a Tom Carley says he aged two years last Sunday night, waiting to go on stage in  Passage East before Irish blues legend Don Baker.
Tom, who stresses that he’s ‘neither a singer nor a songwriter’, had been invited to  perform at the open air concert to promote his charity CD Brothers at Sea, the title  track of which is about the tragic drowning Bolger brothers Paul, Shane and  Kenny off Brownstown Head in June.

“It was pretty nerve-wrecking alright. The last thing I wanted to do was be on that  stage, to be honest. I’ve never done anything like that before. I play music…well, I  own a few instruments. But it’s a personal interest. I wouldn’t even play at pub  sessions. Maybe when I was 18 (which was about 5 years ago or so!) but never  since.
“But the lads on the CD had all given up their time, both to work on the CD and then  to do the gig, so I owed it to them. I said to them before we went on, ‘lads you have  to realize, you’re playing with a complete amateur here…this could go anywhere’. And they said: ‘wherever you go, we’ll follow you’.”
Brothers at Sea was recorded at Paul Grant’s Camnoc Studios in Slieverue and features a host of well-known local musicians. Aside from the title track, the CD includes three bonus tracks, including a powerful ballad sung by Cliodhna Gahan.
“Paul Grant has just been amazing. He gave me the track Maybe, sung beautifully by Cliodhna Gahan. And he got a group together for the CD, Richie McDonald, Suzanne Rowe, Eugene Kavanagh, Cliodhna, Gerry Madden (who played in Passage with us). They were just brilliant.
“I originally tried to convince my niece, Ciara Scanlon, to sing on the CD instead of me. In the end we agreed to do it together, though I nearly had to crowbar her onto the stage with me in Passage.
“Aside from the musicians, I’ve experienced massive goodwill from people while putting the CD together. John O’Connor let me use his poem on the sleeve of the CD – it’s the poem that’s on the monument out in Dunmore East. And then Jamie Malone gave me the wonderful aerial picture of Passage that’s on the cover.”