The following singers and musicians contributed to the "FISHERMAN'S BLUES" /"TOO CLOSE TO HEAVEN" sessions 1986 - 1988 :
Dates in brackets denote time-span of involvement in the sessions. For specific session credits see sessions.
Abergavenny Male Voice Choir
From South Wales. Sang on the track "World Party".
Aaron Ahmun - Drums(1988)
Welsh session drummer. Played several times with The Waterboys for rehearsals and studio sessions during 1987 and 88. Has often played with John Martyn.
Colin Blakey - Flute, Piano (1987-8)
Member of original Scottish raggle taggle band, We Free Kings. Later joined Waterboys full time 1989-90. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" sleeve (back row, second left). Made album with his own group The Clan. Now lives in the Scottish Hebridean Islands.
Fran Breen - Drums (1987-8)
Irish country drummer. Former member of Stockton's Wing and Nancy Griffiths' Blue Moon Orchestra. Waterboys live drummer 1987-8. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" sleeve (back row, far right). Based in Nashville for several years, now back in Ireland.
Noel Bridgeman - Drums, Congas, Piano Accordion (1986-7)
Dublin drummer. Later joined Waterboys full time 1989-90. Has also played with Skid Row (Irish 70s band), Phil Lynott, Brush Shiels, Mary Black, Sharon Shannon and many Irish artists.
Steve Cooney - Dijeridu (1986-7)
Irish based Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer. Produced Steve Wickham's pre-Waterboys Irish band In Tua Nua. Later toured supporting 1989 Waterboys as one half of Cooney and Begley. Has backed almost every Irish folk performer of last two decades on acoustic guitar or bass and is the most in demand traditional accompanist in Ireland.
Jay Dee Daugherty - Drums (1988)
Longtime member of Patti Smith Group. Has also played with Tom Verlaine, John Cale, The Church. Later toured as live Waterboys drummer in 1989 and 2001.
John Donnolly - Drums (1986)
Dublin session drummer. No longer in music business.
Alec Finn - Bouzouki (1988)
Irish based Yorkshireman. Bouzouki player in great traditional band De Dannan. Lives in a castle in Oranmore, at the head of Galway Bay. Recommended Spiddal House to The Waterboys as a possible recording location.
Frankie Gavin - Fiddle (1988)
One of Ireland's greatest fiddlers, member of De Dannan and solo artist. Has also played with Yehudi Menuin, Rolling Stones and many others.
Jenne Haan - Backing Vocals (1988)
English singer living on English/Welsh border. Once with rock band Babe Ruth.
Trevor Hutchinson - Bass, Bouzouki (1986-8)
Waterboy 1986-1991. Later with Sharon Shannon Band and now has own successful traditional group Lunasa. Also runs a busy recording studio in Dublin. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, back row, second right.
Jim Keltner - Drums (1986)
American drummer. Has played with top Artists since the 1960's including John Lennon, Neil Young, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and countless others. Still one of the most in-demand drummers in the world. Later played on "Dream Harder" and "Still Burning".
Vinnie Kilduff - Whistle, Pipes (1987)
From Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland. Previously played with In Tua Nua alongside Steve Wickham. Member of Waterboys live band from 1987 to 1989. Has also played with Steve Cooney, Charlie Lennon, Clannad, Mary Black and many others. Pictured on inside cover of "Fisherman's Blues" (smiling with guitar).
Frank Lane - Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro (1986)
Country singer, musician and member of legendary Dublin bands The Fleadh Cowboys and The One Eyed Rattlers. Performs regularly around Ireland.
Charlie Lennon - Fiddle (1988)
Fiddler, accompanist, composer and member of a well known Irish musical family. Pictured on inside cover of "Fisherman's Blues" (in baseball cap playing fiddle). Guested on many Waterboys shows 1988-9. Lives in Spiddal where he has recently opened a recording studio. Mike Scott's landlord during early Waterboys Spiddal days.
Roddy Lorimer - Trumpet (1987)
Scottish musician based in London. Toured and recorded with Waterboys on and off 1983-90. Features on several Waterboys and Mike Scott albums. Also a member of The Kick Horns who have played with countless artists including Waterboys, Rolling Stones, Blur, The Who, Eric Clapton, Doctor John.
Donal Lunny - Bouzouki, Bodhran, Mandolin (1986, 1988)
Hugely influential Irish musician, producer and composer. Has worked with every major Irish artist of past thirty years. Founded the seminal Irish bands Planxty, Bothy Band and Moving Hearts. Recently working with his own ensemble Coolfin.
