Drogheda, County Louth
SJ McArdle releases his new album Blood and Bones on June 24th.
Songs from the album had already garnered considerable Irish airplay last year (as well as TV promos for Survivor and Grey's Anatomy) before an enforced hiatus held up its release…until now.
The album’s beginnings were most promising: the songs were recorded in Nashville and feature contributions from some of SJ’s heroes like Rodney Crowell, guitarist Richard Bennett (Steve Earle’s Guitar Town) and the Love Sponge Strings (Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising).
The result is a stew of roots, pop and rock, with some truly unexpected twists.
While a full label release in Germany is still on the cards for late 2011, in the meantime SJ has taken the law into his own hands and the album will be self-released in Ireland.
Solo and with a band SJ has toured Ireland and played shows in Germany, including the legendary Bardentreffen festival in Nuremburg. In 2009 he completed a European arena tour as special guest to Reamonn, playing to 70,000 people over three weeks.
SJ has also been in occasional demand as a session musician, playing mandolin for Ricky Warwick as they opened shows for Bob Dylan (Odyssey, Belfast) and Sheryl Crow (Point, Dublin) as well as at Oxygen. He has also shared a stage or studio with Neil Hannon, Stewart Agnew, Joe Elliott and Ray Heffernan and has played support in his own right, to the likes of Glenn Tilbrook, Steve Wickham, John Spillane, Reamonn and The Thrills.
From the press:
"SJ McArdle brings a welcome bit of grit into proceedings, singing with a voice of such world-weary authority that it's a crying shame he's having to battle it out on a small indie label" - Phil Udell, Hot Press
"SJ McArdle has carved out an enviable reputation as one of the finest musicians in the country. A unique and intriguing talent" - dublinsingersongwriters.com
"Highly intelligent and literate, yet admirably accessible ... damn good" - Jackie Hayden, Hot Press
"Warm, wry and sonorous" - Irish Times