PODCAST

My Country Life

Sunday World

My Country Life, with Eddie Rowley, is podcast series that takes you backstage and into the real lives of Irish country music's kings and queens. Each episode in this series features a well-known star opening the doors to their past and taking us on their personal journey into the spotlight. Along the way, they reveal their highs and lows, happiness and heartaches and their struggle to find success. Meet legends like Daniel O'Donnell and Jimmy Buckley, as well as young stars like Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan as they recall the great music and great stories on their road to stardom.


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Episode 11: Michael English
29-04-2022
Episode 11: Michael English
Irish country music star Michael English first came to national prominence as a child performing on the Late Late Toy Show. This would lead to The Boy Wonder being inundated with offers of work and landing his first gig supporting showband legend Dickie Rock while still in school. A chance meeting with Henry McMahon of Big Tom’s band The Mainliners would later set him on the road to success as a country singer …scoring his first big hit with Henry’s song, The Nearest To Perfect. Here in our My Country Life podcast, Michael takes a trip back in time, recalling Friday night trad sessions in the family home and the sacrifices his parents made to foster their only son’s career. He talks about working with Louis Walsh, singing for Bono, his love for the fans, his last days with his beloved mother…and the passion that drives his career. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 11: Michael English
29-04-2022
Episode 11: Michael English
Irish country music star Michael English first came to national prominence as a child performing on the Late Late Toy Show. This would lead to The Boy Wonder being inundated with offers of work and landing his first gig supporting showband legend Dickie Rock while still in school. A chance meeting with Henry McMahon of Big Tom’s band The Mainliners would later set him on the road to success as a country singer …scoring his first big hit with Henry’s song, The Nearest To Perfect. Here in our My Country Life podcast, Michael takes a trip back in time, recalling Friday night trad sessions in the family home and the sacrifices his parents made to foster their only son’s career. He talks about working with Louis Walsh, singing for Bono, his love for the fans, his last days with his beloved mother…and the passion that drives his career. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 10: Mike Denver
22-04-2022
Episode 10: Mike Denver
Country music star Mike Denver started out in life as a plumber and worked on the buildings with his father before his career in entertainment took off. In My Country Life, Mike from Portumna, Co. Galway, takes us on his incredible journey that began the day he received a phone call that changed his life. Starting out singing in pubs, Mike would go on to record in Nashville with one of his major idols, American country music legend George Jones. Back home in Ireland, Denver reignited the country music scene and brought in a new wave of young fans – making him one of the biggest attractions on the scene. Here, Mike also opens the door to his personal world, recalling how he met and married the love of his life. He reveals how the pandemic gave him the chance to bond with his daughter as a first-time dad, and tells how fatherhood has changed his attitude to life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 9: Nathan Carter
15-04-2022
Episode 9: Nathan Carter
Liverpool-born of Irish descent, Nathan Carter has become a country music superstar in Ireland – having shot to fame with a song called Wagon Wheel. He’s the biggest music sensation on the country scene since Daniel O’Donnell first made an impact in the 1980s. Here, in My Country Life, Nathan takes us on a journey through his life growing up in Liverpool and his childhood holidays based around the Fleadh Cheoils in Ireland. He recalls his appearance on BBC’s Top Of The Pops and his early performances supporting Irish country stars such as Big Tom, Mike Denver and Jimmy Buckley. Nathan tells about working on the buildings with his father and pays tribute to the powerhouse woman behind his early success – his grannie Ann McCoy. He also recalls the shock of losing his friend and mentor Nicky James, and reveals why he’s in no hurry to settle down and become a dad. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 8: Jimmy Buckley
08-04-2022
Episode 8: Jimmy Buckley
Jimmy Buckley is one of Ireland’s biggest country music stars, both in his own right and as a member of supergroup The Three Amigos. Here, in My Country Life, Jimmy tells how his success is the realisation of a childhood dream when he used to sing into the head of a sweeping brush on stage in a former ballroom at the rear of his family home, imagining an adoring audience in front of him. He recalls how he first came to national prominence when he won a talent contest on the RTE TV show, Secrets, hosted by the late Gerry Ryan. Jimmy also reveals that his struggles in the early days brought him to the brink of failure. And he tells how he turned his life around with a song called Your Wedding Day and met the love of his life on a RyanAir flight. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 7: Robert Mizzell (Part 2)
01-04-2022
Episode 7: Robert Mizzell (Part 2)
American-born Robert Mizzell from Shreveport, Louisiana, is now one of Ireland’s biggest country music stars in his own right and as a member of The Three Amigos with Patrick Feeney and Jimmy Buckley. Here in part two of his life story, Robert tells Eddie Rowley how he achieved success on the Irish country scene after working in a string of jobs, from selling “mops and buckets” to insurance and pensions. He remembers working as a bouncer at a Boyzone concert and reveals that Louis Walsh turned him down as a manager. And he tells how he performed as a contestant on Gerry Ryan’s Let Me Entertain You TV talent show along his rocky road to success. Robert also remembers his last poignant recording with his father, Richard, who died from Covid in January 2021. And he reveals the romantic story of finding true love with his wife Adele. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 6: Robert Mizzell (Part 1)
26-03-2022
