John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener and his live performances captivate audiences around the world.
As an artist his music appeals to listeners across many genres and generations. His vocal style has a unique almost sean-nós like quality and his performances shimmer with the magic realism that permeates many of his songs as he effortlessly flits between beautiful poetry tinged with melancholy to roguish, irreverent humour. John has the ability to charm, mesmerise and entertain in equal measure.
A native of Cork, the County he lovingly describes as “the centre of the universe” and a source of huge creative influence throughout his career. John’s music is inspired by and encapsulates Irish traditional music in its contemporary form – a reflection of Ireland today.
A two-time Meteor Award winner for Best Folk/Trad act John is one of the most accomplished songwriters in Ireland. With an extensive back catalogue beginning with the 1997 album The Wells of the World, his songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Sean Keane and many others. Twelve albums later in April 2021, John released his first independent album in 20 years, 100 Snow White Horses.
Recorded in London with Pauline Scanlon and produced by John Reynolds the album is inspired by John’s travels around Ireland. The decision to release the album independently allowed for a greater sense of creative freedom and these new songs are full of poetry, Irish mythology and wonder.
100 SNOW WHITE HORSES
100 Snow White Horses is a new album from John Spillane due for independent release in April 2021. Inspired by his travels around Ireland, these new songs are full of poetry, Irish mythology and wonder. 100 Snow White Horses is John’s first independent album in 20 years.
Recorded in London with producer John Reynolds and singer Pauline Scanlon; the trio have previously worked together on John’s albums Hey Dreamer (2005), The Gaelic Hit Factory (2006) and My Dark Rosaleen and the Island of Dreams (2008).
“After 10 years and many adventures we are combining our skills and painting this, our masterpiece.” – John Spillane
John’s poetic lyricism and Pauline’s ethereal backing vocals combine beautifully once again in this love letter to the island of Ireland.
From the fantasy of the March of The Kings of Laois; to the slopes of Slieve Gullion, a mountain of mythology in South Armagh; to the lonely adventures of a ballad singer under that Old Clare Moon. Follow the blind harper Turlough O’ Carolan into the Leitrim woods then stroll through the melancholy of a teenage romance in Bishopstown. It’s 2020 but it’s 1720 as well, as John weaves a story of an Ireland both now and then, shaped by its people, history and landscape.
“well-structured, melodious folk songs that resonate with specific, acutely observed Irish storylines.” Tony Clayton Lea, Sunday Business Post
“Inspired by the bardic tradition, Spillane penned his 12th album in gratitude to patronage found on the road…this is perhaps Spillane’s best set of songs since Will We Be brilliant or What? In 2001.” Steve Cummins, Sunday Times
“John Spillane, startlingly alive to the breath of nature, is among the last of the great bards. 100 Snow White Horses is a balm to soothe sore souls…” 9/10 Will Russell, Hot Press
“100 Snow White Horses is a rich, molten cauldron of emotional blissed-out balladry blessed with poetic intimacy and a collection of story-songs that begs immediate listening. A masterclass of eloquent romanticism delivered by a poet of song.” Folk Radio UK