Jim Johnston Singer Songwriter (Cláirseach & Guitar)

2nd December 2016

Jim Johnston (Cláirseach & Guitar)


Recent years have seen him tread the boards of The Spirit Store (Dundalk) in solo slots, double-heading with Jack McAuley (original member of “Them”-Van Morrison’s Band) a swell as playing support to Juliet Turner (Spirit Store), Tír Na nÓg’s- Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly(“Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin), The San Francisco Blues Band and Chris Mills And The City That Works (Spirit Store).

“In a previous incarnation, Jim Johnston was 3 times Men’s World Irish Dancing Champion, having pipped someone by the name of Michael Flatley to the post in 1977 and 1979. But with the overwhelming influence of Dylan, Neil Young, Planxty and the Bothy Band, Johnston couldn’t resist the move to music and he’s been happily yielding to it ever since, for the past 20 years.” (Hot Press –2000) Kicking off his musical career with trad-band “Glasheen” , Jim premiered an Irish translation of Bob Dylan’s song “Sara” on a “Newsround” (R.T.É.) mini-documentary of the aforementioned band, which in turn led to television appearances on R.T.É., recording sessions for Radio Na Gaeltachta, a tour of Czechoslovakia with the “Dún Dealgan Cabaret” and support gigs to trad-bands Clannad and The Furey Brothers and Davey Arthur.

As a member of “Boxty” he wrote the song: “The Factories- They’re All Closing Down”, which was used by “Evening Extra” and “Prime Time” (R.T.É.) as a musical back-drop to documentaries relating to unemployment in Dundalk during the mid-1980’s. It was in this era that Jim first discovered his talent for songwriting.

Check out Live Sound Recordings in the Comhaltas Archive