1 June 1987 |
Cookstown, Northern Ireland
|Genres||Pop, easy listening, vocal, traditional vocal pop|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, flute|
|Associated acts||Randy Travis
McCrystal was born to nursing home owners Jim and Ann in Cookstown, Northern Ireland. He attended Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, where he learned to play the piano and the flute. In his late teen years, he seriously considered joining the priesthood, but was advised by local cardinal Sean Brady to pursue his music career instead.
McCrystal's first radio appearance was at the age of nine, on the George Jones Show on BBC Radio Ulster. He released his first album, After the Storm, in 2000, at the age of 13. Over the course of the decade, he independently recorded three more albums, and toured around Ireland with a 15-piece band.
In 2009, McCrystal was working as a stage manager at the UTV Country Fest in Belfast, headlined that year by Randy Travis. McCrystal was driving Travis's then-wife and manager Elizabeth Travis to Dublin, and gave her a copy of Eamonn McCrystal Live. After listening to the album, she gave McCrystal a slot as a guest artist on the Randy Travis tour, signed him to a contract with Elizabeth Travis Management, and brought him to Los Angeles, where he is currently based.
In 2011, McCrystal recorded his first US album, When in Nashville..., produced by Kyle Lehning, composed of six covers and six original compositions by outside songwriters. Later that year, McCrystal collaborated with Randy Travis on "Someone You Never Knew" on Anniversary Celebration, a collection of newly recorded duets in honour of Travis's 25 years as a country musician. In 2012, McCrystal released the single "Under Your Wings," a ballad written by Grammy Award winner Walter Afanasieff. McCrystal's musical director Brad Ellis accompanies him on the track.
On 2 September 2014, his album A Living Prayer was released on Difference Media. Produced by McCrystal and Casey Wood, it features traditional hymns and contemporary songs.
Television, film and radio
In 2008, McCrystal founded SMUC Radio, a radio station at St. Mary's University College in Twickenham, England, hosted by students and broadcast 24 hours a day. SMUC Radio debuted on 19 February 2009.
On 6 September 2014, McCrystal hosted the made-for-television concert Celebrating the Music from Northern Ireland at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. It was filmed by BBC Northern Ireland, to be aired on PBS in North America in March 2015. During the event, McCrystal sung duets with special guest artists including Brian Kennedy, Rachel Tucker, Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty.
McCrystal has performed with Randy Travis and Kristin Chenoweth, makes regular guest appearances on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, and is often backed by a 12-piece orchestra.
- After the Storm (2000)
- The Search (2006)
- Rest for Your Soul (2007)
- Eamonn McCrystal Live (2009)
- When in Nashville... (2011)
- The Music of Christmas & the Stories Behind the Songs (2013)
- A Living Prayer (2014)
- "If It's Gonna Rain" (2010)
- "Under Your Wings" (2012)
- "Blue Christmas" (2013)
- "Auld Lang Syne" (2013)
- "Someone You Never Knew" – with Randy Travis (from Anniversary Celebration, 2011)
- Karen Scott, "Eamonn McCrystal – following his destiny," Tyrone Courier, 22 August 2012.
- John McGurk, “Cookstown singer Eamonn McCrystal set for stardom in US,” Belfast Telegraph, 4 September 2012.
- Billy Kennedy, "Rising star Eammon to thrill Cookstown," The News Letter, 10 August 2012.
- Jenny Lee, “Crystal clear sounds,” The Irish News, 31 August 2012.
- “Eamonn ready for the road,” Mid-Ulster Mail, 6 August 2007.
- Christina Fuoco Karasinski, “Randy Travis still modest after 25 years in country music,” MLive.com, 13 July 2011.
- “Superstars Just Love Talented Eamonn,” The Sunday Life, 2 September 2012.
- "Eamonn launches Christmas album," Tyrone Times, 22 October 2013.
- “Celebrating our music,” The Irish News, 28 August 2014.
- “About SMUC Radio,” smucradio.com. Accessed 30 January 2013.
- Alan Simpson, host, 03/09/12 show, BBC Radio Ulster, 9 March 2012.
- “Celebrate the music of Northern Ireland,” Ulster Star, 26 August 2014.
- John McGurk, “Finest Crystal,” The Sunday Life, 31 August 2014.
- Robert Machray, “Concert Review (LA): Deck The Halls with Kristin Chenoweth at Disney Hall, 12/31/2010,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 16 April 2011.
- “Eamonn McCrystal: Guest Artist,” opry.com. Accessed 30 January 2013.