John McCullagh October 30, 2003
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There’s something special about witnessing birth. I was there for all of ours (our children) and these were the highlights of my life.

I witnessed the birth of a star last weekend. Have no doubt, those lucky enough to have attended Denise Hagan‘s two concerts at the Town Hall on Friday and Saturday will boast about it in the future. This beautiful and strikingly attractive young Keady lass is about to take the music world by storm. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

They weren’t her first gigs of course, but this was the launch of a career in her home town (I still have difficulty with the city word!). She has recently acquired new, strong, able and directed management and her burgeoning success is well choreographed. Her first CD will not be launched until February by which time aficionados will be well-familiar with its contents through multiple air play in the media. A tour in America is already set up. They love her type of music and it may be a long time before we are treated to an encore performance.

I heard the fantastic ‘Pins and Needles’ on the George Jones Radio Ulster show last Wednesday. Of course Denise performed her own song live and conducted a charming interview with the Twin Personality. He was moved, you could see that. When she finished, he raved, "I’ve got the best job in the world. I really have, meeting talent like this." He has.

Can you imagine my delight when Denise and two continental musician friends (Manfred and girl) turned up at the Railway Bar session the very next evening. They treated us to several gems off her forthcoming album in a spontaneous jam session.

I have many favourite composers but Joni Mitchell must top the list. She did till now. Denise is rivalling her. The younger woman has a finer voice, is more beautiful and she’s from South Armagh. Her songs, already very good, will only get better. I predict that within the year (a few, at most) she will eclipse Tommy Makem as Keady’s most renowned star.

On stage she is charming as ever, with a powerful and commanding stage presence. She is confident, with a crystal-clear bell-like voice. She plays guitar well too. Earlier this year she supported Shania Twain at Kilkenny Festival. She will surely soon be just as famous as her.

Order your copy of her album now!

Newsflash:  New Denise Hagan scheduled for the Town Hall on Sunday 18th April!!  Check the local press for further details.  And mind you don’t miss it!!

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