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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Third Space presents Mick Flannery

Mick Flannery, a contemporary folk musician from Ireland, will be stopping by local Davis venue Third Space on Nov. 15.

Before becoming an internationally-renowned artist, Flannery was a budding folk and blues fan that grew up in a music-oriented family. His later studies in music and management prompted him to write the album Evening Train, which ultimately became his first mark in the music world. Since then, Flannery has released three albums and has received much critical acclaim.

Third Space’s director, Lauren Norton, describes Flannery’s music as reminiscent of the styling of artists such as Nick Cave and Tom Waits.

“When he was starting out, he won a songwriting competition that was judged by Tom Waits, and you can hear the influence in his songs,” Norton said. “There’s real pain and longing and anger, although in person and onstage, he is mild-mannered and shy and self-deprecating.”

Flannery’s most recent album release, Red to Blue, took a total of two years to finish. The songwriting process for the album was apparently a challenge for Flannery. On his website, he quotes that he’d developed writer’s block from touring extensively in promotion of his sophomore album, White Lies. To find inspiration, Flannery ventured to the States, spending time in Boston and Nashville.

In an email interview, Flannery explained how his travels assisted with his songwriting.

“I suppose being away from home and meeting new people in new places opens your mind up,” Flannery said. “Not knowing anyone also allows you to feel a little freer. When you come from a small town where everybody knows each other a feeling of anonymity can be good for you.”

Thus came twelve songs that now comprise the 2012 album. Red to Blue’s tracks explore themes of romance, melancholy and politics. Flannery stated how Red to Blue might differ from his previous works.

“It’s a little more layered instrumentally than the other stuff,” Flannery said. “Strings and brass feature a bit. I’ve also tried to tone down the American accent I had in previous albums.”

Norton described the album as having melodious songs with lyrics that accurately describe human emotions.

“The emotion draws you in at first, and then the melodies carry you off. The lyrics are smart and piercingly accurate,” Norton said. “In ‘Keeping Score,’ a song on the new album he says, ‘I see you talking with those men it wouldn’t faze me / Now you’ve been laughing with my friends, it drives me crazy’ and I think it’s such a devastatingly good couplet about the harder times in a relationship.”

Flannery’s current tour is in celebration of Red to Blue’s release. While Flannery has frequently performed along the East Coast, there have only been a few stops along the West Coast. His Davis performance will be his Central Valley debut.

Flannery’s show at Third Space will have a living room set-up to create a warm and inviting ambience to complement the evening’s soundtrack. Third Space’s events coordinator, Sally Hensel, anticipates an overall charming outcome.

“I like songwriters that can tell a good story, and I think that’s definitely what we’ll find,” Hensel said. “It’s really amazing that someone of such a big name is traveling so far to come and perform for us. It should be a really good treat.”

For more information on Mick Flannery’s performance at Third Space, please visit thirdspacedavis.com.


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