Tomas Mac Eoin - Vocals (1988)
Singer and song-maker from the Irish language speaking village of An Cheathra Rua (Carraroe) in Connemara, West of Ireland. A former All-Ireland Champion Sean-nos (old style) singer. Performed regularly with Waterboys 1988-9. Pictured on inside sleeve of "Fisherman's Blues".
Scott Matthews - Drums (1986)
San Franciscan drummer and producer.
Peter McKinney - Drums (1986-7)
Northern Irish drummer, based in Dublin. Played in several bands with Trevor Hutchinson including Katmandu before working live and in studio with The Waterboys on and off 1986-7. Most recently with Irish band The Four Of Us. Pictured on inside sleeve of "Fisherman's Blues" (smiling with scarf).
Paul Moran - Drums (1986)
Dublin drummer. Has played with many artists including Clannad.
Rachel Nolan - Backing Vocals (1988)
Ruth Nolan - Backing Vocals (1988)
Two singing sisters, living near Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales.
Mairtin O'Connor - Button Accordion (1988)
Master button accordion player from Galway. A member of a classic De Dannan line-up, now a solo artist. Has performed with many Irish artists and with Mark Knopfler.
Liam O'Maonlai - Backing Vocals, Piano (1986-7)
Bi-lingual (Irish and English) singer and piano player with Hothouse Flowers.
Brendan O'Neill - Drums (1988)
Northern Irish drummer. Played with Rory Gallagher.
Brendan O'Regan - Bouzouki (1988)
From Castlebar, County Mayo. A well known musician around Galway. Has played with De Dannan, Vinnie Kilduff, Mary Black and many other Irish artists.
Peter O'Toole - Acoustic Guitar (1987)
Bass player and guitarist with Hothouse Flowers.
Dave Morris - Piano, Organ (1988)
English keyboard player, based near Rockfield Studios in Wales. Husband of Jenne Haan (see above).
John Patitucci - Bass (1986)
American bassist, well known as a top Jazz player. Has own band.
Prairie Prince - Drums (1986)
American drummer, formerly of The Tubes. Recently recorded with XTC.
Mike Rogers - Acoustic Guitar (1987)
Waterboys Production Manager 1986-8 who happened to be an fine country guitar player and played on a few sessions.
Dave Ruffy - Drums (1986)
London drummer and programmer. Waterboy 1985-6. Previously a member of English punk group, The Ruts. Has also played with Aztec Camera, Sinead O'Connor, World Party, Kirsty McColl. Later worked with Mike Scott in 1998-9 and contributes to "A Rock In The Weary Land".
Anders Rundblatt - Bass (1986)
Swedish member of American band Wire Train who supported Waterboys on tour, 1986.
Mike Scott - Vocals, Guitar, Piano etc (1986-8, 2001)
Waterboys leader and founder member. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, front row centre.
Padraig Stevens - Drums, Bells (1988)
Galway based singer, drummer and songwriter. Founder member of The Sawdoctors, now a solo artist.
Anthony Thistlethwaite - Sax, Mandolin, Vocals etc (1986-8)
Waterboys sax and mandolin man. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, front left. Sometimes known as "Cleanhead" and subject of several humorous "Cleanhead" songs recorded during sessions.
Pete Thomas - Drums (1987)
Drummer with Elvis Costello's Attractions. Also played on "This Is The Sea".
Ross Valery - Bass (1986)
Bassist with American band Journey.
Lez Warner - Drums (1986)
London drummer. Erstwhile member of The Cult. Almost joined Waterboys in 1985.
Bill Whelan - Piano (1986)
Irish musician, producer and composer, most recently famous for having written the music for Riverdance.
Steve Wickham - Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals etc (1986-8, 2001)
Waterboys fiddler. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, front right.
Kevin Wilkinson - Drums (1986-7)
First Waterboys drummer. Played with Mike as early as 1982 in The Red And The Black, then on early Waterboys tours (1984) and on each of the first 4 Waterboys albums. Also worked with Robyn Hitchcock, China Crisis, Squeeze, Proclaimers and many other artists. Plays on "A Rock In The Weary Land". Died in 1999.
They were also there.....
Owner of Spiddal House when The Waterboys rented it for "Fisherman's Blues" in 1988 and again for "Room To Roam" in 1990. Sold Spiddal House in early 90's. Still lives near Galway.
Waterboy 1985-6. Toured Europe and rehearsed with band in Dublin but not present for any studio recordings. Appears on "The Live Adventures Of The Waterboys". Later with World Party. Formed his own band The Lemon Trees in early 90's. Currently Robbie Williams' co-songwriter and musical director.
