"I have played many styles, from pop to rock to even traditional Irish music but it is my love of blues music that has persisted". - Grainne Duffy

Posted: February 8, 2024
Decisive - able to make decisions quickly and confidently or showing this quality: You need to be more decisive.

Photos provided by: Rob Blackham

Hold on a minute. I need to be positive that my decision is going to work out the best in the long term. Ok, patience, is a great quality to have. Though, there are many times when waiting turns into a missed opportunity. Example: You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to open for a high-profile band. Do you start considering other offers or are you confident that an opening act will give you credibility in the music industry. If you are decisive, you recognize there is more to gain with an opening act. Despite the amount you receive.

Another example: You are an independent band and have no sponsors to date. Suddenly, your agent arranges a sponsor for you, that represents top talent only. The caveat is that there isn’t any money involved. However, they are willing to send you their best gear that they have in their product line. If you are decisive, you can determine the value of a relationship with a brand, that is well-known in the music industry.

The previous examples occur often. You would be surprised at how many artists that are not confident to make this decision. One of the most important qualities to have as an artist is the ability to be decisive. Unfortunately, many opportunities are lost, due to hesitation. You can say there are other factors, and the more information you have, the easier the decision. Well, there comes a point when you must make quick decisions based upon the information in front of you. Right or wrong, a decisive individual will be a successful one.

Grainne Duffy is an artist who is accomplished due to her talent and ability to be decisive. It is our pleasure to have her as our guest.


Grainne Duffy was born in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland and raised in a family of seven. As a schoolgirl she sang in her local choir and in a family band with her sisters. The band was bred from their love of music, which Duffy accredits to her mother. Not having a television in their home when they were young, her mother instead allowed them to own a family record player, on which they all were encouraged to get a record on their individual birthdays and Christmas. This broadened their interest in music, and they began listening to artists such as Aretha Franklin, The Pretenders and The Rolling Stones. Around that time Grainne discovered Fleetwood Mac and the blues playing of Peter Green, whom she cites as one her main guitar influences. Before her solo career Grainne Duffy obtained a degree in music at NUI, Maynooth, Ireland and took part in session work singing with various bands across Italy and France.


Guitar Thrills: Hello Grainne. I am honored to speak with you today regarding an important topic as mentioned in the introduction. It is a trait that must be implemented in the decision-making process. Especially for artists.

I read about your accolades, and what you were able to accomplish over the years. That certainly requires confidence in your ability to make decisions. Would you define yourself as being a decisive person? Please explain.

Grainne: Well thank you firstly. I can be decisive but usually after a lot of indecisiveness! I think that’s a trait at times of being a creative person and artist. You can be asking yourself a lot of questions and you demand a lot of yourself also.

Guitar Thrills: I admit that we are not always going to be confident in the results of our decisions. However, if we are hesitant due to uncertainty, we could lose out on opportunities. Have you ever lost out on an opportunity because you hesitated? What was the result?

Grainne: Yes, I probably have. I might have over thought about doing collaborations or sometimes certain shows but you live and learn ultimately and I think my children have helped me make clearer decisions and try not to look back.

Guitar Thrills: I understand that your love of music comes from your mother. That sounds a lot like me. I don’t know if I would be involved in the music industry, if it wasn’t for my mother. She had a great fondness for music. She made sure; music was part of my life. Do you think your mother past along other traits that have contributed to your ability to make decisions?

Grainne: Well it was more my mother’s love of creativity. She didn’t allow us to have a T.V. or phone in the house growing up so she instead got us a record player and we could get a record for Christmas or our birthday’s. So listening to music and making it part of our growing up process which was really important to me. She was very supportive of us fulfilling ourselves creatively.

Guitar Thrills: We want to encourage you to continue using your comprehensive abilities to take decisive action with your music career. It has continued to pay off for you. Now, time to focus on your musical talents. 😊

Have you always played the blues?

Grainne: I have played many styles, from pop to rock to even traditional Irish music but it is my love of blues music that has persisted and stayed with me. But I think my style is an eclectic mix of blues, rock and Celtic soul.

Guitar Thrills: Blues artists are of a different mindset than other artists. Everyone has their different level of talent. Each has their own story. However, I often favor blues artists over other genres.

Which artists have inspired your style of blues?

Grainne: Mostly Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones alongside Van Morrisson and Thin Lizzy and lots of brilliant female artists like Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. 

Guitar Thrills: Have you had a chance to perform with any of them?

Grainne: Sadly no, not yet anyway!

Guitar Thrills: You have released several great albums. Do you believe you have more songs or stories to tell through your music?

Grainne: Yes, I think as long as I am living, I hope I can use my music to explore my journey and experiences through life.

Guitar Thrills: How do you ensure that the same topic isn’t covered in another song that you produce?

Grainne: I don’t think about that too much as I think you can write about the same emotion or feeling in lots of different ways. Love, loss, happiness, sadness etc. all of these topics are explored over and over in many different ways. I think it’s more important to keep the musical style fresh if you are returning to a topic you have already explored.

Guitar Thrills: Have you received any negative feedback regarding your style of blues? If so, how have you handled it?

Grainne: I do have some people finding it hard to categorize my style as just blues as I do play a mix of blues, rock and soul. For purists I think this can be something that they do not like in my style.

Guitar Thrills: How have you responded to the attention you received from your fans?

Grainne: Of course it’s so important to appreciate your fans. They are the reason I can do what I do. So I try my best to interact with them either online or better still, at gigs. We usually have what we call in the Ireland the ‘craic’ after the gigs, if they are returning fans. It is always very rewarding to have a chat with fans after gigs as it reminds you how lucky you are to do what you do.

Guitar Thrills: What style of guitar do you perform with? Also does it change, depending upon where you play?

Grainne:  Usually I play with my Gibson Les Paul. I love it and it still plays great after all this time, but it is HEAVY!!!!

Guitar Thrills: What projects are you currently working on? Is there a timeframe for their release or completion?

Grainne: Currently I am just picking up form my last album which came out last year. I am trying to begin my next journey for my next record. I am getting prepared to play some USA shows which is very exciting for me. I have always wanted to play in America. 

Guitar Thrills: I am glad, to have the opportunity to chat with you. It opens the opportunity for future conversations. Will you keep in touch, and let us know what things you are accomplishing in the industry?

Grainne: Of course, I’d love to, thank you too. Guitar Thrills: Excellent. We look forward to hearing from you soon

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