Mu­sic with Ed­die Row­ley

Irish Independent - Farming - - RURAL LIFE - ROCKIN’ ROW­LEY

IN JULY of this year, Ir­ish coun­try mu­sic star Derek Ryan lost his biggest fan.

Derek was dev­as­tated when his beloved mother, Sally ( above), died peace­fully in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing an ill­ness.

In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math, Derek coped with his be­reave­ment by im­mers­ing him­self in his work, go­ing back on stage to ful­fill com­mit­ments to shows around the coun­try. As one of Ire­land’s award-win­ning song­writ­ers, Derek also turned to his cre­ative tal­ent as an out­let for deal­ing with his per­sonal pain and loss.

The re­sult is the heart-wrench­ing bal­lad ‘To Waltz With My Mother Again’, which fea­tures on his lat­est 12-track, self-writ­ten al­bum, Ten.

Af­ter help­lessly watch­ing his mother pass away last July at St Luke’s Hos­pi­tal in Kilkenny, Derek was plunged into emo­tional tur­moil. But his hec­tic sched­ule, which the singer re­sumed im­me­di­ately, left him with lit­tle time to grieve for his mum.

“I went back to gig­ging straight away be­cause I didn’t know what to do,” says Derek. “I had gigs com­ing up and tick­ets were on sale, and in our busi­ness you can’t re­ally just take a week off.”

The hugely pop­u­lar coun­try mu­sic en­ter­tainer ad­mits he found it hard to fo­cus on his work in the months that fol­lowed.

“It was tough get­ting on stage be­cause peo­ple ex­pect you to be up for it and stay smil­ing,” he says. “But you can’t smile — there is noth­ing to smile about. I was in the zone, I got through it, and that was it.”

He penned ‘To Waltz With My Mother Again’ while draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from child­hood mem­o­ries of Ir­ish dance halls, and re­flect­ing on the in­escapable fragility of life.

By chan­nelling his emo­tions into his mu­sic, Derek has writ­ten one of his most mov­ing bal­lads. ‘To Waltz With My Mother Again’ is a song that will res­onate with griev­ing fam­i­lies across the globe.

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