Colin Urwin is a singer, songwriter storyteller, workshop facilitator and recording artist. Hailing from the Glens of Antrim in the northeast of Ireland, he has been mainly influenced by traditional Irish and Scottish music. He has been playing and singing folk songs for over four decades and for the last twenty years he has been the caller and singer in 'Haste to the Wedding' ceilidh band, who are always in great demand at functions all over Ireland.
In recent years Colin has been working closely with the world-renowned storyteller Liz Weir MBE on a variety of exciting live, virtual and recording projects. He also performs solo and with other musicians and storytellers regularly at local storytelling venues, schools, community groups, private functions and international storytelling festivals as far apart as Edinburgh, Texas and Marrakech.
Colin has also performed and recorded for events hosted by The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Group, Library NI events in conjunction with the Armstrong Storytelling Trust, National Storytelling Network (US), Artists Standing Strong Together (US), North East Story Telling conference (US) and the World Storytelling Cafe.
Through the Armstrong Storytelling Trust and Libraries NI, Colin also works regularly with Dementia NI and special needs Groups. He describes this as among the most satisfying and rewarding work he does.
Colin serves on the committee for Storytellers of Ireland and is Storyteller in Residence for The Waterways Community; a charitable social enterprise creating opportunities for people, schools, businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland.
"Colin can do something the rest of us cannot do: he can write an original story and make it sound like it's an ancient tale. His talent for interweaving story and song ensures his work is authentic and original."
Colin is a consummate storyteller cut from the same cloth as the traditional balladeer. Delivered with his rich authentic voice, his evocative songs on everything from the environment, reflections on his upbringing in Northern Ireland during the troubles and moving historical events possess a universal appeal. With lyrics so deceptively simple they are utterly sublime combined with hauntingly beautiful melodies, he continues to develop a loyal band of followers around the world.
His long awaited first album of original material, 'A Kind Of Love Song', a collection of twelve songs and a poem, was recorded at Stoney Road Studios, Belfast and produced by the legendary Brian Houston. The album is available to purchase online (see below) and at a number of local outlets.
"Colin Urwin is without doubt one of my absolute favorite balladeer storytellers. He moves between the traditional world and original songs and stories with ease. Whether he’s sharing love songs that can melt your bones, or sending chills up and down your spine with vivid Irish tales of the supernatural, he is an experience not to be missed!"
Colin's self-penned stories, strongly reminiscent of the oral traditional and delivered in his uniquely captivating style, are always very popular with live audiences and across the virtual world. Almost always set in the Glens of Antrim and often based on historical events and local legend, they are a portal to a bygone age of superstitions and ancient beliefs and practices.
His rich and varied storytelling repertoire includes many time-honoured Irish and Scottish folk and faerie tales on which he always stamps his own distinctive mark, and he is also well known for his humorous and sometimes poignant recitations after the long-established local tradition.
Colin has recorded a trilogy of spoken work albums featuring some of his magical stories interwoven with beautiful traditional harp, fiddle and pipe music which are available online (see below).
He is currently working on a recording of his one-man show, The Little Gold Ring: A Legend of the Spanish Armada, and he has put together a collection of his stories illustrated by Katherine Soutar-Caddick due for publication in 2022.
"Colin Urwin has the unique distinction of not only telling traditional folk tales and singing traditional songs, but of creating them as well. His stories, woven around the landscape of the Glens of Antrim, are steeped in the folk culture and are indistinguishable from ancient tales. They are the folk tales of the future. Many of his songs are based on historic events, delivered with a sensitivity, compassion and understanding that touches the listener's heart. Colin is keeping alive the tradition of the seanchaí..."
In 2020 Colin was Commissioned by a local community group to write a piece commemorating the sad demise of a famous and much-loved local tree believed to have dated from 1588. His recitation entitled ‘The Spanish Armada Tree’ was subsequently submitted to the EU funded Northword Project and following a successful application and the award of a creative bursary, Colin has developed a one-man show entitled, ’The Little Gold Ring: A Legend of the Spanish Armada’.
Colin will perform the show live for the first time at a ceremony in June 2022 to mark the loss of the Galleass La Girona and thirteen hundred Spanish Sailors at Lacada Point, North Antrim in 1588. The show has already been booked by several festivals and venues throughout Ireland and Colin is set to take it to the UK and beyond.