Corofin, County Galway
Blessed with a wonderful self deprecating sense of humour, Keith Mullins describes himself as ‘another moany fecker with a guitar’. However, in a singer songwriter world filled with intense navel gazing, thankfully Keith Mullins doesn’t take himself too seriously and keeps the moaning to a bare minimum. On his debut album The Great Atlantic, which releases on February 19th, Mullins delivers ten beautifully crafted simple, honest songs.
Growing up on the west coast of Ireland in Corofin, Co. Galway, Keith’s first musical influence was his father, who played piano and accordion in a country and western band. Mr. Mullins would invite a more than willing four year old Keith onstage to sing the Seamus Moore song Yellow JCB. Keith learnt the banjo in national school and grew up with a genuine love and appreciation for all kinds of music. Keith started his first band, Pier Nineteen, in college. Though thoroughly enjoying recording the album At Evensong in 2006, the band members soon began to work on solo projects, leading Keith to begin recording his debut album The Great Atlantic.
Though the record contains many references to the sea - the title itself The Great Atlantic and the second single Across The Ocean - Mullins explains that the images conjured up by oceans are more to do with the vast distances he knows that he will travel on his personal and musical journey rather than a yearning for a seafaring life. Mullins chose to record the album in Larry’s Log Cabin in Tuam with all his friends in tow, each contributing to the record in their own unique ways. In true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, Mullins decided to keep a record of the wild debauchery that took place during the recording process. The pinnacle of this week long orgy of excess was Mullins' Diva-esque demands that a tally of cups of tea imbibed was to be logged by each person involved in the recording. When it peaked at 572, most participants lost the will to live. Needless to say, the mystique of a cup of cha has been forever lost on Keith and all references to the humble brew have been removed from the album.
Largely influenced by American musicians such as Townes Van Zandt, Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst, Mullins wrote many of the tracks in the six months preceding the recording of The Great Atlantic: “I like to record all my ideas and melodies and lyrics on my phone and dictaphone, so that when I get into the studio I am putting the songs down in full for the first time. It’s a process that feels more natural and honest for me. I don’t like to rework and rework. I feel like I lose something important in that process.”