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FORMER Fame Academy star and BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Malachi Cush, is going back to his Country roots this autumn with the release of a new album, Country Heartbeat.

And he's also getting ready to hit the road with a double launch planned for Friday, September 22 in the Chestnut Lodge, Moira, Co Armagh and on Saturday 23 in the Sheepbridge Inn, Newry.

The new album will come as a real surprise and delight to Country music enthusiasts who will be thrilled to see Malachi return to the kind of music which has always been close to his heart.

Among the 14 tracks on the new album are such favourites as Come Down the Mountain Katie Daly, Cottage on the Hill, Twelfth of Never, Don't Rock the Jukebox, and The Mass Rock in the Glen which is based on the traditional Irish poem by Felix Kearney.

Malachi, who hails from Donaghmore in Co. Tyrone, reflects on his new career move.

"Recording my second album, CELTIC HEARTBEAT, was certainly a major ambition of mine but I grew up surrounded by and listening to Country and Irish music all of my life and I have a real passion for it," said Malachi.

"After playing the live Country music scene across Ireland over the last 12 months and getting such a warm reaction from the audiences, recording COUNTRY HEARTBEAT seemed like the most natural and right thing to do."

The album was recorded in Temple patrick studio with arranger Ivan Gilliland, who has worked with Van Morrison and Phil Coulter, and producer, George Doherty. Session musicians included Liam Bradley on percussion and Rod McVeigh on keyboards, both of whom have recorded with Ronan Keating and Tommy Fleming respectively.

Malachi hopes to combine life on the road with the guest hosting of shows on BBC Radio Ulster where his easy style of presentation has won him a legion of fans.

But for now, the focus is on the big nights in Moira and Newry at the end of next week.

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ON ROUTE: Malachi Cush is on the road to promote his new Country album
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2006
Words:352
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