Chapter 5 – The missing years

By the mid-80s, Alt Country and New Country were in full swing. Dwight Yoakham had even made the Stetson cool again!

For a year or two, the boys continued performing as a duo with a largely Alt-Country set. But steadily, careers and lives in different cities got in the way and families came along too.  The band went on hold for a while, and years turned into decades. Along the way, there were regular reunions for family do’s and both played independently in various covers bands. Tony particularly enjoyed success helping shape the acclaimed tribute band The Pogue Traders, regularly playing to packed houses including regular slots at Camden’s Dublin Castle and the Half Moon Putney, and two sold-out nights at Glasgow’s O2 Academy.

Meanwhile Kevin was soaking up the burgeoning Alt Country/ Americana scene. There was an array of fantastic new acts emerging like Ryan Adams, Richmond Fontaine, Wilco, Alison Krauss and many more. When Kevin took to song writing after being soaked for decades in the ‘whiskey’ of Americana, the songs came quickly and he was soon hooked.

There was no debate – to record these songs Kevin needed to get back with Tony. Days spent in the studio soon delivered recorded tracks – and with that, The County Affair was up and running. Those first original songs were well received; with ‘Big Tom Town’, the story of Irish Country’s singing legend, even getting significant radio air play in Ireland. This encouraged the boys to push on and devote more time to the music again. Little did they know what fate had in store….