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HomeFarming News'Philomena Begley is my biggest musical influence'
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‘Philomena Begley is my biggest musical influence’

It was not until Lorraine McCauley’s father passed away that she decided to pursue her musical interests on a full-time basis.

Although music has always been her first love, the singer-songwriter worked for the Donegal Democrat for ten years before becoming a full-time piano teacher.

“My father, Adrian McCauley, played in bands since the 1960s until up to his passing.” Lorraine, who hails from a farming background in Ballyshannon, told Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming.

“He played drums and guitar and when I was old enough, he took me with him to gigs in pubs and clubs around Ireland on my school holidays.”

“I was sent to Irish dancing, tin whistle and piano lessons which I really enjoyed. It wasn’t long before I was out playing keyboards in dad’s band on my school breaks.”

From strength-to-strength

Lorraine built her family house on her grandfather’s, (James Duffy), land in Carricknahorna, a picturesque setting which has played a pivotal role in her success to date.

“My grandfather farmed the land until his passing and the farm has been in the Duffy name for generations.”

“It is very peaceful and tranquil for my song-writing and to gather my thoughts. My music is going from strength-to-strength thank God and it’s all thanks to the fabulous support of my friends and followers,” added Lorraine, who plays the organ and sings at St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon.

Musical journey

She studied music at the University of Ulster, Derry years ago but returned in 2018 to further her studies where she was awarded a Group and Community Music Teaching Diploma at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. “The academy is where I took all my piano grades years ago – It was good to be back.”

Her first single came in the form of I Really Think I’m Crying, which was initially released by ‘The Queen of Country’, Philomena Begley.

“My highlight musically, I would have to say is meeting Philomena. Fifty-eight years in the music business and going strong with many more years to come. Philomena Begley is my biggest musical influence and a lovely kind lady too.”

After that, the Donegal native, unveiled a cover-version of Foster and Allen’s hit, After All These Years. Last November, she released a cover of Blanket on the Ground, made famous by Billy Jo Spears and Philomena Begley.

“My cover of Blanket on the Ground made the number one spot in the country music charts for a while, so I was absolutely delighted with that.”

“The most special release so far for me would have to be my current release, A Tribute to Liz Gordon.”

“Liz was a talented keyboard player in Philomena Begley’s band for many years who sadly passed away last June.” I had the honour of playing at a special concert in the Millbrook Hotel Co. Down last October.”

“Liz’s brother, Paddy Gordon, kindly asked would I sing a few songs and play Liz’s keyboard on the night and I was honoured. When I came home, I wrote the song and brought it out on Liz’s first anniversary.”  

Awards

McCauley is being recognised on a global stage and was recently informed that she has been nominated for eight awards at the Fairplay Country Music Red Carpet Music Awards in Holland.

Her nominations are best gospel music/cover; best music video; traditional/original; traditional/cover; country rock/cover; musician of the year; entertainer of the year and songwriter of the year.”

“The awards were supposed to take place in November but due to Covid-19, will now be taking place online in that month.”

“I would like to thank Gaby and Peter and all the team for putting such great work into making this award happen. They truly are an amazing couple.”

Future

For Lorraine, the most enjoyable aspect of being a professional music artist is learning and writing new songs and seeing the outcome, 

“The difficult aspect has been not been able to perform live and see people dancing and enjoying themselves due to the global health pandemic. Please, God, we will in time.”  

“During Covid, I have been busy homeschooling my two children and writing more songs which I look forward to releasing soon.”  

“My life as a female country artist is fun – you have to enjoy what you’re doing and don’t take things for granted.”

“I have met some phenomenal people on my musical journey who have all been so good and kind to me,” Lorraine concluded.

Bookings

If anyone would live to book Lorraine for guest spot appearances or festivals next year, you can find her on Facebook here.

All images supplied by Lorraine McCauley 

To share your story, email – catherina@thatsfarming.com

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