Our Blog

Sammy's Christmas Musings 

So this is Christmas.  It’s upon us again in what we might all call the weirdest year of our lives.  Truth is, it’s been a crappy year for a lot of people. Businesses hammered, families separated, 

art and music locked down, houses of worship closed, people sick and dying and travel has basically been non existent. 

It’s been horrible but that is 2020 for a lot of us.  For us the year hadn’t finished sticking the boot in.  In December we had two deaths in the family and two surgeries..you know, Murphy’s Law.. when you think it can’t get any worse… it does.  However this time of year is always when I seem to reflect best and the arrival of the most beautiful Nativity Scene,  made by a dear friend delighted me and made me think about this time of year. 

The weird thing about the ‘Christmas Story’ that we see on cards, in town squares, children’s plays and under Christmas Trees is that mostly it is untrue…or at least inaccurate. 

The idea of the nativity combines a bunch of stories, myths and ideas into one perfect beautiful scene while in reality there wasn’t much all that beautiful about it…but we like the illusion ( and I do like it because like everyone else, I like lovely things) better than the reality. 

The Christmas story took place in a country occupied by an invading brutal force. An unmarried pregnant girl and her fiancé are forced to travel  for census/ taxation purposes just before one of the worst cases of mass infanticide would take place. 

When the baby finally arrives..(they said he was Immanuel, King of kings, the Saviour etc etc)….he is dropped in an animals’ feeding trough….makes you wonder doesn’t it? 

2020 has been a horrible year…..2000 years ago, (give or take) it was also a horrible year.  And there have been horrible years since.  A pandemic isn’t the norm for sure, but years come and they go and there is no telling how good or bad they might be. 

This year would have been much worse without the things we have learned. We are thankful for the support and love of family and friends globally, but this year has allowed us to stay home and get to know our neighbours and find a wonderful richness in the artistic community in Wexford.  We have learned that medical workers, shop keepers , postmen and other, often overlooked services are truly essential. We have seen a rallying in communities and the heroes amongst us are often the ‘ordinary’ folk around us. 

Some things go without saying…proud of my son who has climbed to the top of his game by his mid 30’s, my daughter for starting a new career in health care just as Covid hit.  My grandkids for no particular reason except the joy of being their Pop. My wife for putting up with my very focused  but annoying mind.    

My old friend John Smith once told me that artists and those on the fringes of society often intuitively ‘feel’ the truth…he called such people the ‘nerve endings of society.’  Also, personally I’ve been lifted  out of potential gloom by  71 year old Bruce Springsteen’s keen observations on life…by Cursed Murphy v’s The Resistance’ passionate wails for justice.  Ian Doyle’s reminders of how dark life can be, the commitment to excellence of The Remedy Club, ( you can google all these artists and buy their music). The inspirational creativity of Emma Sherman’s needlework, Dan Comerford’s guitar building, Kylie’s kitchen endeavours, Ecke Weiland’s painting, Alexander Lee Buie’s exceptional art work,  Yuval Noah Harari’s prophetic warnings of the terrifying possibilities of technology and my late sister’s ability to laugh at life. The commitment of local businesses like RED BOOKS in Wexford to support local writers like Dan Finn. The coexistence of joy and grief we find in the Irish wake. Hemingway’s Old Man Of the Sea and the exhausting struggle that is his working life. CS Lewis reminds us that there may well be someone out to get us in Screwtape Letters. Roald Dahl,  Richard Rohr, Robert Kirk, John Smith, Jesus Christ and more all help me navigate life. 

In the Christmas story, it still strikes me that the first visitors were shepherds. These guys knew things before anyone else.  The dodgy, hard drinking, smelly, dirty, potty mouthed, rough, untrustworthy dwellers from the edges (The general social thinking on shepherds in that time) knew about good news before the politicians, the religious people, the rich, the high society tribe, the intellectuals  and the do-gooders. Over the years it has often been those on the edge of society who have taught me my most sobering lessons. 

