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The Lonesome Hobos
Dunmore East is a small fishing village on
the south-east coast of Ireland, 16kms from
the city of Waterford.
It sits on the western side of the Waterford
Harbour Estuary, 4.8kms from Hook Head in
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford,
Red River Valley
Recorded in Beau St.
Studios, Waterford and
engineered by Martin Murray.
Jesse Lonergan: Vocals on
Ringo Regan: Harmony on
Sam Stone, lead acoustic on
both songs and dobro on
Carrie Crowley: Harmony on
Red River Valley.
Martin O' Connor: Squeeze
box on Red River Valley.
Geraldine Cullen: Cello on
Red River Valley.
Niall O'Brien: Fiddle on Sam
Gerry Madden: Mandolin on
I Wonder how the Old Folks
are at Home
21st October, 1988.
From left to right: Mick Dower,
Jesse Lonergan, Niall O'Brien,
Mick Kinseala and Ringo Regan
The band began in 1987 when Jesse Lonergan and Ringo Regan returned from a
year in Australia . John Gray RIP, secured the boys a Sunday afternoon session at
the Candlelight for Charlie Boland, and that was more or less the beginning. The
initial sessions involved sitting around a table playing guitar, five string banjo, and
dobro. The boys covered old Bluegrass classics from Bill Munroe, Ralph Stanley,
Doc Watson etc, with a reasonably healthy mix of tunes and songs.
Fergus Tyrell from Dublin (whose brothers had a country band called Tyrell's Pass)
joined on bass and each Sunday the size of the crowds started to increase. Most
people just liked the music which at the time was new to Dunmore , and the
In the spring of 1988 it was decided to have a go at launching the band proper.
Fergus had moved on, so some new recruits had to be found and a much better
sound system etc. needed to be purchased. Ringo enlisted the services of Mick
Dower from Waterford on bass, and Jesse contacted an old drummer friend of his,
Mick Kinsella, a former drummer with the Dave Prim band from Kilkenny. Mick
Kinsella was also an excellent Blues Harp player. Then they needed a good fiddle
player, so a search of the music department of Waterford Regional was conducted
and it produced a very talented young Waterford musician Niall O'Brien who became
the youngest member of The Lonesome Hobos. Last but not least Gerry Madden
joined on the mandolin and so the Lonesome Hobos began.
The Lonesome Hobos travelled and played throughout the country for a few years.
Most who heard the band loved the sound and the image. The sound was an
American Bluegrass cross-over into country folk. The image was of a bedraggled
bunch of old travelling Men taken from the very name The Lonesome Hobos.
The band played many festivals and venues, including The Killarney Folk Festival
where they shared the bill with Altan, and the Dublin City Folk Festival. They
appeared on RTE television with Shay Healy and The Nighthawks, and also on RTE
radio with Ronan Collins. One famous double bill with The Waterboys at CJ's in Salt
Hill Galway, will always be remembered when the more illustrious fiddle player with
The Waterboys was at a loss to deal with the young Hobo on the fiddle from
Waterford. The boys also played (believe it or not) at the Candlelight one winter's
night with one of America 's foremost singer song writers John Prine, in the company
of Phillip Donnelly.
Throughout all the gigs and the travelling the Hobos always came back to town and
especially to Dunmore where it had all begun. Some people will remember taking the
Bus on a Saturday night to Katie Reilly's Kitchen on the Tramore road to enjoy the
band and the old Bluegrass classics including “Blue Moon of Kentucky ”, and “Will
the Circle be Unbroken”
The Lonesome Hobos played many bluegrass and country tunes and received a lot
of support from the people of the South East. One song in particular however will
always stand out in the minds of many in Dunmore as being the signature tune of
“The Lonesome Hobos” - “Sam Stone”
To this day it is still requested on country radio programs.
“ There's a hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes, and Jesus Christ died for
nothing I suppose”.
“The Lonesome Hobos” Thank you for the memories.