Folk Alliance International’s 2021 Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference: Part 3 of 8 – Oscar Blue
This article is the third of an eight-part series covering Folk Alliance International’s 2021 Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference, dedicated to Oscar Blue and his festival performance as part of the four-artist Culture Ireland Stage showcase, a joint effort between Folk Alliance International and Culture Ireland (Irish: Cultúr Éireann). Culture Ireland is a division of the Government of Ireland’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Their mission is to promote the Irish arts worldwide.
Oscar Blue is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from County Clare, currently based in Dublin. On the evening of Tuesday, February 23rd (CST), Blue streamed his three-song set, which included Backyard Mafia, an unreleased tune. Blue had recorded this performance specifically for the Folk Unlocked festival two weeks prior at The Workman’s Club, a live music bar in Dublin.
Blue, dressed in a plain, olive-green t-shirt, had a remarkably strong stage presence from start to finish. His performance was characterized by soft, soulful, swooping vocals accompanied only by the well-crafted melodic patterns produced as he delicately plucked his plugged-in and mic’d Taylor 214-CE acoustic guitar. The songs were quite strong lyrically as well, particularly A Dance at the Crossroads, which included plenty of poetic, romantic lines such as, “She was just like his mother, oh / she’d never miss church / she’d pray for others in spite of / her own hurt”.
After having graduated from Trinity College in Dublin last month, Oscar Blue is now positioned to spend this summer prioritizing the track-by-track release of his four-song debut EP, Love Even Harder, with its leading single Sober from You.
I reached out to Oscar Blue via email to see if he’d be willing to share a bit about the growth he experienced when he took some time off from the music scene in 2017 and 2018, a request he generously obliged. Read on to see what he had to say!
Note: Oscar’s response has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Image courtesy of Folk.org
“I was busy finishing my last couple of years of high school and I knew that once I graduated I could move from my home in Clare to Dublin where the music scene is much more vibrant. Hence, I took a year or two just to write some songs away from the pressure of actively pursuing a career in music. This was a great time because I wrote a lot, grew up quite a bit and really charged up my batteries for when it was time to move to Dublin and start promoting what I was doing. “– Oscar Blue, 2/27/21
Next, I will cover the performance of Irish singer-songwriter Karan Casey, as part of the Culture Ireland Stage showcase. Make sure to visit Big City Folks to check it out!