Live music returns to Lifford Old Courthouse as StrawMan AKA Tom Bonner takes to the stage with support from local singer-songwriter Lynn Campbell.

StrawMan AKA Tom Bonner first started penning songs while at University in Galway in the mid-90s. He moved to Hungary in 2003 to work as an English tutor. While there, he wrote and recorded his debut album ‘Some Belated Truths’ under the moniker ‘Urban Hermits’. This was released to a solid reception in 2007. Later that year, the band played the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool. 

Due to family commitments, Tom took a long break from music from 2008. ‘Fearless’ (2020) is his second full release. It charts the journey from bleak despair through defiance and to ultimate redemption. Produced by Terry McGinty of Valley Music Studio, it doffs its cap at indie-rock, soulful ballad, minor blues and acoustic-driven pop, as is evident from the singles ‘Cycle the Volcano’, ‘Wither’ and ‘I am Enough’. All 3 songs, along with his later single ‘Drop Tools’, got to number 1 on the prestigious website N1M (Number One Music). He currently has almost 35,000 plays on that site and is building a solid fanbase. 

In April 2021, StrawMan was commissioned by Donegal ETB to compose a song for Roddy Doyle’s novel ‘Brilliant’. The end of the year saw 2 new releases including a Christmas single! He belatedly launched ‘Fearless’ in The Balor Arts Centre on December 10 with an excellent new band and received an amazing reception. Among his influences, Tom cites The National, The War on Drugs, Bruce Springsteen, PJ Harvey, Richard Ashcroft, Aimee Mann, Frightened Rabbit, Manchester Orchestra and REM. He is currently recording an EP for a Spring release to be followed by a full album later in the year.

‘Fearless’ and StrawMan’s other tracks can be found on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.

Lynn Campbell (nee Crawford) is from Lifford in Co. Donegal and comes from a very musical family on both sides. She began writing songs in 2013 as a hobby and very quickly created an 8 track easy listening/country album entitled “The Story of Jack and Mary”. The album is unique in that each song is a chapter to the story but each song is a story in itself too. In September 2013, the album was featured on Highland Radio’s Monday Night Sessions with Packie Keeney. However due to family commitments, a career in music was put on hold.

The introduction of lockdown in March 2020 afforded Lynn the extra time she needed to reignite her songwriting and she once again commenced working on the album. In March of 2021, she released her first single “The Appeal” and in September 2021 she released “Tell Me Why”, a duet featuring another Lifford native, singer/Songwriter, Martin McColgan. Both songs reached No.1 on the iTunes country download charts. More recently, “Tell Me Why” topped polls on radio stations all over the country as well as in the US and Australia.

Lynn hopes to release her album later this year after deciding to add an additional 4 tracks to the storyline.

She has also started Co-writing with singers at home as well as from the UK and Canada. Her influences include Garth Brooks and Celine Dion but she credits her late father, John Crawford as being her biggest influence. Lynn’s music can be found on all major platforms including iTunes and Spotify and she can be contacted at Lynn Campbell Music on Facebook.