Colin Urwin is a professional singer, songwriter and storyteller. He hails from the Glens of Antrim in the northeast of Ireland and 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.
Colin also performs solo and with other musicians and storytellers. Regular sessions and gigs include the Meeting House, Cairncastle every Thursday evening and the Londonderry Arms, Carnlough on Sundays. In recent years he has been working closely with the world renowned storyteller Liz Weir MBE on a variety of exciting live, virtual and recording projects. Colin is regularly invited to sing and tell at local storytelling venues, schools and community groups and has also performed at the Glens Storytelling Festival.
Over the years Colin has performed on thousands of stages from open field festivals to primary school settings. Throughout the current pandemic, however, he has been appearing on regular weekly virtual sessions at, for example, Liz Weir's Ballyeamonn Barn Session and Maria Whatton's Once Upon A Wednesday Club, and various others throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US. He 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) and the World Storytelling Cafe.
Through the Armstrong Storytelling Trust and Libraries NI, Colin also works regularly with Dementia NI Groups. He describes this as among the most satisfying and rewarding work he does.
"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's evocative songs on everything from the environment to reflections on his upbringing in Northern Ireland and moving historical events have a universal appeal, and he is developing a loyal band of followers across the world.
In February 2021 he completed his long awaited first album of original material, 'A Kind Of Love Song', a collection of twelve songs and a poem, recorded at Stoney Road Studios, Belfast and produced by the legendary Brian Houston. The album is now available to purchase online 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 own stories, 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.
He is currently working on putting together a collection of his stories with a view to publication at the end of 2021. His rich storytelling repertoire includes many time-honoured Irish and Scottish folk and faerie tales on which he always stamps his own distinctive mark.
Colin is also well known for his humorous and sometimes poignant recitations after the strong local tradition. In 2020 he was commissioned to write a piece to commemorate the sad demise of the 'Spanish Armada Tree', a famous and much-loved local landmark. (See media links)
"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..."