Episode 6: Robert Mizzell (Part 1)
Robert Mizzell has climbed the ranks of the Irish country music scene to become one of our biggest stars as a solo artist and member of supergroup The Three Amigos. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, he spent most of his childhood in foster care as a result of abuse and neglect in the family home. The abuse might have led to a dark, troubled, dead-end adult life for Robert had social services not put him into the care of the foster parents he still calls Mama and Papa Courtney. Here, in the first of a two-part interview with Eddie Rowley, Robert talks about his turbulent childhood and tells how a stint in the American army also shaped his life. He reveals how falling in love with an Irish woman led to him moving to Ireland 30 years ago at the age of 20, and he tells the personal story of his four-times-married father Richard, who died from Covid in January 2021. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 5: Patrick Feeney
18-03-2022
Episode 5: Patrick Feeney
Patrick Feeney is one of Ireland’s top country singers, both as a solo artist and as a member of supergroup The Three Amigos with Robert Mizzell and Jimmy Buckley. As he started out in the adult world, Patrick turned down a Garda career to pursue his passion for singing, eventually turning professional after a brief stint as a sales rep. Here in My Country Life, Patrick takes us back to his childhood and recalls how his father’s influence as a farmer and musician has shaped his own life. He remembers the support he received from Daniel O’Donnell when he launched his band. He reveals the devastating health issues that threatened to put him in a wheelchair and end his career. And Patrick tells the uplifting story of finding love in lockdown, thanks to Tinder. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 4: Derek Ryan
11-03-2022
Episode 4: Derek Ryan
Derek Ryan started out in life as a pop star in the early Noughties with teen idols D-Side. With hits including Real World, he performed on the BBC’s iconic Top Of The Pops TV chart show and played major venues such as London’s Wembley Arena and Dublin’s Point Theatre, now the 3Arena. However, when D-Side eventually fizzled out, Derek found himself struggling to make ends meet playing the pubs in London. Now one of Ireland’s top country singers and a prolific songwriter, here on My Country Life, Derek now recalls his idyllic childhood growing up in Milltown, Garryhill, Co Carlow, and his rollercoaster ride in the fast lane of pop music. He reveals how seeing Nathan Carter performing was a turning point in his career, and he recalls the pain of losing his beloved mum, Sally, who inspired his poignant song, To Waltz With My Mother Again. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 3: Country star Cliona Hagan is Ireland’s answer to Dolly Parton.
05-03-2022
Episode 3: Country star Cliona Hagan is Ireland’s answer to Dolly Parton.
As she gets set to launch a tribute concert tour to her idol, Cliona talks about the impact the American country legend has had on her career. Cliona also tells us about the other influential and supportive women who have helped to shape her life - her mum Claire and late grandmother ‘Granny McCuskey.’ She recalls her very first TV appearance as a 12-year-old schoolgirl singing on The Late Late Toy Show. And she reveals how Majella O’Donnell encouraged her to become a country singer while mentoring her on a TV show. Cliona also tells how she found love with Irish musician Simon Sheerin – and recalls his romantic lakeside proposal. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 2: Daniel O' Donnell (Part 2)
26-02-2022
Episode 2: Daniel O' Donnell (Part 2)
Irish country music superstar Daniel O’Donnell has lived a charmed life, achieving fame and wealth beyond anything he ever imagined in a glittering career spanning 40 years. However, as he revealed in part one of his interview with My Country Life, success didn’t come easy. The boy from Donegal had a tough struggle along his journey – once playing with his band to an audience of just six people! Here in part two, Daniel takes up the story as his career finally takes off in 1986 and he goes on to perform in some of the world’s most iconic venues. He recalls the breakdown of his health and his return to the spotlight in 1992. He tells of his friendship with personal idols including Loretta Lynn and Cliff Richard. And he talks about his love for Majella, their happy life together – and how being a grandad has been the greatest joy of all. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 1: Daniel O'Donnell
19-02-2022
Episode 1: Daniel O'Donnell
Irish country music superstar Daniel O’Donnell has lived a charmed life, achieving fame and wealth beyond anything he ever imagined in a glittering career spanning 40 years. He has performed at iconic venues around the globe, from The Point (3Arena) in Dublin to London’s Royal Albert Hall, Sydney’s Opera House and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Daniel has had more albums in the British charts than any other recording artist – and Prince Charles presented him with an MBE for his services to music and charity. It’s an astonishing true-life success story that’s the stuff of movies – and it all began in the fishing village of Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal and on near-by Owey Island. Here, in the first of a two-part interview with Eddie Rowley, Daniel takes us back to his humble origins in Kincasslagh and on Owey, recalling the people and places that shaped his life. And he recounts his early struggles to find success as a singer. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
My Country Life - Introduction
16-02-2022
My Country Life - Introduction
My Country Life, with Eddie Rowley, is a podcast series that takes you backstage and into the real lives of Irish country music's kings and queens. Each episode in this series features a well-known star opening the doors to their past and taking us on their personal journey into the spotlight. Along the way, they reveal their highs and lows, happiness and heartaches and their struggle to find success. Meet legends like Daniel O'Donnell and Jimmy Buckley, as well as young stars like Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan as they recall the great music and great stories on their road to stardom. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.