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"Claire Watts is a lovely singer with a clear,
honest and beautiful voice.
You'd have to have a heart of stone
not to be moved by these songs."

John Spillane.
Singer Songwriter
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Click here to Download Claire's new song, "My Heart Lies in Miltown Malbay" as premiered on March 6th 2016 on Clare FM by Eoin O Neill.

Latest News.
  • New Video Out Today! My Heart Lies In Miltown Malbay…

    Posted on Sunday 3rd December, 2017

    My song, ‘My Heart Lies in Miltown Malbay”,  the impending first single from my new album Landmark,  has gained momentum over the past while, and big thanks is to Eoin O’ Neill who has given it so much airplay on Clare FM. I was over the moon to have Jon O’ Connell, Jim Higgins, Shona Blake, Anne Rynne and Gerry Hegarty in Malbay Studios a few weeks back to record the video with the talented Martin O’ Malley ably assisted by Sean O’ Malley.

    This song started out as another song, as some of them do, with the current chorus a much later addition. It’s about the place I call home, the beautiful Miltown Malbay in West Clare. A woman approached me shortly after I arrived  and asked me “if I had done a winter here yet”. Indeed the winters can be hard, the weather often bleak and wet and cold, but I have learned to find beauty in the bleakness and now having done fifteen winters here, thankfully ” the women of this town” are always here to sing with, to walk with, to talk, laugh and cry with in every season , and I am so grateful to all of them for their friendship.

    In the song, I also mention Paddy Mac (RIP). Paddy McNamara was our neighbour and a great character who often sat outside his house watching the world go by and would be well able to forecast the weather by the hour as I set off on my walk. On this walk I do a loop circling the Blessed Well Road, Spanish Point and Miltown Malbay. Sometimes stopping at the Blessed Well, to sit and think and take a sip of the clear well water.

    In the last verse I sing about my first visit to Miltown. I first came here in the 80’s with my mother Bréedh Watts. We travelled down in July for Willie Clancy week to stay in the house I live in now. It was the first time I breathed air into a concert flute and I still remember the dizziness I felt on trying to fill the instrument. Thanks to Joe Collins for the great start he gave me with my music. My tin whistle classes that year were a complete revelation to me as I learned The Dusty Windowsill, The Jig Of Slurs, The Salamanca and Miss Johnson’s. I came away from Miltown that week with a renewed sense of what the music was all about. I still run away to Galway to the big city lights, to catch up with family and friends, see a gig or sometimes just to feel the beautiful buzz of Galway city, but I love to come back to the quietness of the Mullagh Road and Miltown Malbay.

    Thank you for allowing me into your inbox. I would be grateful if you could share and like the video on social media.

    Claire x

  • September :The West’s Wide Awake! Four Musical Seasons in One Day…

    Posted on Saturday 9th September, 2017

    It is hard to believe how much music a person can actually pack into an autumn evening in Co. Clare if they wish to do so. My day had started with an early gym class that had left no limb or joint unturned! I hobbled to Kilrush to recommence the Embrace workshops at a day centre there. The Embrace scheme run by Clare Arts Office is an arts and disability programme and I have been fortunate to be involved with it for several years now. I had also been very lucky with the help of Clare Arts Office to acquire the use of a gigantic electronic keyboard through Music Generation for my workshops. My guess is that many of the Kilrush participants had never touched a keyboard before and the look of delight and amazement on their faces as they pressed the keys, changed the sounds and bashed away on the Yamaha piano was a sight to behold. Then it was back to Miltown to begin teaching piano, flute and tin whistle lessons for the new term.

    By 7pm, I was ready for the leaba, but more caffeine was imbibed, the boots were put on and off I zoomed to Ennis for the third episode of the series “The West’s Awake”, a live hour long monthly music programme which is based around performances and interviews with new and established artists. The idea, conceived by Ennis singer songwriter Laura Mulcahy showcases pairings of singers, songwriters and musicians. Last Wednesday night proved no exception to the fantastic music that has been put on so far by Laura and her team. This month’s musical menu featured Clare Sands, singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Cork and Eoin Butler, guitarist and singer from Limerick.
    Clare transported us from Lahinch to the streets of Scilily, as she brought us with her on a journey through a world of musical genres and different languages on guitars and fiddle. I loved the “realness” of her music. The West’s Awake also features a Q & A sessions with the featured artist and is always just as captivating as the musical performance as we hear about the inspiration and creative processes behind the songs. Clare proved no exception to the rule, with well-thought questions posed by the one and only Anne Rynne. Next up was Eoin Butler a virtuoso guitar player and singer from Limerick who wowed us with his guitar skills and I sang along to every line of his great rendition of Martha by Tom Waits.

    Then Three Women Sing –  Anne Rynne, Shona Blake and myself, got to do our thing with the lovely Damien from Cuppa Tea TV who recorded three of our songs and interviewed us for an episode of his Youtube programme.

    A visit to Friel’s was suggested since “we were out anyway” so a convoy of cars hit back home through the drizzling rain to Miltown Malbay to catch Bruce Foley and Mary Coogan’s Wednesday songs session. A gorgeous welcome awaited us and we sang some more and heard the beautiful “A Winter’s Tear” from Tim Dennihy, the gorgeous song, Willie Clancy and the Pipes from Bruce Foley – a beautiful song written by songwriter Maurice Mc Grath, who I was delighted to meet this summer along with Niamh Parsons in Kilshanny House at the monthly Song Circle there run by Noirín Lynch. Bruce’s songs were ably accompanied by Mary Coogan on mandolin and there were “stop-you-in-your-tracks” whistle and flute tunes from Joanie Madden.

