- Eamonn McCormack
It all started when Eamonn watched a young school kid perform a piece on an acoustic guitar when he was only 6 years old. This young kid was Gerry Leonard who was brought in to perform in front of Eamonn’s school class, he was from the classroom next door. After seeing Gerry perform Eamonn picked up his older sisters nylon string Spanish guitar that evening and was hooked for life! With the power of the Internet Eamonn has hooked up again on Facebook after all these years with that little kid and Gerry is a very successful guitarist based in New York. He was lead guitarist and musical director for David Bowie for years and now plays with Susanne Vega & Rufus Wainwright.
Soon after that Eamonn took a larger interest in music in general and when he saw his favorite bands on TV like Slade, he noticed the setup and took note about who was actually playing bass and who was on guitar. Around this time He acquired his first steel string acoustic guitar and was by then playing full folk songs on it by Cat Stevens and Neil Young.
At the age of twelve he was asked by a local guitar teacher if he could take some of the work – load off her and start teaching some of her pupils. He did that for a while and by then he was jamming with friends thinking about forming his first band but he needed a better guitar and he needed a pickup on it to plug into his stereo system at home to electrify it (Electric guitars & amps were not as plentiful like today and only available to professionals price wise) The answer came at Christmas in the form of an Ibanez Humming Bird acoustic and an added Scheller sound hole pickup.
Armed with his new Acoustic guitar Eamonn quickly progressed and started writing and performing small concerts in school as well as playing at many Folk Masses in Church. He won a song –writing contest and accompanied another artist who won another competition. After a while Eamonn was browsing through his older sisters vinyl LP collection when she was out for the day and he sat there by the stereo listening to Rory Gallagher’s Taste, Eric Clapton’s Cream and Jimi Hendrix. His life was changed forever and he quickly needed a real electric guitar. Enter Eamonn’s first Electric Guitar, which was a Guild Starfire.
But for about a year he still had to plug it into his stereo system until finally the arrival of his first guitar amp a Laney 100w combo amp (which certainly didn’t please the neighbors. One in particular who even called the police!). Only just in his mid-teens, Eamonn gets to play his first paid gig. He was learning a lot from watching his friend and mentor Norman Teeling (Famous Irish Painter) who was playing professionally. So began his many Garage band formations which eventually branched out into his first semi Cover / and some Original material band where he gigged a lot around the Dublin area before packing his suitcase and guitar and heading off to the United States of America for a few years. Just prior to leaving he met his Idol Rory Gallagher (and just a few weeks before he met another big hero Philip Lynott of Thin Lizzy) Rory recommended he contact a Famous vintage guitar dealer in London to buy (what was to become his beloved 1963 original Fender Stratocaster) which Rory tried and knew it was a gem. Off to London he went with the money he had saved from a full summer job and bought this beautiful electric guitar, still his main electric guitar to this day.
In the USA in between odd jobs from Boston and New York to Los Angeles Eamonn developed his craft and soaked up many American music influences and some tour experience before returning to Ireland. He also crossed paths again with Rory Gallagher in California and they became life long friends after that. Back in Ireland he taught some guitar and wrote a full set-list of original songs and by the end of the eighties he hopped in a van with his band and landed in Amsterdam, Holland. For the next Six months Eamonn (using the stage name Samuel Eddy) became the busiest Blues-rock guitarist in Holland and Belgium playing over 150 small concerts before releasing his debut album via Virgin Records and then climbing to the larger club circuit.
Soon his fan base staring to grow in different parts of Europe and he got to work with Holland’s finest Music Stars including Herman Brood, Eelco Gelling, and Jan Akkerman who he’s proud to call a close friend to this day. It wasn’t long before Eamonn and his band started touring and Rocking at Festivals all across Europe on his own merit and also as special guests to everyone from Johnny Winter to Eric Burden and Nils Lofgren to Robert Plant. Some Festival highlights included Parkpop in Holland to an estimated audience of 500,000 people, Midtfyns in Denmark and the Prestige Rockpalast in Germany. Then came his 2nd album recorded in London and featured his heroes come – friends Rory Gallagher and Jan Akkerman.
One more album was recorded in this period and Eamonn and his band garnished the reputation as one of the liveliest energetic live performers on the European circuit. ( he’s still just as lively today!!) A while later after a great concert in Amsterdam opening for another of his heroes, that little old band from Texas… ZZ Top. The Irish guitarist decided to take a well deserved hiatus from touring and recording and recharged his batteries. During this time in what Eamonn jokes “It was my “Finding myself” period” and he could be found anywhere from jamming the blues in Detroit City, Michican to sitting on the beaches of Morocco, Africa jamming with local musicians and likewise in Mexico City and even Hong Kong. On his return to Dublin he set up an Indie Record label of his own and started developing young artists and bands and helped them release their first recordings. But soon he felt his itchy feet again and just around the same time a festival contacted him to play a show in France and he said “Yes” and he completely Rocked and tore the roof down and He was back!! Full Power!!Hiatus Over!!
Now back full time and under his own name (He dropped the stage name Samuel Eddy) Three more albums were recorded, and released to wide spread critical acclaim and word soon got around, that a new Irish guitarist was setting stages on fire with his red hot fiery playing! and he was once again challenging Major World famous artists to try match his performance on Festivals…
A brand new album is due out in January 2020. Eamonn is playing, writing, singing and performing better then ever!! He’s now under New management, New band, New label, New agencies, New PR team……So the future looks bright and busy and as they say… “Skies the limit” for this very talented Irish singer – songwriter and multi instrumentalist.
That’s just the story so far……………to be continued