful version of The Wexford Carol, and joined U2, Glen Hansard, and others for The Late Late Show Charity Busk.  


Songs From Ireland

Firing Pin

This Secret

Breathe Arvo party Remix