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Watch: From Jamaica to busking in Ennis

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WE’RE big fans here in The Clare Echo of anything creative that makes the streets of our county more lively and vibrant.

Ennis gets its fair share of buskers and in recent times you’ll no doubt have noticed a well-dressed man sitting on an amp at the Height while hollering a selection of old American-style working songs.

Intrigued by the sound humming through our window, The Clare Echo went outside and introduced ourselves to the man we now know as ‘Bam Artist Artiste’.

“I’m an artist all the way from Jamaica, living in Galway 20 years or so. I go around the country and do one or two days in different villages, morning in, evening out, and it provides for me a revenue stream while I write. I write a lot and I paint from home in Galway,” he explained.

“It has to be [acapella] because I’m representing a time-frame that represents farmers working back in the days before the height of technology, in the fields and singing along to get their day by. So they’re basically field hollers.”

Bam says that his style of singing “absolutely” has echoes of Sean Nós, adding “Sean Nós carries that ancient story-telling in it and the type of singing I’m doing is very similar. Most of it is more influenced from the American cotton-picking timeframe.”

We had to ask him, why Ennis? Apparently we’re a sound bunch.

“I’ve been singing for quite a while in Ennis,” he said, explaining that he does two days a week here.

“Ennis people are fantastic man, they’re friendly, they’re very approachable, even the worst of them is approachable. Every so often you have the odd one say, ‘do you know any good songs’,” he laughs.

“But I’m Jamaican, we take everything in strides, we’re like the black Irish of the planet.”

We thanked him, but before we could leave, Bam added, “Tá failte romhat mo chara.”

Check out Bam singing in Ennis below.

Elaine has been a member of staff with The Clare Echo since its foundation in October 2017. The paper's first Chief Reporter, the Kilrush woman is now working as a sub-editor in our busy newsroom. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Journalism. Elaine briefly worked with the RTE Investigations Unit on the Standards in Public Office investigation before returning to Clare to continue her career as a reporter with the Clare People where she spent nine months as the West Clare correspondent and also covered the 2016 General Election and 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

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