Eamonn Campbell whom I first met twenty years ago in 1967, was then a young and enthusiastic musician playing with Dermot O'Brien's band.
We, that is "The Dubliners", became very friendly with all the musicians in this band, but with Eamonn in particular, because he joined "The Dubliners" and others, in the almost nightly convivial "sessions" we used to have in the hotels (or if we were well got) other establishments of the town or city in which we had played that night.
Having heard Eamonn's contribution to a number of these sessions, I began to think, that here was a young fella who might possibly, be even a better guitar player than myself!!
Eamonn went on to become one of the most sought after musicians in Ireland playing with most of the top performers, on stage, on television, on radio and on their records. His many appearances on television prompted a little oul' fella in a pub to enquire of me "you know yer man with the fuzzy hair who was playin' with yous, on the television last night, who is he?" I explained who Eamonn was, enviously he said, "jasus he must be worth a fortune, you can't turn on the television but he's on it. He must be playin' with every band in the country".
In the past years, Eamonn has not only played with the top groups, bands and individual artists here, but has become a very respected record producer and arranger, though he has not always received the full credit due to him.
He exudes such enjoyment and enthusiasm on stage that performers and audiences alike become infected with it. It is hard to believe while watching "this fella" having a ball on stage, that he is the same man who is responsible for the production of some of the most popular and successful records to have been produced in Ireland.
Eamonn's success in this field has not been the result, solely of enthusiasm and enjoyment but of "Hard Work", and of course imagination, getting musicians together, arranging and writing parts for however many instruments that may be required for a particular record, strings, brass etc., right down to where the bodhrdn comes in.
I have often dropped Eamonn home after a gig in the early hours of the morning, knowing that he had to face this kind of work, through the night in readiness for his studio work next day.
Through the years his advise, help and encouragement, have been accepted and appreciated by "The Dubliners" in our collective and individual efforts.
This is Eamonn's first record in which he is the front man, and to this less young but even more enthusiastic musician, I wish the success and more, that he has helped many more to achieve. Both as a fellow artist and a friend,
All the best "me oul' flower"