'Absolutely amazing talent': Teenage Donegal singer wins rave reviews after BBC New Year's Eve performance

'Absolutely amazing talent': Teenage Donegal singer wins rave reviews after BBC New Year's Eve performance

A TEENAGER from Co. Donegal has won rave reviews following her performance on a BBC New Year's Eve special.

Muireann Bradley, 17, from Ballybofey joined a star-studded line-up for Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny show, which was broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday.

On a bill featuring stars such as Rod Stewart, Joss Stone, Sugababes and fellow Irish act The Mary Wallopers, the youngster shone brightest with her rendition of ragtime classic Candy Man.

The song was popularised by some of the teen's musical heroes, including fingerpicking guitar legends Reverend Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt.

"Beautiful to hear it," said Holland, who described the teenager's performance as 'amazing' and 'fantastic'.

'Amazing talent'

The Hootenanny host wasn't the only one impressed with the performance, as viewers took to social media to hail the young talent.

"What a great blues voice and superb guitar playing. One to watch for the future," tweeted Dan Mulhall, the former Irish ambassador to Britain.

"I couldn't have been more proud to start the new year than watching Donegal's own Muireann Bradley on Jools Holland!" posted Donegal councillor Gary Doherty.

"An absolutely amazing talent who completely stole the show. Brilliant!"

Gary Dunne, the Creative Director at the London Irish Centre who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran, posted: "Muireann Bradley is so talented. And only 17."

Meanwhile, the teen's performance prompted Clash magazine to pen an article on up-and-coming female guitarists.

"Stealing the show on Jools Holland's high-profile New Year celebrations, she's a softly assured trailblazer who enraptures all who come across her work," the article read.

Bradley's performance (above) has since been viewed almost 300,000 times since it was uploaded to BBC Music's YouTube channel on Monday.

"That is what Jools Holland is all about. Performances that open our eyes and ears and become moments," commented one user on the platform.


Bradley has already built up a dedicated following on YouTube, where her videos have amassed more than 300,000 views.

She began posting videos on the platform during lockdown, the first of which was her rendition of Blind Blake's Police Dog Blues, which now has more than 90,000 views.

The teenager released her debut album, I kept These Old Blues, in December on Tomkins Square Records.

According to Pop Vortex, the record has risen to the top of the iTunes Album Charts for Ireland since her performance on Sunday.

It is also currently the top-selling album on Amazon UK, where fellow Hootenanny performers The Mary Wallopers have seen their two albums climb to No. 2 and No. 4.