Irish singer and songwriter Mundy performs for the first time in Jacksonville October 16th at Culhane’s Irish Pub in Atlantic Beach. The Florida stop is part of a 21-day tour. Some cities he’s never played, and others he hasn’t set foot in in over two decades. But no matter where he plays, he can count on at least one fellow countryman in the room to show support.
“There’s two kinds of Irish people in America. There are the ones who are my age that come to see me play. They might be there more to drink than to listen, but they’ll support you nonetheless,” he says. “Then there’s the ones who have Irish heritage who are interested in Irish culture and are ready to listen and take everything you say very seriously. They’re the kind of people I like at my gigs because you can be a little more gentle and play songs to them rather than at them,” he says. “Especially when you’re playing solo, it can be quite hard to play crowds like that. It gets very physical.”Mundy, who’s real name is Edmond Enright, is looking forward to reaching new audiences, and he’s got quite the catalog to share dating back to his start in 1996. He earned his first big break with the song ‘To You I Bestow’ which was featured on the best-selling soundtrack of Baz Luhrmans’s film Romeo + Juliet.
“I’m better known in Ireland where I’ve had more success, although there’s a ton of my generation that’s emigrated to the States, so I do pull a good crowd in certain parts,” he says, noting that he’s already sold out a show in Boston and expects a big turnout for his Chicago dates. “I haven’t been to Jacksonville before. I haven’t been to New Orleans, and I haven’t been to Los Angeles in 20-something years, so I’m excited.
One unlikely spot for a group of rowdy Irishmen is Kansas City, where Mundy says he can always count on a good showing. “There’s a good Irish population down there, and they’re very supportive,” he says.
Mundy is best known for his live cover of Steve Earle’s ‘Galway Girl,’ which he first performed during an appearance on a popular Irish radio show. He was joined in the studio by famed Irish instrumentalist Sharon Shannon. The host encouraged them to perform a number together so the pair did a quick bit of Steve Earle’s song ‘Galway Girl’ from his 2000 album Transcendental Blues. Shannon had previously performed on the track with Earle.
“I got up the next day, and it was almost a hit,” says Mundy. “People were asking to hear it again and again. A lot of people thought it was my song.”
He later invited Shannon to be his guest at a live show where they reprised their cover of ‘Galway Girl,’ and it went on to be the number-one single in Ireland for over two years. “It just took off on iTunes by a fluke. There was no plan. There aren’t even any photos of the show. It was a really happy accident, and it’s gotten me a lot of walk around the place,” Mundy says, including an invitation to perform at the White House in 2014.
When he’s playing a familiar city, he’ll often seek out friends and other musicians to back him up on solo shows. He will be performing solo at Culhane’s, where he plans to entertain the crowd with a mixed bag of songs from his catalog.
“I’m going to bring some new songs, but I’m thinking a lot of my songs will be brand-new to everybody. It’ll be a mix of my songs from 1996 until now, some 22-odd years worth,” he says, a self-proclaimed “massive fan” of such Americana bands as Wilco, Lucinda Williams and Sparklehorse. “Now as I’m getting older and kind of starting to bring a bit of Irish music into my repertoire just to tick that box. People want to hear some Irish music, so I guess it’s good to have that ammunition.”