My Tipperary Life interview: Grace McMahon of The Art Crimes Band

Niamh Dillon

Reporter:

Niamh Dillon

Email:

niamh.dillon@tipperarystar.ie

My Tipperary Life interview: Grace McMahon of The Art Crimes Band

Grace McMahon hails from Ballyporeen Co Tipperary

Grace McMahon hails from Ballyporeen Co Tipperary. She graduated with honours in Music from UCC and it was here she developed her passion for singing Jazz.

One of the biggest highlights of her musical career was to sing alongside guitarist Louis Stewart at the Jazz fest in Cashel Palace.

Grace is a singer song-writer and recording artist with The Art Crimes Band since 2012. Their newest single 'In the Dark Of The Evening' was released on January 29. For more see check out more at www.theartcrimesband.com.

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?

This is what’s lovely about the lockdown, a dream of simple things, like going for a coffee in Clonmel and walking around the shops with my Mam. At The Junction Festival in Clonmel, I have missed listening to live music on the streets.

At the moment I’m so lucky to live in Ballyporeen and have the opportunity to go for walks around the hills and valleys here, the stunning views of the Galtee Mountains. Walking and being outside in nature has been my lifeline the past few months.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?

It has to be singers and musicians who have put Tipperary on the map, the likes of Frank Patterson, the Clancy brothers, and of course Gemma Hayes another Ballyporeen woman. They paved the way of many of us, as they played international and never forgot their roots in Tipperary.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

I have to be biased, I love Ballyporeen and the surrounding areas. When i was growing up we used to go to Glengarra woods and still to this day it brings back lovely memories. Trips to The Vee and that lovely walk from Cahir along the river to the Swiss cottage.

What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?

The first thing that popped into my head was the Song ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ I think everywhere I have traveled people always sing that to me. You can’t forget the impact Tipperary sport has given the county and the land itself, is so rich, with amazing agriculture value.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

At the moment it's Covid and I can see people are finding it harder everyday. The pandemic has caused issues for everyone in such different ways. There is light at the end of the tunnel and just hope people can keep going and see that it will pass.

That is our message in our song ‘In the Dark of the Evening’ to hold on and not to feel alone, to be able to talk to friends and family.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?

I think I would love more people to see Tipperary and its hidden gems. The county has so much to offer and sometimes gets left behind.

There is so much history with food and arts and of all the beautiful castles that can be discovered. With new walks like the Blueway, it has given Tipperary some lifeline and would love to see more of that.

What has impressed you the most about how the music/ entertainment industry has adapted during the pandemic?

People are realising just how important art is all around them. To get through the pandemic everyone turned to books, art, music, poetry, movies and TV. Slowly people realised the value and the importance of art in their lives.

Many artists in the industry adapted and are now questioning the low value things like the music industry has placed on the artists themselves. All that is now being questioned and challenged. I think we're experiencing a bit of a renaissance period.

Do you think people will be more appreciative of live events/ music/ arts after the pandemic?

Oh yes I hope so, It might take some time to get back to the way it was. But I can’t wait to go see a play or a live music gig. The energy of a large crowd be it in a small to huge theater, there is something in that you can’t replace.