Ramelton man builds new career in country music
Trevor Loughery is one of those who has found that the recession has turned unexpectedly to his advantage. The Ramelton man had worked as a builder from when he was a teenager, learning his trade at home before moving to England and continuing in Derry where he has set up home.
But the collapse of the building trade has sent Trevor in a completely opposite direction and in the space of 18 months he is working as a professional country and western singer. In that short space of time he has released two albums, has a third on the way and has just returned from a trip to country and western capital Nashville. While there he recorded two tracks for his new record with musicians who have played with some of Nashville's biggest names, including Johnny Cash.
Trevor's interest in music has developed from singing 70s and 80s music at karakoe nights two or to playing country and western nights all round the north west. A half hour Garth Brooks' set has developed into a full-time career with song-writers penning numbers for him to record. His videos are airing on the Sky 202 Hot Country programme and he is getting air play throughout Ireland as well as in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. "2010 has been a great year and if 2011 is as good I'll be very lucky, " Trevor said looking back on the year that has seen him cement his position as a rising country star.
The visit to Nashville had been a dream of Trevor's for some time and he enjoyed even more than he thought he would. There were tours and visits to different locations including Sun Studios and a night at the CMA Christmas Show which will be aired later this month. He also made a visit to Johnny Cash's grave.
"The musicians in the pubs and bars are all top class musicians, you'll never hear anything like it in your life. There is music in the bars 364 days of the year from 10 in the morning to three in the morning, It never sleeps. It's a fine place, everyone should go"
He was also there during the CMA Country Music Awards. "There was a great buzz about the place. There were thousands of people at it. I even met Kris Kristofferson and Mark Chestnut." Trevor has recorded one of Chestnut's songs. "He told me had heard my version and said I made a great a job of it," he said.
He sang for eight years initially doing what he describes as "a lot of middle of the road stuff". The building trade then became very busy for him and the music fell to the wayside. "I stopped it for a couple of years and then got back into it doing charity gigs when I would sing Garth Brooks. I got into the country side of it big time and started singing George Strait and a friend said to me I should take it a bit further."
A visit 18 months ago to a recording studio owned by his friend Wes Divine in Lifford saw things move on further. Soon he recorded an album and the gigs kept coming. "I went on the roads on my own doing gigs two or three nights a keep. The building stopped a few years ago and I had no opportunities and that's when I got back into the singing. I was very lucky that I could turn to it because I feel sorry for a lot of boys. I was never out of work for 25 years up until two years ago so I was very fortunate I could turn to it."
Things moved quickly and he started picking up guest appearances with the likes of Margo, Hugo Duncan, Brian Coll, John McNicholl, Lisa McHugh and Gary Gamble, among others. He also has a gig with Rory Daniels coming up in February in the Milford Inn.
There is a big country and western scene in the north west but what Trevor thinks makes him stand out a little is that he does more American country. His new single, ‘Tickety Boo', is doing very well with airplay in stations around the country.
Next year is shaping up to be a good year and a return to Nashville has been organised as part of a show of Irish country and western stars in June and a new DVD with other artists is also coming out.
"I am probably classed as professional now and I am looking to get a band together. What I really enjoy about it is meeting people and chatting to people. The number of people I have met this year has been unbelievable. But I would not have got this far without the support of my family and friends and those who have supported me and the radio stations and DJs who have picked up on my music and played it."