Experience the award-winning Pierce Turner’s first live performances with an audience, since the lock down, at Wexford Arts Centre, Thursday 23rd December, and Whelan’s, Dublin, Thursday 7th January.
With two special guests backing him, Pierce will perform a cross-section of the Turner show-stoppers, and preview of his forthcoming album ‘Terrible Good’ produced by Gerry Leonard (Bowie and Rufus Wainwright), which is due for release February 25th 2022 on StorySound Records.
An Irish-American musician in the truest, and most literal, sense, Pierce Turner lives half the year in his hometown of Wexford, Ireland, and the other half in his long-time adopted hometown of New York City. Both places are reflected in his songs, which frequently move between these two different worlds. Since he began his solo career in the 80’s, he’s worked on a broad range of projects including writing for opera, scoring movies, and composing a contemporary Mass.
His genre-bending songwriting has led Turner to collaborate with legendary producer John Simon (The Band, Leonard Cohen) on 1991’s Now Is Heaven and composer Philip Glass on projects such as 1986’s It’s Only a Long Way Across and “Yogi with a Broken Heart.”
Music has always been a constant presence in Turner’s life. His parents ran a record store in Wexford. As a child, he sang in the church choir and played in a brass and reed band. During his teen years, Turner performed in various beat and folk groups, and, at 18, he had a short stint in the popular Irish showband, The Arrows. When he was 22, he left for New York City with his pal Kirwan. As Turner and Kirwan of Wexford, they played around the city during the 70s, eventually recording one album, 1977’s Absolutely and Completely, which inventively mixed folk music with prog rock. By the start of the 80s, the pair started a synth-y new wave dance group, Major Thinkers, whose several releases included a 1983 EP on Portrait Records.
Wexford Arts Centre, Thursday 23rd December
Whelan’s Dublin, Friday 7th January
In the mid-80s, Turner went off on his own. He composed music for modern dance and hung out in NYC’s downtown art scene, where he got to know composer Philip Glass. Glass wound up co-producing Turner’s first solo album, It’s A Long Way Across, which received a New York Music Awards Best Debut nomination, starting a seemingly endless series of accolades.
“Easily one of the most important Irish artists of the last twenty years”. The Irish Times
“Pierce Turner…a cross between David Bowie and Joni Mitchell” Rolling Stone Magazine
Turner’s Now Is Heaven, helmed by legendary producer John Simon (the Band, Leonard Cohen), was voted a top 5 album of the year in Ireland. Hot Press Magazine voted him Solo Performer of the Year and later Maverick of the Year. His album, 3 Minute World, ranked among Ireland’s top 100 records of all time and his song “Wicklow Hills” made the list of Ireland’s all-time top 25 songs. New York Magazine hailed Turner as “New York’s hidden gem” in their cover story on him. Turner was proclaimed easily one of the most important Irish artists of the last twenty years” by The Irish Times’ Tony Clayton Lea, while The Sunday Times’ Liam Fay declared that he created “the finest body of work in contemporary Irish music, bar none.”
Pierce Turner performs at the Wexford Arts Centre, Thursday 23rd December, and Whelan’s, Dublin, Thursday 7th January. Book at https://www.pierceturner.com/gigs/