I love that it is these men who tell everybody this good news.  Perhaps in 2021 we need to listen harder to those on the edges because if we think good news just comes from preachers and those in power, maybe we still prefer the illusion more than the truth. 

Make it as merry as you can, and a hopeful New year to you all..

Fully Funded! Amazed, Humbled and Grateful 

We did it - and the 'we' includes so many from all over the globe who made the decision to support and see this project come to fruition.

Thank you! 

As touring musicians who can't just now, this is encouragement, this is connection, and inspite of pandemics and a myriad of struggles, this is hope in action. 

As Kylie applies for Irish naturalisation and we get these musical albums manufactured, know that our hearts are full, humbled and so grateful. We will work to get all the pledge rewards to you as soon as practicable keeping in mind that UK and parts of Europe are again locking down and non-essential services won't be available. Still, most businesses we are using are still on track with our orders, so God willin' and the creek don't rise...

Music is important, the arts are vital. Now as much as ever, and whilst we are unable to stand in front of you and entertain you in a typical way, we hope that Far Away Places and Rev. Sam & The Outcasts will lift your spirits, remind you of things past, and that the best is yet to come.

Love from our patch of green.

Video fun and info during 2nd Lockdown this year. 

Sammy sharing a bit about the recording process in Covid-Lockdown

Hey groovers,

 We are nearly to the half way mark with our crowd funder campaign and we are so grateful to those who have chipped in. Lockdown here in Ireland allows us plenty of time to consider how best to share parts of the process with you and some of the flavours of both albums, one so different to the other. See above and below links which feature music from both Far Away Places and Rev. Sam & The Outcasts.  This 'year of flowing gently' though so different to most for us has not been boring and we hope you like what has been created with some talented musician-friends.

A word from Rev. Sam 

Nearly 30% and a third of the way there.. 

 How are you? 

We are working' it to try and get this crowd fund kicking thing to it's goal. Challenging times to run a campaign and we are relying on our friends and fans as always to want to hear these new offerings in music.  Social media is a help but seems these days to work against the artist struggling to put the word out. 

Far Away Places and Rev. Sam & The Outcasts were born in lockdown. Both conceived in a place of fertile creative need. Both enabled many talented artists to give of themselves and earn some much needed dosh (if somewhat limited given our budget).  These albums are good, they are rich both lyrically, musically and messaged in hope.

We hope you can find a few bob to help us get these into yours and others hands. The best is yet to come, despite pandemics and the ills we see globally... These days shall pass.  On on good people. 

Here's a link to our project, have a look, enjoy the updates, follow our progress.  Thank you xx Kylie&Sammy

Rev.Sam & The Outcasts Recording

Rev. Sam & The Outcasts Recording is kicking! 

We are 5 days into our campaign to get these latest albums made and already nearly 20% funded!  Huge thanks to all who have contributed and we deeply appreciate it. 
We are excited for you all to hear both of these projects - each seriously good records in their own right and with a cast of talent from all over.

We are doing updates on our progress and adding info on the 'how to' of the whole shebang, you can follow along on our  KICKSTARTER page.

Upcoming will be a vid by our talented friend and artist Alexander Buie on his creative process.

Stay tuned, stay safe, please check out the project and feel free to ask questions, we have til Nov 4 to make our goal and we need your help.

Go to: Rev.Sam & The Outcasts Recording, click on 'Back This Project' and see what it's all about.

Thanks for the support.

Peace!

Team Horner

 

 

Starting With a Kick! **New Music from Sammy Horner 

Hey ho and away we go with this project, the creating of which got us through lockdown early in the pandemic this year.  Himself needs to keep his head busy and 2020 has been, well, a huge opportunity.  Thus we bring you our latest crowd-funding venture.  

Two amazing albums, one folk, one rock... Far Away Places and Rev. Sam & The Outcasts. 

