Hi – Welcome to my music / guitar site


About me

I’m an Irish guitarist based in my home town – Newry,  Ireland. I began my guitar journey in summer 1984 – I wanted to be in a band – pure & simple!   Watching Live Aid a year later in summer ’85 really got me to knuckle down & work at the guitar…  what a class gig  to watch on TV, knowing that two of our mates were over at it.

Not long afterward (’87), I started playing with like-minded cousins & a few other mates.

Favourite genres are rock, blues, soul, funk, pop & even a little jazz these days.

To this day my favourite thing is still live playing but I also enjoy learning as much as I can about guitar… – Also love learning about recording and then trying to actually record…every day is a school day. Live sound is becoming a bit of a hobby now too..

‘Backlash’ – circa ’88/’89 – Mickey Murphy, me, Deko McLoughlin & Sean Fegan. Bassist Cathal Fegan had temporarily emigrated to London at the time of this pic!
Managed to keep this 🙂 A cheap night out! – ‘Backlash’s first JP’s gig it believe…
‘Backlash’ at the Swan Inn, Drogheda – circa 1989. Barry O’Connor on bass here & Doodler up for a ‘wee song’. I’m playing a Columbus Les Paul which was my first electric guitar – a gift from my parents in 1985 <3
‘Wayward Son’ – early 90’s – Cathal Fegan, Damien ‘Doodler Carroll (RIP), me & Sean Fegan
Same pic as above with 20 years under the bridge – Shaun Fegan’s birthday night in the Indo, Newry, 2012 <3

On 28th February 2015 the members of our old bands Backlash & Wayward Son held a night in memory & celebration of the life of our good friend & singer Damien ‘Doodler’ Carroll who sadly passed in 2014.

Amplified Bar in Newry was jammed to the rafters!  Everyone had a great night & with the help of a lot of friends especially Brian McLoughlin, Liz Murphy, Paul Fegan, Sean Smith, Cathal McDonnell, Willie & Jackie Brown, we managed to raise £3105 for Newry Hospice. Here are a few tunes from the night.

Hell Ain’t A Bad….

Bit of Maiden & ‘DC

Caught a few minutes before space ran out

Posted by Marc McComiskey on Sunday, 1 March 2015

For for anyone that was in Amplified Bar that night, here’s a link to the Facebook page…,

https://www.facebook.com/events/1525974231015539/

Self-written music

In the band ‘Clusterfunk’  (guessing but think ’93 – ’97) we all had a stab at writing our own tunes which was great fun. Clusterfunk was my brother Sean on vocals, Mark Hughes on drums, Paul ‘Dolly’ McMahon on bass & myself on guitar & Davy Loughran too at the start.

I’ve been using & loving  Deacci electric guitar pickups since they became available a few moons back.  These are custom built by friends here in Ireland, just a few miles away from my house – which is great!

http://www.deacci.com

Deacci humbucker set

My YouTube

You can check out quite a few bits & pieces I have recorded over the last few years on my YouTube channel below – feel free to comment away – good, bad or indifferent!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLZW530nMbz3Apj0OP2vnYg

Here’s a stab at a Stevie Wonder tune – with pretty bad whistling – have mercy!

My guitar gear

Like most guitar lovers / players / collectors I love my gear & the wheeling & dealing – here’s a quick snapshot of what I’m currently using…

Amps & Guitars

My favourite amp – Ceriatone OTS Bluesmaster HRM100 amp with Zilla Mini Modern cab & EVM-12L speaker. This amp is a Dumble clone & sounds fantastic – lovely Blackface style cleans that love being boosted and a beautiful almost Marshall type overdrive that retains the clarity of the note even at super high gain. Ceriatone make super amps and Nik the owner is a gent & provides the best customer service ever – just make sure you email him lol

Guitar is an Edwards ‘Jimmy Page’ Les Paul guitar fitted with Deacci Pure Vintage LP59 ‘One’ pickups

