*** Press Release *** Press Release *** Press Release *** LIAM LAWTON Coinciding with the release of his brand new album “Christmas Songs”, highly acclaimed singer/songwriter Liam Lawton is set for a nationwide Irish Tour. “Christmas Songs” which features new Liam Lawton material alongside some traditional favourites with new contemporary arrangements, will be released through EMI Records in November, and will be followed by a major tour starting in Ballintubber Abbey on 30th November and finishing in his hometown of Carlow on 20th December. The release of “Christmas Songs” follows the phenomenal success of “Another World” and “Time” (Both double platinum sales), and it is hoped that this new album will give Liam’s fast growing fan base a completely new dimension to his unique musical approach. So just who IS Liam Lawton, and where did this all come about..... Ordained as a priest several years ago, before he came to mainstream prominence, Liam released 8 albums of liturgical music through Veritas, songs currently used in masses, weddings and funerals throughout Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. The fact is, it's almost a guarantee that when you hear music in the church, the chances are its Liam Lawton's. In March 2004, Liam's talents were recognised by recording giant EMI Music who signed Liam on a worldwide deal. This deal saw the release of “Another World” in 2004 and “Time” in 2005. Working with talented young producer Mark Cahill, Liam was thrilled to be able to bring his music to a totally new audience!! Liam Lawton grew up in a household filled with music! On his father's side, his grandmother was a traditional Irish singer and his grandfather, a concertina player. Their house was a centre for Irish and traditional music with people coming from miles around to take part in the sessions, which were an integral part of their lives. Liam's father met his mother at work in the midlands and this ensured the introduction of showband music into their lives, Liam's mother having several brothers who played in The Cunningham Brothers showband, travelling around Ireland at the height of this era in the fifties and sixties. Also members of Ceoltas Ceoltairi Eireann, it was into this musical family setting Liam Lawton was born. From an early age Liam became an accomplished piano player with a special interest in Irish traditional music. In his early teens he began writing his first songs, and began leaning towards a career in music. After leaving school, Liam went to Maynooth to study Arts, and this gave Liam his first opportunity to pit his song writing abilities up against other song writers in the college's annual song contest ..... which he won on three consecutive occasions! During this time, Liam also entered the Ballina Song Contest, a contest which in its prime attracted some of the best writers from all over the world, and he won it on his first attempt, attracting interest from all the major labels in Ireland!!! Ironically Shay Healy (who composed Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest winning entry for Johnny Logan "What's Another Year" in 1980) was a judge on one occasion and he remarked that Liam Lawton was destined for a career in music!! And just when he had the music world at his feet, Liam Lawton gave it all up to be ordained as a priest. For the next seven years, Liam devoted himself to the church and pastoral work in Carlow town, a provincial town about two hours southwest of Dublin, not leaving much time to pursue his interest in music. Liam Lawton’s return to music came about when the organisers of the Arts Festival in Carlow at the last minute found themselves without their special guest performer Peadar O'Riada, and asked Liam if he would stand in and play some of Peadar's material. Liam said he would but would prefer to play his own if possible. The committee agreed and thus Liam Lawton gave his first public performance in seven years! This convinced Liam to take up his music career again!! Following this, an Bord Gaeilge (The Irish Board) gave him his first grant to record a collection of his liturgical music in Irish, which they distributed through Veritas Religious Music Store in Dublin. Veritas then set up a deal with Liam to record an album of his music in English, and which went on to become one of their best ever sellers!! Other artists began to pick up on Liam's songs at this stage, including the Vard Sisters who included three of Liam's tracks on their Sony Music multi-platinum selling debut album "Heavenly". Liam returned to Carlow to do a hDip in teaching, spending his weekends writing and recording music. In 1996, Liam was commissioned by Trocaire to write a music piece commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine. This beautiful piece of music "The Darkest Hour" was brought to the attention of the World Health Organisation in the US. Liam performed this song at the opening of a special commemoration exhibition of the Irish famine in Minneapolis, and this led to him being offered a publishing deal by GIA, a major Christian music publishing company who loved Liam's liturgical music writing. By the end of 1997, Liam's music was being performed in such diverse venues across the US as the White House and St Patricks Cathedral and all the way to Hollywood. Liam also began performing more and more in the US, including headlining a Christian music festival in Anaheim California in front of 20,000 people. Liam also has a huge love of classical music, and five years ago, Liam wrote an orchestral work based on the life of St Patrick, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in March 2002. It was narrated by actor Gregory Peck, and afterwards, after swapping phone numbers, Gregory told Liam he would love the opportunity to work with Liam again, so blown away was he with the music. Unfortunately, he never got the chance as Gregory Peck passed away a few months later. March 2005 saw Liam return to Chicago to again perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with an orchestral work based on the life of St Kevin, this time with highly acclaimed actor John Malkovich doing the narrating. In September 2001, after the Twin Towers tragedy, the GIA got calls from organisations looking for a piece of music that people could relate to in their hour of need. They gave Liam's song "The Cloud's Veil" which included the lyrics "When the dark clouds veil the sky, you are by my side". Within one hour of setting up the website with the free download, the song had been downloaded 1,000 times. The song became a focus for the mourning the country found itself plunged into, and was performed at memorial services nationwide. Around this time, Liam decided to take a career break from teaching to do a Masters Degree in World Music, studying under Micheal O'Suilleabhain, with which he emerged with first class honours. After the release of “Another World”, under the direction of Mark Cahill, Liam put together a very talented group to tour with him. For those who have never seen Liam perform…a Liam Lawton live concert is both a visual and aural experience. He has gotten a standing ovation every single night as his charismatic style and approach reaches out to give people a spiritual experience they will never forget. Just before Christmas 2005, Liam’s “Live In Concert” DVD was screened on the PBS Television Network right across the US to rave reviews. And in August 2006 he took part in a very special project – Song Of The Celtic Soul – an open air concert spectacular which took place over two nights in Dublin’s Docklands and was recorded for DVD/CD release into the US and Worldwide markets in 2007. This uniquely special event, with guests Roisin O’Reilly and boy soprano Joseph McManners, featured the full Irish Film Orchestra and Chorus along with traditional Irish instruments, and was truly spectacular and enjoyed by all who attended. The orchestral arrangements were done by the worldrenowned composer and arranger Nick Ingman (Shakespeare In Love, Cold Mountain, Billy Elliot, Finding Neverland etc). Placing a huge emphasis on melody with lyrics to touch your soul....very cinematic and melodic, Liam's music could best be described as spiritual celtic music for the soul. For those who have never seen Liam perform....a Liam Lawton live concert is both a visual and aural experience and features various guests from his album at every performance. He has gotten a standing ovation every single night as his charismatic style and approach reaches out to give people a spiritual experience they will never forget.