PORT by SJ McArdle
PORT is a new song cycle from contemporary Drogheda folk artist SJ McArdle, full of timeless, indelible folk songs – work songs, story songs, love songs to the sea.
Songs written in anger and written in sorrow. Songs about injustice and change. Songs about people.
The songs were born of a year-long research and writing project around the history and stories of Drogheda’s ancient Port, conducted during SJ’s tenure as Artist in Association at Droichead Arts Centre in 2019.
Along with its accompanying critically-acclaimed RTÉ Radio 1 Album of the Week Old Ghosts In The Water, PORT features Carol Keogh (Plague Monkeys), Graham Henderson (Moving Hearts, Sinead O’Connor) and Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa, The Waterboys) along with vocalist John Ruddy and fiddle player Barry Kieran (Kern).
SJ was previously the songwriter and singer in award-winning Irish folk band Kern from 2013 to 2020 and he is also known for his career as a singer-songwriter in Nashville and Germany, which produced 2014’s critically-acclaimed Blood and Bones album (featuring Rodney Crowell). He is also in trad trio Long Woman’s Grave with Nuala Kennedy and Trevor Hutchinson.
SJ’s songs and performances have been featured in radio, film and television and he has toured and recorded extensively in Ireland, Europe and North America, gathering a loyal following and critical accolades along the way.
Port is produced by Droichead Arts Centre.
Funded by the Arts Council under the Touring Grant Scheme. With support from Louth County Council Arts Office, and Drogheda Port Company.