International MD of Chrysalis Records throughout "Fisherman's Blues" period. Visited sessions at Windmill Lane and Spiddal House. Waltzed with his wife onstage to "Jimmy Hickey's Waltz" at a concert in Galway. Still involved in music business.
Waterboys live concert sound engineer 1986-90. Was present for most Windmill Lane sessions and co-produced Spiddal House sessions of 1988. Introduced Mike to numerous Irish towns, musicians and records. Had previously worked for In Tua Nua, Moving Hearts, Clannad, De Dannan. Has managed Sharon Shannon 1990 to present. Also manages Donal Lunny. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, back row third from right (waving). "Dunford's Fancy" was written by Steve Wickham in honour of John's brother, Steve. John drew the cartoon "What handsome men and such beautiful singers" reproduced on the inner sleeve of "Room To Roam".
Recording engineer for most of the Windmill Lane sessions 1986-7. Still works regularly in Ireland. Remixed "The Stolen Child" for Yeats' album "Now And In Time To Be", released 1996.
Disc jockey, publicist, photographer, rock journalist and "viber". Waterboys friend and publicist during 1986. Broadcast early songs from "Fisherman's Blues" sessions on his Irish radio show. Present at several sessions during 1986 and subject of three unreleased lighthearted songs - "B.P.Villain", "Happy Birthday B.P.Fallon" and "B.P.'s Bathtub Boogie". Worked as p.r. for T.Rex, Led Zeppelin and many other artists. Still involved in music.
Bob Johnston's recording engineer of choice. Engineered Waterboys Fantasy Studio sessions, Berkeley, December 1986.
Irish recording engineer. Assistant to Pearse Dunne on all Waterboys Windmill Lane recording sessions during 1987. Last heard of working in Italy in mid 90's.
Waterboys roadie 1986-90. Subject of "Jimmy Hickey's Waltz" and unreleased song "If You See Jimmy Hickey". Previously worked for Moving Hearts, In Tua Nua, Clannad. More recently working for Donal Lunny. Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, back row centre (with shades and beard) and on inner sleeve with Steve and Anto above "Failte De Danann" (Welcome De Danann) sign. Jimmy also drew the cartoon "The Human Saxaphone and Noel The Bridgeman are hearing the sounds of beyond" reproduced on the inner sleeve.
Owner of traditional pub Hughes' Bar, Waterboys home from home in Spiddal, a few hundred yards from Spiddal House. Brida was one of the waltzers who can be heard dancing and swishing on "Jimmy Hickey's Waltz". Still runs Hughes' Bar.
Legendary American record producer who worked with Bob Dylan 1965-70, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmy Cliff and many other artists. Also wrote songs for Elvis Presley. Produced various sessions for The Waterboys during 1986 in Dublin and San Francisco. Still working as a producer.
Location manager for last few weeks of Spiddal House sessions, 1988. Worked before and since with U2 roadcrew. Pictured on front of "Fisherman's Blues" cover, back row far left.
Mike Scott's lawyer. Performed de facto business management of band during this period.
Mike's girlfriend and Windmill Lane studio manager. Present at several sessions in 1986-7 and subject of unreleased song, "Hey Irene". Later married Mike. They divorced some years after.
Recording engineer and producer. Assistant engineer on earliest "Fisherman's Blues" sessions in 1986, graduated to full engineering role on Spiddal House sessions, 1988. Has worked with U2, Butthole Surfers and many other artists and is currently REM's producer. Also worked on "Dream Harder". Pictured on "Fisherman's Blues" cover, back row third from left.
Waterboys live onstage sound engineer 1986-7. Took front and back cover photographs for "Fisherman's Blues" sleeve. Is pictured in football team photo on inner sleeve of "Room To Roam", back row far left (skull t-shirt). Still lives in Ireland.
Chrysalis Records art director who designed the sleeves of "Fisherman's Blues", "Room To Roam" and "The Best Of The Waterboys 1981-90". Left music business in early 90's.
We Free Kings
Seven-piece Scottish punk/folk group, featuring vocals, cello, accordion, whistle, fiddle, guitars and drums. WFK were the first "raggle taggle" band, performing the song "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" as well as Woody Guthrie, gospel and their own original numbers. Formed by Mike Scott's friends Joe Kingman and Seb Holbrook. Included Colin Blakey (see above). Toured Ireland regularly during "Fisherman's Blues" years, often accompanied on stage by Mike and Steve Wickham. Played with Waterboys at Aids Day benefit concerts in Edinburgh and at legendary Pictish Festival, Letham, Scotland in 1987. Toured again with Waterboys in 1990. Split in early 90's. Joe Kingman now lives in Ireland.