Friends to complete Dermot O'Reilly's unfinished album
Some of Newfoundland's finest musicians gathered Wednesday night at Erin's Pub in St. John's to complete local folk legend Dermot O'Reilly's unfinished songs for an upcoming album.
O'Reilly was a founding member of Ryan's Fancy and a mainstay of Newfoundland's music scene for over 30 years. He died in February 2007.
At the time, O'Reilly had been working on a solo album of some of his favourite songs. Some of them were nearly complete, while others were only in the beginning stages.
Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea is producing the album.
"I thought it would be cool if the last thing we recorded for this tribute to Dermot was the sound of most of his friends, in his most familiar place, singing with him still," said Doyle.
"Hopefully you'll hear 10 songs that Dermot had been working on pretty much since when we all knew and loved him, and just tunes he loved, and a great portrait of who Dermot was, as an artist and a performer and a writer."
Doyle said the album will include old songs, such as Candlelight and Wine and West Country Lady, and some of O'Reilly's favourite artists, including Buddy Holly.
O'Reilly was a mentor to many of the musicians working on the album, including Larry Foley, who worked on two other tracks on the album over the years.
"Sometimes when people pass on so does their memory," said Foley. "But I think Dermot will live on forever because he was such an influential character and his music is so integral to who we are."