Two very different styles from one artist.  From Sammy- " For some years I've been writing material for both of these albums, one delving into the Irish famine and resultant emigration to far away places adding in all of the uncertainty being experienced in the current season, the other a kind of in your face, raw gospel album that doesn't sugar coat or sanitise ideas on good news, justice, mercy and love and delivers a spankin' hard rock edge with all the 'doo-wops' and 'shalalala push-push' backing vocals of my hey day." 

 Collaboration with a gifted group of musicians from Ireland, UK, Germany, USA and Australia via the internet adds to the quality, creativity and experience tenfold. 

We have 30 days from Oct 8th  to make our goal to get the project funded.  Kickstarter is a reputable and safe platform that we are well seasoned in utilizing and we encourage you to have a look at what rewards are on offer for pledging and supporting our endeavour. 

Thanks in advance for having a look at the project and the rewards for pledging and if you can share the news we'd so appreciate it.

Here is the link:  Rev.Sam & The Outcasts Recording 

Finn and the Wild Goose 

We are very happy to announce Sammy's first foray into children's novels is now available for order and download on Amazon in Kindle format where, on Sep 2, it started in the top 20 for children's multicultural, folktales and myths genre. We are stoked and so grateful to all who supported and encouraged himself on the journey to publication.

 It's also available on AMAZON UK for hardcopy orders. For anyone not wanting to wait until they are available in your area ( ie. Australia) our publishers Malcolm Down have conveyed that it is available at the Book Depository.

We have some advance copies available if you would like to purchase a signed copy. Contact us for information.  We hope in the future to have opportunity to sell them on the road- when we ever get back on the road.

Watch this space, here's to 2021 allowing more normal activities for the likes of us troubadours.

Go get a copy and enjoy the adventures.

German/Swiss Tour Cancelled 

Greetings from Wexford...

It is with the acceptance that it's the only choice we have given these days of uncertainty due to Covid 19, we have called it on whether to tour this September. Sad as we are not to be with friends and fans in lovely Switzerland and Germany, we cant avoid the fact that there are too many compelling reasons to not leave Ireland.

All non-essential travel is strongly advised against; there is still a 14 day isolation rule if returning from countries not on the 'green list' and this would apply; singing is even worse than talking as far as droplet spread considerations; multiple contacts in two countries would be a tracking nightmare.... and so on.

Here's to a better year for us muso's, artists and performers in 2021.

Peace and hand gel be with you all and don't forget yer masks.

Author at work! 

As many of you are aware, Mr. Horner is never happier than when creating, indeed lockdown has been a benefit for the Horner camp as writing, recording and general creativity ensued. We are considering a new way to promote Sammy's books and solo musical projects, prolific is the word that comes to mind. Two new albums are largely completed and a Kickstarter is planned to assist in getting these pressed and available to you. Faraway Places and Rev. Sam and The Outcasts (working title at present) promise to entertain.

Meanwhile Finn and The Wild Goose is at the publishers (huge thanks to editor Angela Little Smith and Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing) and we hope to have physical copies in hand by end of July. More literature is coming as well and we think himself needs another website to better serve his different creative hats. Stay tuned. 

PS. For the streaming types, Breathe produced by Sammy and electronica/techno whizz-kid Tony 'Tonesteppa' Silcock is now available for your listening/dancing pleasure ;)  Also available for download purchase or hard copy order via BANDCAMP

The Sweet Sorrows Live on a screen near you 

 How are you?

This weekend would have seen us in the UK on our annual tour. Instead we are joining friends online (Sunday 7th) for The Doghouse Open Mic Lockdown Session which is based in Balloch, Scotland and where the craic is always mighty.  Our set is scheduled for 6.30pm GMT and we look forward to seeing you there and mingling with beloveds we cant be with. Stay tuned for more news, Mr. Horner (alias Rev. Sam) has been cranking and we are in the process of 2 new albums in our Covid-staycation. Remember #thesedayswillpass  and mind yourselves. 

Peace out.