I'm a little behind with this post because I thought Billy started performing solo around the city in '97. Turns out he actually started in '95 playing open mic nights at Sidewalk Cafe, NYC – performing his acoustic Irish-tinged folk songs. It wasn't long before Sidewalk gave him his own time slots. Billy did this for a year...layed low for a year...and started up again in '97.
During his '97 comeback Billy introduced his country alter-ego Earl Pickens and put together a band, The Trail of Tears (Mark Rubinstein, Dave Cuite, James Topping). Earl Pickens and The Trail of Tears continued to play Sidewalk Cafe for a while but they soon disbanded (Unfortunately, I don't have any photos or audio from this band). Billy would go on to perform as Earl Pickens during the 2000's – with some success – and he continues to do so today (but I'll get to all that at a later date).
Towards the end of '97, without a band, Billy began recording some solo material which would become True Irish Ghost Stories. For some reason Billy asked Eric and I to contribute our ambibat sound to two of the six tracks – "The Rath" and "Saint John's Point". I guess he wanted to add an unexpected edge to his otherwise traditional take on Irish folk. It was fun to do and I appreciated the opportunity.
Here it is...
[DOWNLOAD] Billy Kelly - True Irish Ghost Stories (1998)
01- Throw Me A Rose
02- The Rath
03- Escape From The Big Bar
04- The Sadness We Have Known
05- Saint John's Point
06- It Rain's On Them
07- Ghost Music