My pal Ali MacKenzie is, in my view, Ireland’s greatest bass player. His lifeblood is playing live music (it almost doesn’t matter what context – blues bands, 80s tribute bands, his own music…) and he’s always written and recorded music, though only ever getting a fraction of it ‘out there’.
I encouraged Ali to get his ‘Space Debris’ instrumental album ‘out there’ a year or two back, and I’ve since been encouraging him to get an Ali MacKenzie Band mini-album of vocal material out there. He was all set to film a video for this track from the forthcoming album, with all the players involved, when the current apocalypse came along and made that impossible – and, of course, a non-priority anyway.
Like a lot of us, Ali does something other than his real calling/interest for a living – he works in an NHS renal unit in Belfast. Doing that without the usual outlet of weekend gigs and the like is tough. Ali just wanted to get this piece of music out there – thinking that people might enjoy it is a morale-booster in itself – and asked me to do it. So here it is – ‘The Saddest Song’, a reflectioon on mortality, with fabulous Belfast bar singer Maggie Toal on vocals.