WITH A name like ‘Tex’ Deegan, he was born to sing country music, but the reason for that most appropriate stage name lies in equestrian, not musical, pursuits.
Brian ‘Tex’ Deegan, from Caherconlish, is one of eight contestants taking part in Season 19 of TG4’s long running, hit Country & Irish music series, Glór Tíre. The show, presented by Aoife Ní Thuairsig and Séamus Ó Scanláin, is screened on Tuesdays at 9.30pm.
While Tex has had a lifelong interest in music, his nickname comes from a childhood interest in horses and “wanting to be a jockey”.
“There was a riding school near us, and as children we were there all the time,” he says. “It came from the cowboy thing – the cowboy films and that being popular at the time – and from being around the horses. It was Texas for years, then it got shortened to Tex. It’s stuck since I was seven.”
Eventually, Tex’s love of music passed out the horses.
“I grew up being a massive fan of Elvis Presley, Shakin’ Stevens, and The Beatles,” he says.
Initially Tex worked as a roadie with friend’s bands, before deciding to step onto the stage himself. By this point, he had also developed a strong taste for country music, particularly Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, and the ‘King of Country’, George Strait.
Over the last decade, Tex has played pubs and hotels up and down the country and found support for his music on local radio in Clare and Tipperary. He has also worked with The Big Generator, Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, and Mike Denver. It was at a gig in Portugal that he met the popular Country & Irish singer, John McNicholl.
The two hit it off, with John eventually asking Tex to take part in Season 19 of Glór Tíre, and offering to be his mentor on the show.
“It’s a great opportunity,” says Tex. “I’m delighted to be on Glór Tíre as it is not everyday you are asked to be on television.”
For Glór Tíre contestants, being on the series is a massive opportunity to gain wider exposure, and the chief way to introduce yourself to the nation’s Country & Irish audience.
“Glór Tíre is needed badly, because where else is Country & Irish?” he says.
“The local radio stations are great for playing Country music, but not the national stations. The Late Late does one show a year about it and it is the same people all the time, whereas Glór Tíre features different people every year. It’s great to be involved.”
Tex will be appearing on the January 24th episode of Glór Tíre on TG4.
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