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The Belfast Boys

Genre
Traditional Irish Music
Members
Alan Mearns & Adrian Rice
Hometown
Hickory, NC
Biography
THE BELFAST BOYS are Alyn Mearns (guitar & vocals) and Adrian Rice (mandolin, bodhran & vocals). Classically trained, Mearns is well-known as a consummate guitarist and inspired singer-songwriter, whose work with his ex-band, Airspace, won many plaudits from those in the know. A new solo album of his own music is forthcoming. Rice is a musician and Irish poet of distinction. With book-cover recommendations from Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, his published poetry has found its way into the collections of London’s Tate Gallery, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and The Lamont Library at Harvard, amongst others. Rice's new chapbook of poems - 'Hickory Haiku' - will be published by Finishing Line Press (Kentucky) in August 2010. Mearns and Rice both hail from the Troubled streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mearns has lived in the States since his late teens, but Rice only settled in Hickory (NC) in 2005, having come to Lenoir-Rhyne College as their Visiting Writer-in-Residence. Both men have been happily ‘captured’ by lovely American brides. The men met in a local Hickory bookstore and quickly formed a strong bond based on their shared Ulster heritage and ‘Belfast-speak’. They co-wrote a serious and heartfelt tribute song for one of Ireland’s national soccer legends, the late, great, George Best. The song, entitled 'The Conjuror' – composed largely in their local haunt, The Olde Hickory Tap Room – reached No. 1 in the Belfast music charts. As their friendship grew, the two men discovered their shared love of Irish traditional music. Back in Belfast, Rice had played in an Irish band in his college and post-college years; while Mearns has written and produced a successful Irish CD, entitled 'The Tree'. So it was only a matter of time before the idea of an Irish duo would surface: thus - The Belfast Boys. In performance, the boys work hard to deliver a serious traditional Irish set of jigs, reels, polkas and songs. They pay their own particular homage to folk classics from the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band, and Christy Moore, mixed in with some tastefully popular pub numbers like ‘Molly Malone’ and ‘Tell Me Ma’. They even manage to breathe memorable new life into folk favourites like 'Danny Boy' and 'The Wild Mountain Thyme'. The duo also incorporate some of Rice’s own poetry, and create plenty of good wholesome ‘craic’ (fun!) from the stage. They also encourage audience participation and love to share the stage with any local musicians who may want to get up there and do their little bit to make the evening hum. For bookings, please email: adrianrice @ embarqmail.com OR mearnsa @ yahoo.com..
 
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Website

The Belfast Boys

 

The Belfast Boys (Blacksmith)

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