September saw a return visit to the US with Mark Geary. Flying from Dublin to Charlotte, onto Louisville, Kentucky to meet with Mark’s label and perform at NULU Festival. We dropped into WFPK radio for a quick promotional slot before wandering the streets of Lousiville, finding all the good coffee and some great cookies!
NULU Fest is a festival in the newer part of Louisville – celebrating the locality with a big block party bringing local businesses together with stalls, stands and merchandise from local suppliers and craft suppliers. We spent the morning wandering round the streets ans checking in with friends and family of the festival. I even managed to pick myself up a festival t-shirt!
​That evening before we played, we had a jam with Ben Solee, who would then jump up and join us for a song! The set was great, just as the sun was setting and the stage lights really took effect!
The following day we had a day off, and no visit to Louisville is complete with out a visit to the Muhammad Ali Centre. We followed this by checking out Hotel 21C – the museum hotel with an awesome art gallery built in!
The following morning saw a super early uber driver come collect us for an early flight to NYC via Charlote. Dragging luggage we wandered round Mark’s old neighbourhood searching for a cafe that was no longer there. We eventually settled on visiting Cafe Orlin, the soon to close famous East Village cafe, where Mark used to work. We met Vitor the owner, who shouted us our lunch!

​Tuesday night saw us catch Mark’s brother Karl read excerpts of his book Montpelier Parade in the Irish Arts Centre, alongside the stunning Jenna Nicholls and the very talented Gerry Leonard.

I took myself to the infamous Russ and Daughters for a lox bagel lthe next morning before meeting Mark at the bus station to head upstate to play a gig with Peter O’Toole.   We jumped on a bus and headed to Marlboro, where we met Stephanie who took us to The Falcon – an amazing venue!  Upstairs a beautiful space and restaurant and downstairs another venue housed amongst music memorabilia!  We had a beautiful gig, in the round with Peter and then were joined by the incredible Dylan Doyle on guitar! 

Back to NYC on the train the next evening for a night off, before we jumped on a train again on Friday for another house concert with some Bruce Springsteen fans and first time house concert attenders!  A pot luck dinner and a totally acoustic gig with great people!  Jumped on the train back to NYC again that night! 

We were doing a joint house concert the next night in a private home with Mark’s brother Karl, the incredibe Jenna Nichols joined us for a few songs too which was a lovely warm up for the following night’s gig in The Scratcher.   Joined by Justin Carroll too, we played to an incredible packed house and warm vibes! An amazing gig to end a brilliant trip to the East Coast. ​​

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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’ (, 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, 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