‘Performing on the Hootenanny felt like a dream’

Muireann Bradley at Maidstone Studios
Image caption,Muireann Bradley from Ballybofey in County Donegal performed on Jools’ Annual Hootenanny

A 17-year-old blues guitarist from County Donegal said performing on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny “felt like a dream”.

Muireann Bradley, from Ballybofey near Letterkenny, received a standing ovation for her cover of Candyman by Rev Gary Davis on the BBC Two programme.

The teenager also rubbed shoulders with music legend Sir Rod Stewart during the show’s finale.

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny features a variety of musical guests and celebrated it’s 30th year on air.

The special, which aired on New Years Eve, also saw performances from singer-songwriter Joss Stone, girl group Sugababes and Dundalk band The Mary Wallopers.

Comedians, actors and other stars of the past year also spoke to Holland about their predictions and resolutions for 2024.

The pianist and presenter has hosted music programme Later… with Jools Holland, featuring a mixture of established and new artists, since 1992.

A ‘crazy’ dream

Speaking to BBC’s Evening Extra programme, Muireann said appearing on the show alongside some of music’s biggest stars was a “really amazing experience”.

“To see all them legends was just crazy for me,” she said.

“When I came home the next day it just felt like a dream, to be honest. It was crazy.”

Despite it being the teenager’s first television performance, nerves didn’t get the better of the blues singer and guitarist.

“I was pretty nervous, but once I kind of got on the stage it kind of all went away to be honest,” she added.

Muireann Bradley performing on Jools' Annual Hootenanny
Image caption,The studio audience gave Muireann a standing ovation for her cover of blues classic Candyman

Muireann, who has just released her debut album I Kept These Old Blues, got the chance to have a chat with some of the other acts before the show.

While getting her hair and make-up done, Muireann spent some time speaking to powerhouse vocalist Ruby Turner.

She also managed to catch a “short chat” with British pop and rock singer Sir Rod Stewart, who was also making his debut on the Hootenanny.

Jools Holland
Image caption,The two-hour programme hosted by Jools Holland has become a new year tradition for many viewers

As for the host himself, Muireann said the experience couldn’t have been better.

“Jools was lovely,” she said.

“He was talking to me before the show https://mauapalagi.com and all, and he was just really nice and friendly.”

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