    I was tucked up in bed by 1.30am with tunes and song words floating around in my head. I am so thankful for this musical community that I am part of and this gorgeous place I live in. It’s amazing what you can pack into one autumn Wednesday in Clare.

  • Happy New Year! Landmark – New Album Out Soon!

    Posted on Sunday 1st January, 2017

    “you’re my landmark, my north star, compass of my heart, that’s what you are”

    It’s been a busy year for me with some stellar gigs, recording my new album – Landmark, playing music and keeping all the other irons in the fire. I am delighted to say the new album is (finally) near completion. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Life stood up and did its thing. This year ill health has cast a shadow over my family and though it has been a challenging year for many of us, I look forward to 2017 with a renewed  sense of hope in my heart.

    Next week I start the New Year with a bang and return to Malbay Studios  to record the main vocals. After that it will be time for backing vocals and the addition of a few more bits and pieces, before we start the mixing and mastering. I am tentatively aiming for a release along with the daffodils. Daffoldils or Easter eggs – we’ll see!
    The new record is brimful of new songs, and is wide ranging in style and subject, from a song that pays homage to the life of Aylan Kurdi, the young Syrian refugee who drowned while trying to reach Europe with his family, to an eulogy for my late grandmother, the wonderful Lily May Watts,img_5621  and a  song that was inspired by a train journey to Devon and then completed in a London Song Company workshop with Boo Hewerdine called  “The Sand is A Different Colour Here”.



    I was delighted to release my first ever music video this time last year and to then return to Peter John Walsh of Northern Boy Productions to film a new video of my song Angel’s Roost early in 2016, on a baby grand piano in a beautiful old church in Croydon. Peter, along with being a talented songwriter himself is pretty handy with his camera as is the wonderful Jane Walshe. I am so grateful to them both for their ability to help me feel at ease in front of the camera and their ability to get a fantastic job done with huge time constraints.

    This year has been incredible in terms of the gigs I had the opportunity to be involved in – two highlights were supporting the wonderful Sean Keane in Moy Community Hall in March

    and then Mundy in Culturlann Sweeney in Kilkee in July, 2016. Both consummate performers in very different genres, they were unfailingly generous with the performance opportunities they put my way.

    2016 also saw me joining Anne Rynne and Shona Blake, as the performance collective Three Women Sing. It is fabulous performing with these two brilliant women and we have had so much fun and learned so much this year playing diverse venues such as the colourful and quirky Potter’s Hand Cafe in Kilrush, the beautiful Foust Gallery in Ennistymon as well as Chez Le Fab in Limerick city. We are very much looking forward to bringing our songs to Gort in March of this year to the Gallery Cafe.










    Recording in Malbay Studios has yet again been a rich experience. I was privileged  to work with the one and only Carl Hession. Carl was a huge influence on me musically when I was younger as my music teacher in Colaiste Iognaid secondary school in Galway, and I played many of his arrangements as a young musician in the school orchestra. He came up trumps with some beautiful string arrangements for the new album and Sharon Howley, Jim Higgins, Jono Connell, Chris Wood and Martin O Malley have added such colour, depth and richness to the songs.


    Teaching music and working on the Embrace scheme with Clare Arts Office enables me to make music and sing songs every day of the week. I continue to be inspired by those I teach, and the participants of the workshops I facilitate at North Clare Mental Health Centre, Ennistymon, St Anne’s School, The Orchard, Kilrush and the Brothers of Charity. This September I started working as Artist in Residence at Scoil Iosaf Naofa, Moy,  song writing with the children there, and also began teaching Irish Traditional music at St Flannan’s N.S. in Inagh.


    March also saw my song My Heart Lies in Miltown Malbay get airplay on Eoin O’ Neill’s fantastic Sunday morning show and a big thank you to all the presenters on Clare FM who continue to be so supportive of local singer songwriters and musicians. You can listen to the song here. There was also a wonderful chat about songwriting with Pat Costello of Clare FM’s Gentle Folk radio programme. In case you missed it, you can listen to it here  





    We had a busy summer of Tuesday tunes in the Nineteenth Bar in Lahinch and this also gave me the opportunity to try out the new songs, and of course play the tunes which always make my heart sing.


    I continue to be mentored by Julian Marshall, ex creative director of the London Song Company. Julian motivates, inspires and helps to gently steer me through the days of self doubt and dodgy Skype connections.

    I have also benefitted greatly from working with Cathal Jack of Galway Voice Studio this year and he has really helped me look at how I use my voice in a more productive way.






    Thank you for all your support in 2016, whether its downloading a song, responding to my posts on facebook or twitter, sharing and liking my music, buying my EP or attending a gig.

    I am continually surprised by how a small little spark of a lyric idea – that will disappear into the ether if I don’t record it or jot it down –  can take wings and fly with a dose of dedication, dogged diligence and often sheer stubbornness on my part, and finally become a song that I love to sing and that people enjoy listening to. For this gift I am blessed.

    I met a dear friend yesterday who told me of a great quote she had heard from a friend of hers- “its better to burn out than rust out”! One of these days I will get the balance right, but in the mean time I’ll keep on keeping on.

    Finally thank you to Gerry and Jack for their unfailing love and support.


    Sending you love and light for 2017.

    Claire x

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Claire, originally from Knockdoe, Claregalway started learning tin whistle and flute with 
Joe Collins in Lackagh National School. She went on to study for a Degree in Ethnomusicology in Queens University Belfast. As part of her studies she was based in Chicago Illinois USA and was well known in Irish Musical circles there. Claire also studied classical piano to the Senior Certificate Level. Claire is also a renowned singer/songwriter.