KILRUSH SINGER, Teresa Carrig will launch her debut album ‘Roots of Love’ this Friday at the inaugural Vandeleur Festival.
A series of events will be held to mark the three day festival running from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July in Kilrush including a performance by the Kilfenora Céilí Band and a Fashion Show by the Celia Holman Lee Agency.
Festivities will kick off at the Vandeleur Walled Garden and Visitor Centre on Friday and this is the location for the launch of Teresa’s debut album with a musical performance also to be delivered at 2pm.
Having sung in choirs, folk groups and pubs all her life, Teresa takes the plunge with the release of her first album. “The message of the album would be to chase your dreams, get up and do what you need to do and don’t let opportunity pass you by, that is the feel of the whole album,” she told The Clare Echo.
From a farming background three miles outside of Kilrush, Teresa credits her mother Bernie for instilling a love of music. “She would have played piano when she was younger, she always loved music, she passed the love of music onto all of her seven children. They are all singers, Michael the eldest wouldn’t have a note in his head but the others all have a voice but never use it, they can all sing but they don’t, I was the only one to venture down that route”.
As the fourth of the seven children, Teresa is younger than Michael, Hughie and Josie but above Maurice, Bernie and Sally when it comes to seniority in the Gilligan family.
Family support is at the root of allowing Teresa to fulfil her passion. She quipped that her own husband MJ “needs to be canonised, I’m gone more than I’m home at the moment” while the support of her children Cathal, a carpenter who is her soundboard, Aoife for emphasising the need to keep a positive outlook and Sinead for setting up an Instragram page has helped her to realise a lifelong ambition.
At school when attending the Convent of Mercy, Teresa’s abilities began to shine with solo performances. “In shows at primary school it would have been where I first went and sang, people would have stopped talking and listened so I thought I had something, that is the way it started”.
Soon after, she began singing at weddings alongside Morgan Roughan, Sinead Clarke, Mairead Bermingham and Linda Clohessy. Teresa credits Morgan and Patrick Roche as being key influences in her musical career.
In September, Teresa will hit a milestone in that it will be her twentieth year working as a special needs assistant at St Senan’s Primary School in Kilrush. Two years ago, she took a job share in order to devote more time to releasing the album.
Work on the album started as far back as 2008 when she released the single ‘Roots of Love’ which was arranged by Morgan and includes a duet with Patrick. “I said I neeed to write something decent to prove I could do it,” she recounted.
All ten songs on the album are original tracks, written by Teresa. “I suppose my favourite was the one played on the radio ‘I’m the One’, it’s the last one I wrote, I felt I have penned it all with that one, it flowed better and I enjoyed playing it the most”. The album was produced and mixed by Patrick O’Donnell of Studio 68 in Limerick.
Releasing the album in her hometown of Kilrush is special, even more so that it is at the first ever Vandeleur Festival. In April, she sang on RTÉ as the Today Show broadcast from Kilrush and Scattery Island.
Her love for her native place is encapsulated in a track dedicated to Kilrush. “While my heart is in ‘I’m The One’, my soul is in ‘Kilrush’. The message behind it is because I’m here all my life and living all my life in Kilrush, I just felt it was poignant that I have a song about Kilrush because of my love for Kilrush and my mother’s love for Kilrush, she was born and bred in Kilrush and always spoke so highly of it and its people, it’s our favourite place to live, to be and work in and it is the place where we decided to rear our children, we have a big love for Kilrush”.
Friends and family have made arrangements to take off work on Friday to support Teresa for what she expects will be a big gathering. “I would like to thank everybody for their support and encouragement and the well wishes I’ve got over the last few weeks, they’ve been phenomenal, it has been an unbelievable rollercoaster”.