Derek Ryan says he is immensely proud of his ninth studio album, The Fire, and rightly so. It’s the perfect mix of epic stadium-esque songs, heartbreaking ballads, traditional Irish tunes and love songs and covers all aspects of the Carlow native’s life and work.

Derek says it is the album is full of fire and light which has brought him back to the beginning; transported him right back to his childhood home brimming with music and love. He has travelled back to ancient traditional Irish ways of telling stories through song, with of course that unique Derek Ryan spin.

The first song on the album is Heaven Tonight, an upbeat tune with a traditional Irish flare and a message to live in the moment. We move through the album with Clap Both My Hands, which has a definite rhythm and blues vein flowing through it and is sure to get Derek’s fans up on their feet, alongside another toe-tapper – The Fox.

Pretty Little Lonely Eyes is Derek’s favourite song from the album. A slower affair, it speaks of Derek’s deep connection with his fans. It’s an ode to them and shows he cares and appreciates everything they do for him, that they are more than just a face in the crowd.

Full House, Empty Heart is a song that has an epic feel to it, one Garth Brooks would have been proud to have penned. It’s a tongue in cheek look at the music industry and the downside of fame.

My Father’s House, a duet on the album with his brother Adrian, is a heartbreaking ballad that harks back to Ireland of old and one Derek says brings a tear to his eye every time he performs it. It’s not hard to see why.

Down on Your Uppers is a tune of innovative and contemporary country music genius. With this song Derek has fashioned new Irish country with deep traditional roots. Fresh, smart and catchy, it is sure to hook not only country music fans but also those who might not ever ventured inside a country music gig.

Where Do You Run is the most traditional song on the album and showcases Derek’s superb singing talents.

The Fire, the title track of the album, is another epic love song full of passion and energy which is abundant throughout the entire album.

Four exclusive songs on the Deluxe Album version – Friends With Tractors, Promises, Coconut Tree and the Rose of Tralee medley – round off what is a superb body of work from Ireland’s finest country musician.