OTS – Yoda on sentry duty – Amp Clamp USA – great for a quick setup

Here’s how the amp sounds with lowish drive settings – this is a lovely 1963 strat (alas not mine!!) straight into the amp on the overdrive channel

http://ceriatone.com

http://www.zillacabs.com/

http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=410

http://deacci.com/product/pure-vintage-one/

New No. 2 amp – Custom HiWatt 50 watt SA112 ‘Bulldog’ combo – ’96 Fender Japan 50’s reissue Telecaster. Just picked up the HiWatt in December 2016 & love it! Perfect clean platform for pedals but barks when cranked!    ## Gone to a good new home – June 2017 ##

 

 

’06 Edwards Jimmy Page relic Les Paul

1987 Ibanez RG550 – original Edge trem – my longest serving companion.

’96 Fender Japan 50’s reissue Tele – birthday present from my lovely wife Claire

All my guitars: ’96 strat plus (now modified with Deacci humbucker & Blackhat II singles), 2006 Edwards ‘Jimmy Page’ Les Paul – Deacci LP59 ‘One’ pickups, ’96 Fender Japan 50’s Reissue Telecaster, 1987 Ibanez RG550 & a ’96 Takamine EN10.

Here’s the strat with the Deacci’s in – VR59 ‘Two’ humbucker & Blackhat II single coils – it whispers and roars in equal measures now.

 

Effects

Pedalboard as of 17/01/2017

Italian Jen Super Crybaby wah (off board) > Bright Onion Shifter Switch Patchbox > Pete Cornish buffer (underneath) > Korg Pitch Black tuner > Boss CS2 compressor > Fulltone Mini Deja Vibe > MXR Pase 90 Script > Thorpy FX Gunshot o/d > Skreddy Lunar Module Mini Deluxe fuzz > Boss CE2 chorus > patchbox out

Diamond Memory Lane Junior delay > Strymon Flint > ZCat Hold Reverb > TC Ditto X2 Looper – these 4 can be switched using the Bright Onion patchbox – either all in front of amp (for HiWatt) or in FX loop for the Ceriatone amp.

Spares / Subs

Analogman Prince of Tone (on temporary loan – thanks Andy), Jimmy Behan Klon, Yamaha analogue flanger (gorgeous but a little noisy), Ace Thirty o/d pedal (built by Alan Byrne, Dublin) and last nut never least, my old 80’s Italian Jen Super Crybaby Wah.

 

Here’s a demo of the ZCat Hold Reverb on my board but I also use the compressor, overdrive & delay too – the strat has Deacci pickups installed

And another – this time a stab at the great Joe Satriani tune – Always With Me, Always With You

The Morning After

The Morning After play a heady mixture of rock, pop, blues, funk & soul songs from both current & classic eras.

At the Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival , Warrenpoint 2016 – in the Lough & Quay – Sean Smith guesting on blues harp & backing vox

With The Morning After at Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival, Warrenpoint 2016  Picture courtesy of Willy Gallagher Photography

Wilgar Rock & Blues Festival, Belfast

‘I Can Hear Music’ fundraiser in the Whistledown Hotel – 12th February 2016 – pic courtesy of Willy Gallagher Photography

The Morning After – YouTube

Andy Whittaker / Soul Truth

A Surprise Hookup

I was delighted to get a shout from Andy (via Ruairi – TMA bass player – cheers bro) a few years back, as his regular guitar player was not available for the Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival, Warrenpoint.

I had been a fan of Andy & band since I can remember starting to go to the Blues Festival many moons ago – he was always on in the Duke at the 4 o’clock time-slot on the Saturday.  So it was great to finally get playing with him and the band.

Pre gig outside Fusion Restaurant, Warrenpoint, 27th May 2016

Outside Fusion Restaurant, Warrenpoint, 2016.

Two piece blues with Andy  – Guinness Blues on the Bay 2016 Pics courtesy of Ann Henry

With Andy & Soul Truth – Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival 28th May 2016 – Pic courtesy of Ann Henry

Guinness Blues on the Bay Fest 2016 – Pic courtesy of Willy Gallagher Photography

Having a quick craic with Andy during a horn interlude 🙂 2016

Video Links

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