If I Was Wise
What is it about Irish music that takes it to every corner of the globe? Well, you could ask Irish singer-songwriter Danny Guinan, a well-travelled troubadour. Having toured extensively internationally with his band Speranza in the 1990's Guinan is now resident in Haarlem, The Netherlands from where he has become one of the leading lights on the Irish music scene in Europe. Though an unerring line of 'Irishness' runs through his songwriting Guinan has over the years adopted a more cosmopolitan approach to his music and regularly draws inspiration from the country, jazz, pop and hot-club traditions to name but a few. This all combines to make his music both authentic-sounding and contemporary. Danny began in 1990 as a professional musician with Speranza and for six years criss-crossed the world to much critical acclaim. This period culminated in the well-received album 'About Time', Speranza's only commercial release. The attraction of broader pastures prompted Guinan to pull the plug on the band and move lock, stock and barrell to The Netherlands. The move gave him the opportunity he desired to broaden the scope of his song-writing and, not unimportantly, his audience. Between 1997 and 2003 he has notched up over 1000 gigs in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Finland both as a solo performer and with the band he formed around himself Red. Highlights include touring with Luka Bloom and Shane McGowan. Despite this collossal amount of gigging he also found the time to record in that period no less than four albums, all of which have been lovingly received by critics both in The Netherlands and further afield. Guinan's music has never been easy to categorise and remains that way. Call it contemporary folk if you like but it is the attention to the lyric in his song-writing that stands out above everything else. He is not afraid to label himself 'a lyric freak', a rarity in modern day music. The honesty of his lyrics is fully complimented by a wholly acoustic approach to performing which is especially noticeable in the stunning contributions to the songs of Siard de Jong on fiddle, bouzouki and whistles and of Onno Kuipers on accordion. Guinan himself is no mean guitar player and the band on stage performs with an enthusiasm that draws heaps of praise and admiration from both audience and critic alike.