Cousin Tablet came to being when well known Mayo/Galway musician Donal Gibbons found time during lockdown to finish writing some songs he had been working on. Realising he would need a band to bring these ideas to fruition his first calls were to long term collaborators, bandmates and friends Stephen Monaghan (Guitar), Wil Merrigan (Bass) and Jamie O’Neill (Drums). Having played together in a variety of acts for over 20 years, including a stint as the house band of the legendary Co. Galway music venue Campbells Tavern, the natural chemistry was there and the songs quickly came together.
Recorded at a variety of locations between lockdowns, Whatever Happened to Betty is the first offering from the band and features superb guest appearances from well known Galway based, Finnish born violin player Juliana Erkkonen (The Raines, Mikey and the Scallywags, Molly Hicks), former Waterboy and Sawdoctor Anto Thistletwaite on saxophone and Galway folk musician and multi-instrumentalist Dave Clancy on piano and hammond. The song is inspired by the story of a woman called Betty who had worked in Gibbons’ family pub and house for a few years in the early 70’s.
Whatever Happened to Betty is inspired by the story of a woman who worked in my family’s home and business and experienced the horrors of the Mother and Baby Homes as both a child and a mother. This song is my imagining of her experience and a reflection on the horrors of the homes which casts a long shadow over our not so distant pastDonal Gibbons