Pierce turner

Turner is ready for the summer party

Pierce Turner will play at the Harp

Raw Bar & Grill on July 12, 19 and 26.

By Peter McDermott


People don’t associate Pierce Turner with summertime in New York.

“I’m usually in Ireland, anyway,” he said. “That’s been the pattern for quite some time.”’

But he has just returned from touring there and a vacation in Europe, and he’s ready to take the Manhattan stage again at Harp Raw Bar & Grill (Third Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets) this Sunday evening at 6 p.m., as well as on the 19th and 26th.

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Some acts have traditionally steered clear of the summer gig, working under the assumption, Turner said, that “people leave on the weekends.”

The Wexford-born singer-songwriter said: “It’s questionable if that’s the case anymore. The recession is supposed to be over, but people can’t afford to go the Hamptons or Fire Island.”

Turner promises “to brush off some summer classics” for the Harp event. “Summer in the City,” with the venue’s open roof, will be different to the show he staged in April at the Irish Arts Center.

“It will be less theatrical -- looser and more spontaneous. More of a fun event, but it’s always fun,” he said.

If some of the songs are deep, the important thing is to send them home smiling, Turner said, “or they won’t come back.”

There will, of course, be storytelling. “[The story] is big part of it. And bigger with time,” he said.

On his website, there’s a clip of Turner telling composer Philip Glass -- who produced his first solo album and with whom he’s worked occasionally since – the background to “Yogi With a Broken Heart.”

“Some songwriters don’t like explaining lyrics, but I don’t mind, if it helps,” Turner told the Echo. “And people want to know.”

They certainly do in Ireland. He reported that his recent tour there was “incredibly good,” though one event was rained out.

The singer-songwriter said he turned down some events, preferring quality over quantity. Besides, his fans there seem to be a “bit casual,” preferring to buy tickets very close to the day or just to turn up on the night – and that has its anxiety-inducing aspect.

“If I drive to Mullingar,” Turner said, “will there be anybody there?”

But even if a gig is full and a big success, it being Ireland, there will be always those fans who’ll seek him out afterwards to offer their unvarnished critique.

“They don’t bullshit you,” Turner said with a laugh.

“Summer in the City” with Pierce Turner will take place at the Harp Raw Bar & Grill, 729 Third Ave, on Sunday, July 12, 19 and 26. Doors open at 5 p.m.; show is at 6 p.m. He will also perform at An Beal Bocht Café, 445 West 238th St., in the Bronx, on Saturday, Aug 1 at 7 p.m. For more information, go to: www.pierceturner.com